Hire a Writer Who Understands “Following”

This post was written by John White on Tue, 06 Oct 2009 08:52:12 +0000
Posted Under: ideal reader,marketing as conversation,social media,Stelzner Writing White Papers

Attention + conversation = following

Attention + conversation = following

At its core, the goal of a marketing effort these days is to create a following and start conversations that include you. Hire a writer who understands how you want to go about it.

My friend and colleague John Bromhead is fond of saying,

Marketing is the process of starting a conversation.

David Meerman Scott is more specific:

Marketers, PR pros, advertisers, and salespeople are on the payroll for one reason: To generate attention.

In short, we’re all trying to generate attention in order to start conversations. For a long time, we’ve assumed that the conversations would be between our prospects and us, but the big lesson of social media is that the most powerful attention and conversations take place in this “following” that we’re creating in our wake.

Your marketing communications writers need to understand that, and they need to deliver content that fits the way your organization is creating its following.

Don’t most of your marketing pieces contain a section titled, “For More Information”? Why?

Your ideal readers have just met you, and you’ve just shoved a few hundred or thousand words of copy down their throats. Do you really think that most of them want more information? Do you think that they are ready to mail you a check now?

Instead of “For More Information,” say “To Follow Us.” That’s what they’re ready to do now. They want to tune in to the conversations going on about you, to see how/whether you’re engaged with the audience. They want to see what kind of attention you’re generating, and what you’re doing with it.

Do your white papers, case studies, Web content and copy still pump information at your readers so that they’ll buy from you? Or, does your content give readers enough value for them to want to follow you, then decide whether they want to buy from you when the time is ripe?

How have you made that change? Have your marketing communications writers made it with you?

John White of venTAJA Marketing posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s dirty work, but somebody has to do it.

photo credit: Brianforbes37

Reader Comments

Great points John. Too many marketers don’t think about the LOGICAL next step. In addition, it’s also true that viewers of your copy may be at different stages in the sales process. So in addition to a “follow us” option, always a good idea to consider a menu of specific offers — offers will help to motivate the next step.

#1 
Written By Karen Marchetti on October 6th, 2009 @ 12:59

Gotta have a next step. Readers crave leadership; you’ve got to tell them everything.

#2 
Written By John White on October 6th, 2009 @ 16:03