- Does it educate?
- Does it entertain?
- Does it engage?
I'm sure I didn't originate this easy to remember formula; it just flew out of my mouth when I was on stage yesterday at Tom Antion's Butt Camp for Internet Marketing. Denise and I were giving an overview of what goes into better business blogging to 50 professionals at the LA Chapter of the National Speakers Association.
Some content you write for your business will educate clients (ebooks, mini-courses, special reports and white papers), some will entertain (blog posts, articles, interviews), and some will be specifically written to engage readers (sales copy, landing pages, email promotions).
If you can include all three elements in your writing, you're on the right track. "Okay, Patsi, that makes sense," you might well be saying, "…but HOW do you do that?" Here's my stab at giving you a few tips…
Educate: Anytime you can include 3-5 tips or key points you are educating readers. Always include benefits, how their lives will be better by knowing and following your tips. Example: this post is about the 3 E's in content marketing.
When you educate, entertain and engage readers with your content, you are gaining their trust, building your credibility and paving the way for them to become loyal customers.
Entertain: This is the hard part for me, and I'm getting better. Include stories from real life. Tell a story about someone who used these tips and what happened. Here's an example from two of Tom's own sales letters that shows how pure content outsells graphics 4 to 1.
He wrote an "advertorial" or page that tells some stories about public speaking. It is all text, no pictures, just a few links at the bottom to buy his public speaking program.
He also wrote a traditional sales page for the public speaking training program, with color pictures of the product.
Guess which page sells the most product? The one with all text, no pictures. Why? Because it draws the reader in with stories, and once the reader is engaged with Tom's writing, they learn more about why they need his program.
The advertorial outsells the sales page four times.
That's the advantage of writing copy that entertains and educates: it's more engaging. People begin to trust the author, and will let themselves become influenced and persuaded.
Engaged: By now, if you've read this far, it's because you've become engaged in my story and examples, and Tom's advertorial that got 4 times more sales.
There are many ways to engage readers, and by far, this is the hardest to achieve. It's what happens when your content works. Readers call, email, or click to buy. But I'll write more about that another day.
In the meantime, please contribute your own examples of content that works for you because it educates, entertains, or engages.