Posts Tagged ‘audience’
How good is your copywriting? Are you serving up lashings of engaging, benefit-driven content or publishing Mt Everest for readers to climb? The success of your business marketing depends on quality communication. Even if you aren’t an expert copywriter, there are quick and easy ways to keep your content customer-centric. Here’s the top 5:
Me or you focus
Read through your content critically. Is it saturated with the pronoun We? Does Our make a frequent appearance? If the answer is yes, there’s a good chance your copywriting has missed its audience focus.
Readers find second person, conversational content more engaging. Talk with your reader, not at them. Change ‘We’ and ‘Our’ for ‘You’ and ‘Your’ right through the content to alter its emphasis.
Make it easy
Content formatting has a huge impact on what gets read. We’re not talking about design here. The fact is, most readers browse through headings, bullets and break-out text before taking on the whole article.
To make it simple for readers to find the information they’re after, your copywriting should include:
- Bullets – used judiciously to highlight really important points
- Headings – to give a clear indication what readers can expect
How well is your content laid out?
Is it believable
There’s plenty of marketing content out there brimming with empty claims like:
We’re the best”
So what sets your business apart? Proof. If your copy is just telling readers how great you are, time to present some facts:
In a recent survey, 9 out of 10 customers said they’d recommend us to family and friends”
No such data? No problem. There’s a raft of studies and research available online you can quote or refer to. Connect with a genuine selling benefit to add real strength.
Sell the benefits
Buying decisions are emotional, because prospects are looking to fulfil a need. They will make a buying decision to feel happier, safer, smarter, beautiful etc. To be effective, your copywriting needs to present benefits in response to key motivators. Does yours?
If your content is feature heavy, it’s much less likely to be persuasive. Features and facts are what people use to justify their decision after the purchase. If your copywriting gets into product nitty gritty without offering a positive, outcome focus, you’re selling features instead of benefits.
Call to action
Even the most engaged and motivated reader can be left dangling (and precariously close to checking out the competition) if you don’t ask them to act. A call to action is an essential ingredient in every piece of marketing communication. Yours especially.
3 take away tips
- As per marketing 101, create content with an audience focus.
- Your content layout has almost as much impact as what it says.
- Buying decisions are emotional so sell benefits over features.
Sure, I’ve had a copy for a while, but only just sat down to watch that epic movie Invictus. It’s set in South Africa during the time Nelson Mandella was released from prison and elected president. I honestly thought it was going to be start-to-finish Rugby. That, frankly, is the reason for leaving it so long before taking a look.
Uniting his people
In fact, throughout the whole movie, Mandella is looking for opportunities to bring the people of South Africa together. You see, with the passing of Apartheid and his own elevation, the country was split. Factions from every side were pulling in different directions. Its newly elected president recognised there would be no moving forward until South Africa was unified.
It’s a powerful message, and one that applies to business communication also. Why? I’m glad you asked.
Most business marketing needs to communicate multiple benefits. All too often, that translates through the copywriting as multiple messages. In fact, successful business marketing unifies those benefits with one big idea. Just like Mandella bringing his country together under one flag.
What’s the big idea
The other day, I was talking about writing Straplines (or slogans, tag-lines … name your poison). They’re a great example of one big idea. But why is the big idea so important?
At this point we need to face some facts. Your marketing communication is written for prospects to read (or at least it should be). Will they do that? Probably not … at least, not in its entirety. In the immortal words of that great adman Howard Gossage:
Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them.
Sometimes, it’s an ad.
The same is true of your advertising, brochure, web content … the list goes on. And it’s what makes the one big idea so important. Whatever marketing communication you put in front of them, readers are skimming for what’s of interest to them. Yes, they’ll:
- flick through your prospectus without reading all the pages
- browse your website in unpredictable ways
- read the headings and bullets but not much else
Now, if all your copywriting directs readers to your one big idea, what to give them? Something to hold on to. As the people of South Africa also found, that’s a powerful thing and a potent motivator.
3 take away tips
- Take care that multiple benefits don’t emerge as multiple messages.
- Remember that people read what interests and benefits them.
- Unify marketing communication under one dominant selling message.
Benefits of complex technical products are often difficult to communicate well. This online video script, prepared for Visual Revenues, blends concise copywriting with an illustrative visual. The result is a short, simple introduction to a comprehensive technology tool.
Copywriting for online video ads is not unlike radio and TV commercial scripts. This video functions as a product introduction. But the essential elements of a good advertising script are still there:
- first I’ll tell you what I’m going to say
- next I’ll be saying it
- when I’m finished I’ll tell you again
It might sound a bit corny, but its a proven advertising copy performer. And that’s what propels your prospects.