How to Use Marketing Strategies to Get More Readers

Dawn Bevier

Successful writers understand that writing is more about good selling than it is about good sentences

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I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes writers successful. And the more I read and study, the more I realize success is not truly about how beautifully a writer writes.

A wide readership and huge audience usually only come to writers who spend less time writing metaphors and more time on well-crafted titles, expertly structured articles, a narrower audience, and specifically focused content.

In fact, if you want to write articles that “sell” themselves and entice more readers, it will likely do you better to look more into marketing and advertising and less into your favorite writers.

Why?

Think about it. What do students in marketing and advertising learn?

They learn what people want, why people want these things, and how to get them to buy whatever it is they are selling.

And I’ve been doing my own little study on this topic and have weeded through the marketing jargon to understand what it is most people really want a product or service to give them.

Wanna know?

Consumers want more time, more happiness, and a quality product. And they want it yesterday.

Just like a writer’s audience.

So here are a few tips on how you can use these marketing “bones” to build yourself a more populous set of readers.

Marketing rule one: Save your readers time by doing their “homework” for them

Most consumers look for others’ feedback before purchasing a product. And when that feedback is easily available to them, it makes the decision to buy or not buy much easier.

For example, when I go to purchase products, I always read the reviews first.

Why?

Reading other people’s comments and opinions helps me get a feel for how effective the product is and what it can and can’t give me. This information is useful because these testimonials address my concerns about an item both quickly and honestly.

And when this “research” is all right there in one place, it’s particularly wonderful. All I have to do is skim the reviews to decide whether I should make a purchase or not.

And writers should provide similar wealth and ease of information to their audience.

They can utilize this marketing strategy by researching the idea or course of action they propose in their writing and presenting its positive and negative qualities to the reader.

For example, if you’re writing on ways to make money, on a new diet or exercise habit that readers should embrace, or on how to improve parenting or relationship skills, you need to bring “reviews” about your idea to your audience so they don’t have to go “googling” for them.

Do the research so the reader doesn’t have to

  • Convince your readers to accept your point of view by citing relevant and recent facts, statistics, charts, graphs, or personal examples.
  • Be honest with your findings.

Do more than tell your readers the advice you give will be beneficial. Tell them about the difficulties of attaining the goals or behaviors you are encouraging them to embrace. Even tell them the possible benefits they may reap by not following your advice.

Why?

This openness builds credibility. It makes the writer see you as someone they can trust.

For example, if you are encouraging your reader to exercise, provide them with timely, relevant research and statistics on which physical exercises are most effective in terms of losing weight, building muscle, and increasing flexibility.

But also tell them it’s going to suck, especially in the beginning. Tell them they will feel sore and probably want to quit. And be sure and tell them that they could ignore your advice and simply stay warm and cozy in their beds; however, make it a point to emphasize that doing so could cost them years of life, greater self-confidence, and heightened self-esteem.

Readers already know that there are both benefits and consequences to each choice they make or each piece of advice listen to, so don’t try and lie to them about this fact.

And if you only spout the glorious wonders of an idea or action, they won’t believe “your homework.”

Why?

Because it is one-sided.

They want the truth, and if they decide early on in your article that you are not going to give them that, they will stop reading.

  • Convince them that you have personal experience with the topic on which you are writing.

I love makeup. I spend ridiculous amounts of money on products to enhance my looks. And when I make my decision on what products to buy, I want to listen to other “makeup junkies” like me.

Why?

I know that they have likely experimented with or read up on the items I am interested in purchasing. And because they have done this, I trust them. After all, they have experience in the topic.

So when you are writing, it is important to explain to your readers that they should take your words or advice to heart because you have real-life experience about your subject matter. This builds a positive reputation and increases the likelihood your readers will want to read on and accept your idea because they infer your research is reliable.

For instance, say you are writing on how to get a newborn to sleep through the night. Tell your readers you have raised three children. Tell them you read up on “The Ferber method” of letting newborns “cry it out.” Tell them you also studied research on the value of co-sleeping. Tell them you investigated what the American Academy of Pediatrics said about which techniques work.

The more “homework” you do for your readers, the more they will be inclined to keep reading.

Marketing rule two: Narrow your audience and tailor your information to their most pressing needs

When you write an article, you must consider your audience. And to be honest, the smaller audience you choose, the more likely you are to be read.

Why?

Each age group, each sex, each career has its own set of problems. And when you focus on one special group’s needs and announce in your headline that the ideas you are presenting are specially for them, you entice them to read for two different reasons:

  • They know you will be focusing on their particular lifestyle and challenges.
  • They know there is less irrelevant information to weed through so they can expect to get the advice and facts they need to know more quickly.

For example, I am a teacher, and in my career, some problems never go away: student apathy, unnecessary paperwork, and hours spent in grading.

As an educator, I would be more likely to read an article entitled “How Teachers Can Maximize Their Time” as opposed to an article entitled “How To Make the Most of Your Time” because I know in the first article, my specific struggles will be addressed.

And if the author is even more focused on the unique needs that I as a teacher am facing right now, I will be even more likely to read.

Case in point.

Currently, as a teacher, I am struggling with technology due to the pandemic mandated virtual education. So if an author wrote about “How Teachers Can Successfully Implement Virtual Education Without Working Overtime,” I would be more likely to read that article over the previous one I chose because it is not only focused on my particular hardships as a teacher, it is focused on the biggest ones I am facing right now.

Say you are writing about getting a get a child to sleep through the night. Make your article and title about getting a newborn to stay asleep or keeping a toddler in bed.

Be specific.

For example, in an article entitled “Ten Ways to Convert More Customers,” they cite information from Dr. Robert Cialdini, professor of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University. The article mentions that Cialdini “notes ‘scarcity’ as one of the six pillars of [marketing] influence” and it explains the reasons you should narrow your consumer audience, stating that “great demand leads to great sales.”

So, how does this idea of “scarcity” relate to writing?

Articles that are particularly tailored to the problems of one select group of people are less numerous, so readers who fit into this audience will be more likely to read this information because it is more “scarce” due to its selectivity.

Marketing rule number three: Make your points quickly and give advice that is easy for your audience to implement

Inc. online magazine states in an article that “low prices, ease, and efficiency are top motivators for many consumers when choosing stores, brands, and products.”

For example, an article on consumer behavior cites a study where researchers changed the wording when presenting a trial offer to consumers. They altered the original fact that the reader would be required to pay a five-dollar fee by changing the phrasing to say they only needed to pay a “small five-dollar fee.”

The result?

A twenty percent increase in response by consumers.

The same article explains that “words like ‘instant,’ ‘immediately,’ or even just ‘fast’ are known to flip the switch on the mid-brain activity that makes us so prone to buy.”

How does this relate to writing?

  • Use headlines that show your reader you will give them the advice or research they need quickly. And then deliver on that promise.
  • Skip the “fluff” of a lengthy introduction and tell the reader early on what you will offer them.
  • Make the most important advice or information easy for the reader to find. Forego long paragraphs and instead use things such as subheadings or bullet points to allow readers to find needed information quickly.

The bottom line:

Bestselling author and speaker on marketing Andrew Davis says:

“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”

And the same is true for marketing your writing.

If your readers trust you to deliver quality information quickly that is tailored to their specific needs, they will keep coming back to you for more of the same. And when you continue to give them what they want, they will tell others.

What does this mean for you?

It means that pretty soon, you’ll have the reading audience you always wanted.

And for a writer, this is invaluable.

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My goal is to provide you with thoughtful, informative, and inspirational content that may increase your productivity, relationships, and well-being.

Sanford, NC
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