You know those parents who won’t shut up about how great their kids are because they think you’re as interested as they are?
“Little Johnny rolled over for the first time.”
“Suzy got a ‘B’ on her English midterm.”
“Billy sneezed seven times yesterday.”
They’re proud of their kids, and they should be.
But outside of their family and maybe some friends, most people don’t care that little Johnny rolled onto his stomach.
That might sound harsh, but you know what they say about the truth.
(Answer: It hurts.)
This apathy applies to your prospects and industry awards you’ve received.
Outside your small circle—employees, immediate family, etc.—no one cares about the awards you’ve won.
Sure, it’s great you won.
But your prospects tune that stuff out.
It may seem interesting to YOU… but no one else gives a crap.
Case in point…
I once had a client who won the Better Business Bureau’s “Torch Award” for the second straight year.
This is actually a pretty great accomplishment—the BBB doesn’t dole out this award to just any company. You have to demonstrate some serious leadership and ethical standards just to be nominated.
Naturally, the client wanted to advertise such a big achievement in hopes of winning more business. So he wrote an advertorial (an ad that looks like an article) about his company’s Torch Award.
Here’s a look:
Looks fine, right?
When the client asked for my feedback on the advertorial, I said, “I’m glad you won the Torch Award for the second time. But I hate to tell you—nobody cares.”
The reason? It’s BORING.
As in, “random stranger in line at Target telling you her kid got his first tooth last night” boring.
Think about it. This is an advertisement that’s supposed to look like an article. Articles are supposed to provide the audience with interesting content that hooks them on every word.
This advertorial does not do that. It sounds like it was written by and for the employees of the client’s company.
So I threw down a gauntlet for the client: Reposition the ad.
Instead of telling people he won the Torch Award, provide an interesting story that helps them understand why he won it.
I asked the client for a specific example of demonstrating the ethics the award requires. He thought for a minute and then told me a story of when a supplier screwed up a door order two times in a row.
The first time, the supplier cut the door too short. The second time, they sent the wrong material (steel instead of fiberglass).
The customer was upset but agreed to sign off on the second door as long as my client gave him a hefty discount.
My client didn’t do that. Instead, he ordered and installed the RIGHT door… and then refunded ALL of the customer’s money.
All told, the client took an $8,200 loss on the project.
Now THERE is a story.
I told the client all he had to do was tell that story in the ad. I helped him write it, and voila…
I’d say that’s light-years more interesting than “Company Wins BBB Torch Award,” wouldn’t you?
Yeah… and here’s the proof:
- The client ran the revised ad at a cost of $4,000.
- The ad returned over $50,000 in sales. That’s an ROI of 12 to 1.
- They spent the same amount of money on “traditional” ad placements in the same newspaper and barely received a phone call.
- Prospects who called after reading the advertorial said they felt they could trust the client more than other contractors.
- The lead quality was significantly better, too—they were able to close the leads at a rate of 50% to 60%, double their usual closing ratio of about 30%.
Getting people to pay attention and engaged in your message is 90% of the battle. When you accomplish that, great things happen.
So the next time you sit down to write an ad, think about what your prospect would find interesting. Don’t just tell them you won an award; give them a concrete example of why you won it—one that’s fascinating and relevant to THEM.
P.S. In addition to our online marketing services, we provide turnkey offline marketing solutions. This includes ad writing, radio, television, and direct mail. We can even plan your media buying and negotiate the best deals on your behalf. So if you’re struggling to create an offline marketing campaign that resonates with your audience and produces sales, get in touch with us. We’ll take care of everything.