"When in Sweden, stop at gas stations; they have great candy." (T&L, June 2011, page 18)
Travel & Leisure writer Heather Smith Macisaac says so in her article on Swedish hotels in this month's (June 2011) Hotel Special edition.
After reading this article, heavy on sensory details, I got to thinking about this snippet of advice and wondered,
"When will I get to Sweden so that I can verify this tip?"
Not that I have been planning a trip to Sweden or even considering Sweden among my top 5 destinations to visit in the next 10 years.
But that's the power and beauty of good content that we writers/email senders/marketers should note: Not how you can convince and convert every time you send an email or write a blog post; but how one succulent, off-hand detail can reveal worlds about your expertise.
It's a subtle touch. Thanks to that tip on sweet roadside attractions, I can believe the authenticity of Ms. Smith Macisaac's report on Swedish resorts in summer.
The take-away here is to every so often offer your readers some juicy morsel of truth as you see it — even when no one asks you for it.
When you're searching for ideas for content for your emails or posts, refer to your FAQs because often times they provide a good source for discussion with the uninitiated. Those popular questions need to be rounded up and exposed. Answers to frequently-asked-questions put uncertainty to rest.
Whether or not your reader has even considered those questions is beside the point; your FAQs exist to brush away unspoken doubt. Sort of like turning over stones as you provide a tour of your garden, your FAQs illuminate your experience with past customers…which is comforting to someone just considering your services or product. And if the truth is known, they answer lurking doubts that your customer hasn't even formulated yet in the decision-making part of her mind.
Furthermore, if during the decision process your potential customer reads through your FAQs, you can bet that they are seriously considering your offering. Make sure they are solid.
When you're at a loss for what to tell your customers receiving email or blog posts, refer to one or two of your FAQs and you might clinch a deal by addressing a doubt she didn't even know she had. Or at least pique her interest in clicking through to your website or picking up the phone to learn more.
What sliver of wisdom do you have as a result of your experience that makes me want to read more, or consider doing business with you? If you're really good at relaying your interesting expertise to me, I might even consider looking into traveling to Sweden ultimately with the candy detail loosely packaged into the plan.
Tell me something I never knew I needed to know (like where to get never-before-tasted Swedish candy) and you will be my Swedish travel (insert your own field here) expert forever.
I may even think of you as a trusted friend.
Is there a friend who has educated you in his or her business expertise through an online marketing campaign? Please share in the comments below. Thanks!
Written by Jen McGahan