“The BRAN analysis is a tool that you can use when faced with making a decision,” Dr. Sara Wickham explains in What’s Right For Me?: Making decisions in pregnancy and childbirth.
BRAN consists of four areas:
B = What are the benefits?
R = What are the risks?
A = What are the alternatives?
N = What if I/we do nothing?
“When we seek out content, it’s because we have a problem that needs to be solved or a question that needs to be answered,” sproutsocial reminds us. “Not only should your blog post solve a problem, but do so in a meaningful way,” Brent Barnhart adds.a “Top-tier posts go beyond basic information and dig into specifics.”
Hitting precisely the right “advertorial” (as opposed to advertisement) note is one of the big challenges in blog marketing, I teach in Say It For You blog marketing tutorials. That means finding ways to demonstrate the benefits of your product or service while avoiding any hint of “hard sell”.
In blog content writing, the R (risk) focuses on “the hurt”, meaning the problems readers are trying to solve or the negative effects they’re trying to avoid. Once readers are hooked by your understanding of their hurt, you can offer the “A, meaning the solutions your expertise and experience bring to the table. And, just as newbie suspense novel writers are taught to “put characters that readers care about in jeopardy”, blog readers can be shown how certain things readers care about might be put in jeopardy if they choose inaction as an alternative.
- Laura Poole, author of Perfect Phrases for Coaching Employee Performance, suggests coaches ask their clients three questions:
- What would it do for you? (the benefits)
- Who and what else would be affected (the risks along with the benefits)
- What is it costing you NOT to have this? (what if I do nothing?)
Use blog posts to take readers through the BRAN process!