Pain Relief: Will An Aspirin Do?

Posted on 07. Sep, 2011 by in B2B Marketing, Content, sales strategies

Here’s a writing tip for all B2B content producers: Pick your words and labels carefully and ensure they’re appropriate for the target user. 

All writers have a standard set of words they employ on a regular basis, often without thought: Writers of content are no different.

Especially in the Business to Business content marketing sphere, there are a standard set of terms that everyone salts into their copy.

“Problem” is the most common one.

As in “what’s your problem”, a “solution for your problem”, “How to solve this problem or that problem”.

Copywriters are often trained in terms of sales, so, of course, they continually refer to “pain” that must be relieved, preferably by their “solution”. Pain relief is the most common method of selling, which is why white papers, blogs, marketing copy, and just about every other piece of content produced by a company, is aimed at this target.

But really, is your solution solving a “problem”? Or is it addressing an “affliction”?

One of the most common methods sales-oriented marketers use is to define their copy in terms of how their software/consulting/product will solve the prospect’s “problem”.

Too often, all the prospect thinks is “I have a problem? I don’t think so, I might have some troubles, but right now they’re not problems.”

A problem is more dire, as in if we don’t fix this problem right now, this business is going down the tubes! Most marketers, while they may talk in those terms, aren’t really offering a way for a business to save itself.

More likely, what the prospect has is an affliction. An affliction is generally seen as something that distresses, causes discomfort or pain, is a misfortune.

A “problem” must be fixed immediately — or else. An affliction is that nagging pain that isn’t going to bring the business down, but is troubling all the same.

So, when your copy addresses how your product or service is going to help a prospect, think carefully. Are you saving them from disaster, or are you merely helping them relieve a nagging pain?

Is your product or service aspirin or a narcotic?

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