What will make your web readers take action or not? Content marketing isn’t successful without results. So when writing a blog post or a web page, keep these key questions in mind. You want to inspire readers to pick up the phone, click here, sign up, register, or remember your brand.
Here’s a final note in my blog post series about writing good content on the Web that gets results.
In Maria Velosa’s 2009 edition of Web Copy that Sells, she suggests 5 questions your copy should answer:
- What is the problem (pain, predicament)?
- Why hasn’t this problem been solved?
- What is possible?
- What is different now?
- What should you do now?
As you answer these questions, you lead readers down a path to take action. Good content on the Web, when it’s well written, should:
- Engage readers
- Enrich lives
If at all possible, you should strive to enrich the lives of your readers as well. Try to make their lives better by showing them how they can save time, energy or money.
Question #4: What is different now?
How will your product or service make your readers’ lives different? If they take action, what will happen? This is where you explain who you are, how you know what you’re talking about, how your product or service can help them, and what’s different about your product or service that will eliminate their problem.
This is a good spot to drop in a testimonial. People do business with people, not companies. Social proof is a scientifically validated way of persuading people to trust you. When readers learn of how you’ve helped others, they see the possibilities for themselves. They think, “If he had success with this, maybe I will too.” It makes it easy for them to see why they should take action.
It also helps them to see how what you’re writing about has been applied and what kinds of results can be expected. Specific examples and case studies spell everything out for readers and make your copy come alive.
Think about your Unique Selling Proposition. How are you better than your competitors? Write out a few sentences about what differentiates your product/service.
Question #5: What should you do now?
This is where you tell your readers what you want them to do, how they can take action. A call to action may be to:
- Pick up the phone
- Sign up, subscribe
- Click the link to go read something
- Click the link to buy something
- Ask a question
- Fill out a survey, vote
- Enter a contest
- Hire you
The key here is to state it clearly. You must tell them what to do, how to do it, and what they can expect once they have clicked, signed-up, etc. You must also reassure them of security and privacy and refunds.
Hopefully, you will have all further steps set up so there is a minimum hassle to your readers and prospects. Don’t make them fill out unnecessary information and forms. If you’ve answered all their objections and spelled out what they can expect, and your systems are impeccable, you will have a minimum drop out rate. You will be successful
(Note: One of the best systems for handling registrations and sales is KickStartCart. Many people making money and marketing on the Web use this software because it handles so many tasks such as registrations, subscription, sales, affiliates, autoresponders and such. I like it so much I’m an affiliate and actively recommend it.)
But like all things on the Web, there are always glitches and unexpected questions from people who attempt unsuccessfully to get what you’re offering. Be prepared to respond immediately to emails, or have a good customer service response team in place.