Content Marketing: The Old Principles Are The New Must

Business is changing constantly, so does marketing. We have now multiple generations namely GenX, GenY or Millennial and GenZ that we need to take into account when writing our material. No matter how your marketing approach is, the same old golden principles are still fully functional and actually being implemented no matter what era we are in at the moment and who the target audience is. Often we don’t pay attention to the fact that we are still using old principles way of doing things when it comes to sales and marketing.

What principles am I talking about? It’s the sales engagement principles introduced by E. St. Elmo Lewis in 1890’s. Even today we are implementing AIDA when writing marketing materials without realising it. Let’s start with AIDA and what it actually means:

A is for attention. The headline has to captivate the attention of your ideal customer. An ideal headline must be kept short, sweet and punchy in order to capture their attention.

I is for interest. The first couple of lines need to spark the reader’s interest to read further. If you’re not able to do that from the first few lines of your writing, it could be a showstopper. The reader most likely will stop giving attention to your article and go elsewhere. So, it is crucial to keep your lines short, yet interesting.

D is for desire. The middle section of your article must be tuned to fuel up reader’s desire to learn more about your product or service. Indirectly it must persuade the reader to consider purchasing your products or services or at least give it a thought. Here’s the part where the magnetic message will come in. This is where your brand’s persona will come in. This is where the why will come in. The overall story, the benefits and why-you reasoning need to be written as creative, authentic and impactful as possible.

A for action. You need to get the readers to take action. The persuasion has to be strong to get them to at least subscribe, follow, contact or buy your product or services. It is called CTA or Call To Action. It must be done in order to get them to act. No matter who your target audience is, you must implement these principles in order to get results.

In most cases, new fundamentals can hardly replace old ones because of certain principles that are built on.

You just need to keep in mind who your target audience is while writing your material. Another fundamental worth mentioning here is the storytelling. As a human being, we just love reading and listening to stories. Our brain processes and accepts information easier when the incoming information is received in a form of a story. Factual information is never easy to process and understand if it comes as it is. Surely you remember one or two information about something when presented in a form of facts in a form of brochures or datasheets, but you will understand better on certain information that your grandparents were telling you about in a form of stories during your childhood. Stories are written all the time to get the target audience’s attention and desire to get what you offer.

Whilst factual or information-based marketing is widely used in the B2B sectors such as Information Technology, Pharmaceutical and Logistics, it may not work that well when it comes to the B2C audience. These people, on the other hand, will respond better to creative storytelling kind of copywriting.

I learned the art of marketing myself as I started on my own as an independent business consultant specialising in copywriting in 2013. Finding the right approach took time. I was in the dark about this until a friend told me that I should find my unique style and tell stories. It never occurred to me before that I should be a storyteller, but now I am one.

I tell stories on behalf of companies, their brands, products and services to the market. I’m a bit like a chameleon trying to adapt to changing environment when I write. I change my style to match the client’s brand and needs but still remain true to myself and add my unique touch to differentiate the material that I write from the competitors. I know that if the brochures and other marketing materials look and sound exactly the same as other brands’,  no one would bother to pay attention and read them.

Copywriting and content marketing are actually a form of storytelling. It shares information about the company, the brand name, its product and service, in a form of a story. It smoothens the educating part, the awareness part, the promoting part and the selling process too. The storytelling style will depend very much on what the purpose and subject you’re about to write but the principles are the same. You still need to highlight the value to your audience, stay authentic in order to differentiate yourself from others.

I dare to say that everyone is a storyteller. We all have our stories to tell and in the end, when we write posts on social media or articles in our blogs, we eventually are marketing ourselves to the people in a form of a story. The engagement we get for our content is the result of our capability to deliver that story and message underneath it that appeal to others. In short, deliver a message that resonates with your target audience will definitely help you win them over.

My advice to you is this; old tricks are better than a bag of new ones. Trust me. By being authentic, creative, honest, laser focus on your target audience, implement the old principles of storytelling and AIDA when writing your marketing material, you will be undefeatable. If you can find your own way to develop your unique style of writing, you will definitely stand out from the crowd. That’s for sure.