I have hired copywriters and i am preparing a brief so that i can tell them what articles/content i need to write for my website.
But I am having trouble working out what the orientatation/tone should be for an afilliation web site as i have been reading marketing texts that contradict each other.
One states "sell the sizzles not the steak" and another says "don't sell, PRE-Sell". I find this advice a bit confusing because whilst i don't want to bore the user or replicate wik-i-pedia, i want to provide interesting and useful content that will make the user interested in buying my merchants products.
So surely in the case of steak for example, it could be mentioned it was organic and from Argentina?
Could anyone add insights here on what makes good affiliate content?
The facts that the steak are organic and from Argentina are features. You also need to sell the benefits. So the benefit to the consumer of being organic means that no hormones or antibiotics have been used in the raising of the beef, their feed had no additives or chemicals in it, and therefore (here's the benefit) it's much healthier to the consumer because they aren't putting artificial chemicals and extra hormones into their own bodies. From Argentina - benefit - I don't know. Here's where a good copywriter will dig to find that benefit for you. Maybe they raise 'em better in Argentina - maybe the water is purer, the process of raising them is different so they're more tender, whatever.
Whether you "pre-sell" or "sell the sizzle" it all comes down to what the benefits are for the end user. Every time you mention a feature, it should have at least one accompanying benefit. Benefits sell; features don't.
From my viewpoint, the pre-sell applies to an affiliate relationship where you are going to send the user to a merchant site to convert the click into a sale. So you pre-sell to get the user excited enough to click the link and let the merchant make the sale with whatever copy they have developed. So pre-sell the sizzle.
If you are selling your own product, then the visitor is already at your web site. Just get busy selling to convert the visit into a sale.
As Eileen said, it's the benefits not the features that create the desire to buy. Whether you're trying to get the user to click a link to a merchant site or the buy button on your own site, the copy must relate to the buyer's personal needs and wants, and how he/she will benefit from buying it.