These “sins” aren’t new. They are still deadly. And they’re easy to commit when wandering in the vast fog of media choices and marketing tactics. It can be easy to lose sight of the following communication basics.
Deadly Sin #1: Not attracting attention.
If you don’t attract attention with a compelling headline or opening of some kind, it doesn’t matter what follows. No one is going to see or read it. Work diligently on headlines and don’t try too hard to be clever. Other ways to grab attention are to ask a question, say something timely, tell a story, or offer an anecdote.
Deadly Sin #2: Not identifying an audience need, concern, or problem.
In journalism parlance, this is called the hook. It tells your audience you understand them and sets up how you can help them.
Deadly Sin #3: Trying to impress the audience.
This is a trap, even for experienced communicators. Deep down, many of us want to impress others. But the goal of B2B marketing communications is to say something clearly and persuasively. This requires simple, direct and conversational language. So be sure to avoid jargon and a superior or stilted tone.
Deadly Sin #4: Not backing up claims.
When you make a claim, back it up with testimonials, expert opinions, statistics, or other proof elements. Offer a guarantee. Do everything you reasonably can to be credible and trustworthy.
Deadly Sin #5: Lacking a clear call to action.
Whether an ad, web page, or direct-mail piece, the call to action tells people what to do next. If it’s missing or unclear, response suffers. In fact, it’s a good idea to know exactly what you want your audience to do before you develop concepts, write headlines, or select images.