Put “I Promise” in Your Content

This post was written by John White on Mon, 23 Nov 2009 22:20:13 +0000
Posted Under: marketing as conversation,messaging

content-and-promise“Marketing communications” and “I promise” don’t always fit in the same thought, but they should. Once you make the commitment to your customers, your marketing communications writer can convey it.

There’s nothing more discouraging than a broken promise, and nothing more encouraging than an honored one.

Which one do you want to make to your followers, prospects and customers?

Figure Out Your Promise

Sonia Simone of Copyblogger renown writes about promises in the context of sales copy in part 6 of her series, “Internet Marketing for Smart People”:

In a more content-driven sales system, you don’t use a single letter like this one to deliver your entire sales message.

Instead, you figure out the most important promises you’re making, and you create content that addresses each one.

The first thing you need to think about is what kind of “big promise” you can make to your audience.

I’ve mentioned that the lot of the marketing manager is to start conversations, but what if you spent some time figuring out what your organization’s promise is? What are you in business to promise people, and deliver on?

Sonia again:

What pressing problem do you solve?
What pain do you remove?
What value do you add?
What pleasure do you create?
What freedom do you permit?
What connection do you allow?

Do you think of your company that way? Isn’t that what marketing managers should do?

Build Content around Your Promise

Once you’ve figured out the promise you can reliably deliver on (without going out of business), you need to baptize your writer in it. It’s as important as your message, maybe more so.

She then needs to wrap your content around the promise, with sentences as forthright and determined as the promise itself:

  • “Readers of this white paper will find three solid reasons and the data behind them to build their own business case for mobile content personalization technology.”
  • “Don’t see your industry, use case or price range among our case studies? Call us, and if we don’t have what you’re looking for, we’ll tell you so right away.”
  • “If you’re tired of never being able to find anything on your company’s portal, click here for a demo of our search technology. Within 60 seconds, you’ll know whether it’s right for you or not.”
  • “I believe the time to act on teens’ behalf is now. Sooner or later the teen or teens you care about are going to be facing the issues this product addresses, so you can make an investment now, or attempt damage control later. I don’t know why you’d choose the latter.” (from Josh Shipp)

Do you know what your company’s promise is? If so, can you get your writer to convey it? If not, can you get the ball rolling and find out what it is?

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: kayladavis

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