I’ve been asking marketers in The Results Obsession for Digital Marketers private Facebook group what their biggest challenges are. Here’s the #1 answer:
What is it about copy that challenges even the most experienced marketers?
Great copy starts with a great strategy
Before you ever create or evaluate a piece of copy, it’s best to create (or review) the right strategy for that copy. To formulate a well thought-out direction for your “why should I buy yours” message, here’s what to review first:
1. Know your Personas’ hot topics (in detail)
The most effective copy speaks directly to each target Persona. So, you’ll want to have as much in-depth knowledge about each Buyer Persona (that you’re targeting) as possible.
From your Buyer Persona Summaries:
- Who are they in terms of Attitudes: What does your audience think about your company/products/services – or your category of product/service?
- What’s most important to your audience? What are their key questions? What are the hottest topics they’re interested in? What problem keeps your prospects up at night?
- Why do your customers buy your product over the competition?
Be sure to consider how familiar each particular Persona is with you and your offering:
- For prospects — Are they aware of your type of solution? If not, you may need more educational Content (and Offers) to introduce the solution category.
- Does the audience know your company? What are their current perceptions? Your copy may need to change those perceptions.
- If you’re writing to customers – Have you kept in touch regularly, so they’ll remember you? If not, your copy may need to remind them of their last purchase with you and the benefits.
Writing for your website audience(s)
If you’re writing copy for your website:
- Have you focused the copy on a single Persona (on an educational page or blog post)? Or do you need different pages that address each Persona’s key issues?
- If you’re creating copy for a Product or Service page, you may be able to address the “hot buttons” of multiple Personas on the page. Or you might include links to related pages tailored for each Persona, like: “The CIO Perspective on an XYZ System.”
- If you’re writing copy for the Home page or About Us, you’ll need copy that addresses multiple Personas.
2. What is the competition saying?
To help you craft your own “why we’re different” message, be sure to look at your competition and their messaging:
- What’s their “why should you buy ours” positioning? Check their Home page, About Us page, product/service pages you’re competing with, and press releases.
- What products or services do they emphasize?
- What key benefits do they focus on?
- Do they talk negatively about any lack of features or ways of doing things that your company or product does? (This may indicate an area where you’ll need to re-educate your audience about your benefits.)
- What Offers are they using to capture leads or drive sales?
- What educational topics are they talking about on their blog and social media pages? Which are the most popular in terms of comments, likes, and shares?
3. What next step do you want prospects to take?
Plan the Offer before you start writing.
You should think about the specific Offer you’re going to use – and the action you want your audience to take – before copywriting begins.
- If you’re generating leads, your entire copywriting effort should focus on the OFFER. (That’s true for a Lead Generation web page, or for a separate promotional effort like PPC ads or email.)
- If you’re driving sales, your effort should focus on the unique benefits of your product or service – with the Offer as the something extra to drive the sale now.
4. Assemble your strategic foundation
- The hot topics of your target Persona(s)
- Your past results (review your Google Analytics Bounce Rate, Time on Page, etc. for web pages; email analytics for CTR and Conversion; PPC Analytics for CTR and Conversion)
- How you compare to your competition
- What you want the Offer to do
Then, you’re ready to start structuring (or evaluating) your message.
Focus the message on driving leads or sales
When you’re driving a sale, you want to create a unique message that answers the question, “why should I buy yours”?
And when driving a lead, your unique message should focus on “why should I request or sign up for this?”
Too many websites talk about benefits that are TRUE OF EVERY PRODUCT OR SERVICE in an industry or category.
Few websites really do a good job of answering “why should I buy yours?” (also called the “Unique Selling Proposition.”)
To answer that question effectively, review the “why do they buy?” section of your Persona summaries:
- Write down the reasons your Personas buy from you.
- Cross out anything that’s also true of your competition.
With the message elements that remain, answer these questions:
- Most of our competition (does this), but our company (or product or service) is different because _______________.
- What is it about our business that’s better for the customer than dealing with the competition?
- What makes our product/service more valuable than that of the competition?
- What’s the advantage (or key combination of benefits) that only we offer?
Decide what you want your audience to remember about your company (or product or service) after they’ve read your copy.
Try to encapsulate the big payoff the customer will enjoy in one or two sentences. You want to craft a memorable statement that will:
- Deliver a distinctive benefit — or unique combination of benefits – significantly different from the competition. (Your key message should not be something your competition can say.)
- Not be easily imitated by the competition.
- Focus on meaningful benefits most important to your buyers
- Prove your difference or benefit. Quantifiable benefits are the most compare-able and powerful.
- Be memorable (usually the more specifics, the more memorable it is).
- Include a “promise” you can deliver, that customers will clearly see.
Your key benefits statement is complete when it helps your target Persona(s) answer the basic question, “Why should I do business with you” versus the competition.
This “why we’re different” message is the foundation of your overall brand story.
Need some help evaluating your “why should I buy yours” message — or help getting there. Post your draft “why should I buy yours” message on The Results Obsession for Digital Marketers private Facebook page, and let the positive suggestions begin!
Excerpted from one of the 5 copywriting chapters in our new BEST SELLER, “The Results Obsession: ROI-Focused Digital Strategies to Transform Your Marketing,” now available on Amazon.
Learn more about The Results Obsession book, get chapter excerpts to download, and see the Table of Contents.