Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Every business needs content to engage current customers, draw in new leads, and foster sales.

A great place to get started is a blog on your website, which is an especially useful tool for content creation and promotion. Posting regular articles related to your field establishes you as an authority while building your reputation in the industry. Consistently adding fresh content to your site can also help improve both your search rankings and overall online visibility.

Luckily, it isn’t nearly as hard as you might think to write concise, clear copy for your company blog or email marketing campaign.

By using these 3 copywriting formulas, you can drastically improve your blog and newsletter content to convert more web traffic into clients.

1.  Before - After - Bridge (BAB)

Before:

Tell your reader about the current world they live in, which contains a common problem (that your product/service can solve, of course).

After:

Relieve your reader of this problem by describing how great the world would be without it.

Bridge:

Introduce a solution to the problem that leads your reader to the promise-land where this issue no longer exists.

Example:

Gas prices are constantly on the rise. You drive a gas-guzzling SUV. Your days are spent making dull, bothersome trips to fill it up (even though you always seem to be on ‘E’).

Imagine more money in your pocket. Imagine having more free time to do what you enjoy.

Cut your gas station trips in half with our new hybrid SUV, and achieve miles per gallon you never thought possible.

The key to the BAB formula is using the power of imagination during the ‘after’ step. You can start this section with the word “imagine” which allows you to easily create a tangible world your reader can relate to. This gives you the ability to instill a powerful emotional response: relief. Giving your reader an intense feeling of relief after solving the problem is an effective route to more sales.

2. Problem - Agitate - Solve (PAS)

Problem:

Identify a common problem associated with your product/service.

Agitate:

Describe a world where this problem will continue, worsen, or cause further issues.

Solve:

Provide a solution to take your reader’s worries away and put an end to that terrible world.

Example:

Gas prices are constantly on the rise. You drive a gas-guzzling SUV. Your days are spent making dull, bothersome trips to fill it up (even though you always seem to be on ‘E’).

You can continue to take unnecessary trips to the gas station. You can keep glancing down at your dashboard in frustration.

Or you can make daily life easier.

Introducing our new hybrid model -- allowing you to spend more time, money, and energy on the things you love.

The only major difference between the PAS and BAB strategies is in the ‘agitate’ step. Using PAS, you stir up the problem rather than take it away. Instead of giving the feeling of relief to your reader, your goal is to ruffle feathers and produce the emotion of stress.

The word ‘or’ can also be especially powerful using this technique. After aggravating the reader further, you can give them a way out by stating “or, you can do this”. This leads them directly to your solution (and more sales).

3. Features - Advantages - Benefits (FAB)

Features:

Showcase the primary characteristics of your product/service.

Advantages:

Describe why this helps solve a problem.

Benefits:

Tell your reader what will be gained.

Example:

Introducing our new hybrid SUV model with a state-of-the-art energy efficient engine.

Energy-conserving technology gives it the ability to achieve 40 miles per gallon, compared to the average SUV which only musters 20.

With our new hybrid, you will instantly save approximately $XXX on gas, and cut your fill-up trips by 1/2. This allows you to spend more time and money on things that actually matter: your family and loved ones.

The FAB formula is one of the easiest and most basic copywriting strategies out there. It’s a great place to get started and has been used in advertising for decades because of one reason: it works.

The effectiveness of this simple formula comes from highlighting benefits rather than features. Your reader only truly cares about what’s in it for them -- not the technical jargon of your product’s features.

The great thing about the BAB, PAS, and FAB techniques is they are useful for nearly any type of marketing material. They can be complex enough for a detailed blog article, or simple enough for a quick ‘tweet’. Using them correctly and often for your internet marketing content will lead to greater engagement, more social media interaction, and increased sales.

With a bit of practice using these 3 formulas, you’ll captivate your blog audience like a professional and turn more readers into customers.