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Marketing your business or brand online is part science and part luck, fueled by occasional doses of brain-storm power!
Begin by defining your message.
Creating a marketing message for your business is a critical first step to accomplish. Every successful sales and business development strategy is built around one or more statements of purpose, brand positioning statements and/or 'calls to action'.
The best of the best are strongly focused upon what customers or clients specifically need and want, and how your products or services solve problems for them and provide tangible benefits to them, their families and/or their own businesses.
Sounds simple right? And it is, if you approach things in the beginning from a very practical and focused perspective.
It's all about distilling and clarifying the manner in which you describe and/or present what your business or service or product does for someone else - most specifically the direct benefits your business or service can provide to your customers–that no one else can.
What a person's self-interest is, what their needs are, and how your product or service will solve a problem for them (your customers) are elements you want to make sure to include within your marketing message(s). This is accomplished by choosing carefully the words you use to describe your product/service, as well as, the colors, graphics, images, sounds, music, etc., that you use to convey your business or brand's personae in order to motivate people to buy or acquire what you have to sell.
In order to discover the 'magical words' we're talking about here's an exercise to undertake either by yourself or with others (your employees, i.e. office staff, senior staff, marketing and sales staff, distribution team, etc.) that can lead you to discover a palette of words, phrases, sentences and concepts which will eventually become part of your marketing message(s) to the world-at-large.
Fact/Advantage/Benefit Content Development Tips and Tricks
Step 1. Make a list of all of the 'Facts' you can think about in relation to your products. Be specific and detailed in relation to the types of products/services you are offering to the marketplace: their sizes, colors, features, weights, costs, functions, hours of operation, locations, etc.
Step 2. Then from that list of 'Facts' begin to analyze, think about, and describe the 'Advantages' your products or services have to offer in contrast to your competitor's products, i.e. - We have more flavors than Company 'X'; We have bigger widgets than Company 'Y'; or, One can build a website faster with our product than with those made by Company 'Z'.
Step 3. Then from that list of 'Advantages' begin to describe with words, short phrases, and/or brief sentences the 'Benefits' that someone (a customer) would gain directly from the use of your product as opposed to your competitors. Benefits are bottom-line things, i.e. Folks will save time, money or both; kids will gain more self-control, confidence, and/or knowledge after using your products, etc.
When done correctly you will likely have fewer 'Benefits' in total on that list, than you have 'Advantages' or 'Facts' on those two lists. That's because your products/services are likely to afford your customers a variety of the same types of 'Benefits'.
Once these 'Benefits' are isolated into phrases and short sentences they become the building blocks for every print ad, every web page, every press release, every radio/TV commercial, every component of your marketing message that you then deliver to the marketplace via however many different channels of advertising and/or outreach that you choose, or can afford, to utilize.
Feel like you've just been assigned a homework project?
Well you have.
And, while it might take you the better part of a morning or afternoon to accomplish the entire 'Fact/Advantage/Benefit' process–when finished you will have a palette of copy/content ideas and concepts that will make your marketing programs tremendously more cost effective and successful.
Could there be any better 'Benefit' to enjoy than saving money within your business and being more successful at your business? Not in our book!
(With thanks to Paul Ennis – Business Development Services/Sebastopol – for his 'F-A-B Tips and Tricks')
More to come on marketing your business, including content development, internet SEO and Google Adwords.