It’s What You Say, Not Just How You Say It

Marketing copy is only as strong as the foundation on which it’s built. Persuasive emails, sales letters, and landing pages don’t manifest from thin air, overcoming an inherent lack of substance with “power” words or important-sounding but meaningless jargon. Continue reading “It’s What You Say, Not Just How You Say It”

How to Apply the 7 Principles of Influence to Your Marketing

To be truly persuasive, marketing copy needs to do much more than simply present logical reasons to buy. The most effective campaigns tap into our unconscious motivators, pushing the buttons that create automatic responses and triggering the hidden drivers that move us to action.

In “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” Robert Cialdini details the unconscious motivators (reciprocity, commitment/consistency, social proof, liking, authority, scarcity, contrast) that drive human behavior. Understanding these triggers will help you write more persuasive and effective marketing copy. Continue reading “How to Apply the 7 Principles of Influence to Your Marketing”

Why You May Need a Content Marketing Style Guide

Do you have more than one person writing copy for your website, social media channels, and content marketing? While a mix of unique styles can help make your content more interesting, minor differences in tone, usage, punctuation, and formatting can add up over time and create distracting inconsistencies.

A simple writing style guide can solve this problem, giving freelancers and internal contributors creative flexibility while helping you maintain a coherent voice throughout your content.

Here are a few style guidelines to help get you started. Continue reading “Why You May Need a Content Marketing Style Guide”

Boring is Not a Strategy

The fatal flaw of most B2B marketing strategies is the incorrect assumption that all business purchasing decisions are made purely by logic.

No emotions allowed.

So, based on this erroneous point of view, B2B marketers cut out anything resembling a personality or purpose from their websites, white papers and webinars. In its place, they dump data, facts and graphs. The company with the most facts wins, goes their thinking. Continue reading “Boring is Not a Strategy”

Why Your Free Content Still Costs Too Much

Your free content isn’t actually free at all. It costs your audience something much more valuable than a little money.

Their Time

It isn’t easy to commit 45 minutes for a webinar that may or may not be any good.

Their Attention

Right now their phone is ringing, their VM light is lit, their emails are going unanswered, they have yet another meeting in 12 minutes, they haven’t had lunch… Continue reading “Why Your Free Content Still Costs Too Much”

Yes, Even CEOs Speak Human

Trying to sound really smart is really, really dumb.

You see it every day. Puffed up blog posts, white papers, webinars and website copy full of important sounding jargon. So serious, so authoritative. The less of it you understand, the more important it must be.

Corporate-speak is a relic of the days before Google and RSS feeds, a time when information wasn’t at everyone’s fingertips. A white paper in 1998 didn’t have to compete with the same avalanche of information as the white paper of today. Continue reading “Yes, Even CEOs Speak Human”

Great Lead Generation Offers Are About Their Problem, Not Your Commitment To Excellence

If your lead generation offer is only about your firm being “best-in-class” and “results-focused,” you’re probably going to lose out to competitors creating content that people actually care about. Their own dramas, problems, challenges and selfish interests. Them, not you.

In other words, your company details are the last piece of the information puzzle, not the first.

John Jantsch from puts it nicely… Continue reading “Great Lead Generation Offers Are About Their Problem, Not Your Commitment To Excellence”

How Silly Do Stock Photos Look on Your Website? This Silly…

iStock-Unfinished-Business-6You know you’re really, really into marketing when seeing cheesy stock photography on a company website actually angers you.

Is it just the laziness of it? Or that the company in question is blowing a chance at actually differentiating themselves as opposed to looking like yet another clip art clone? Is it that the decision makers behind it actually think it makes them look more “professional” and committed-to-excellence? Continue reading “How Silly Do Stock Photos Look on Your Website? This Silly…”


Your brand is not a logo, image or “differentiation statement.”

Your brand is simply this: The specific problem that you solve and the specific people/companies that you solve it for.

Your logo and image help reinforce your brand, but by themselves are meaningless. If you want your marketing to have impact, to resonate, to mean something to clients and give them a reason to call you first, then focus your attention on communicating the problem that you solve directly to the prospects who most likely have that problem and are willing to invest in a solution.

Even better, start creating content that actually helps your market tackle the problem. Become known as the firm that solves X…one prospect at a time, one reader at a time.