Fellow National Speakers Association member Thaddeus Rex has something valuable to tell us business blog content writers - Stop being so serious! Paint the clown!
Under the topic "6 Ways to Hook Your Audience (i.e.Customers", Rex encourages marketers to "show us the leader and why they're ridiculous, and help us understand why you're the more sensible alternative."
We love laughing, Rex observes, and we love those who make us laugh even more. So, he concludes, if you can just get us to laugh at your competitor (you know, that big, old-guard company with a lot more money to spend on advertising than your small business owner or professional practitioner can afford), you've got gold.
Reading Thaddeus' article made me reconsider a sort of moral dilemma that, over my years as a corporate blogging trainer has always hovered on the edge of my mind when it comes to blog marketing (actually to any kind of marketing). It's almost axiomatic that, in writing for business, we want to clarify the ways we stand out from the competition. Yet "Golden Rule" ethics dictate that we say only those kinds of things about specific competitors that we'd want them saying about us!
How, then, can we get the point across that readers should want to choose this business or this practice, or these products and services over those offered by the competition?
Thaddeus uses the Wendy's commercial "Where's the beef?" as an example. We're left laughing when the three little old ladies stare at a giant sandwich with an itsy burger inside. McDonald's is never mentioned, but the commercial points out that "At Wendy's, you get more beef and less bun." In short, Thaddeus' advice is, get readers to laugh at the competitor's negative, but emphasize your positive.
In blog content writing, you can say what your competitors do, and then go on to say why you do things the way YOU do.
- Some dry cleaners are in the practice of _____, but here at ABC, we believe ________ is best.
- Some cosmetic surgeons pack the nose after a rhinoplasty, but, at XYZ Clinic, we _______, because......
A well-known songwriter advises us to "accentuate the positive" and not to "mess with Mr. In-Between". When it comes to your competitors' negatives, help your business owner clients "paint the clown"!