Every day we are exposed to thousands of brands and marketing messages. Texts, emails, social media, television, radio, billboards, cars and buses all tell us what we need to be, do, have and buy. As a result, our customers have never been more savvy, or more immune to marketing messages as they are today.
For those of us who play in overcrowded market places or are busy creating new ones, the need to be different and memorable in our marketing has never been more important. Here are three copywriting tricks to help.
Never underestimate the power of a good metaphor. Metaphors compare two items that are seemingly unrelated, yet are similar in a way. Think Coco Pops’ ‘Just like a chocolate milkshake only crunchy’, or Butter Menthol’s ‘Like a comforting hug from Mum’.
Metaphors give you the opportunity to simplify complicated concepts or introduce new ideas and products in a simple, relatable way, allowing your potential customers and investors to understand the value in what you do.
Metaphors can also help you evoke emotion, quite quickly in fact. Get the right comparison and you can often transport your customers back to a time or situation that creates the right emotional response for them to see the need to buy your product or service.
I know rhyming has a bad rap in some circles (forgive the pun), but there is still benefit in using it. Not only does it make messages easier to remember, but research has also suggested that rhyming phrases are perceived to be more accurate and truthful.
I’m certainly not saying you need to go and make lyrical magic with every piece of marketing material you put out, but don’t be afraid to get a little creative. Give rhyming a go on one of your calls to actions and test your results.
3. Play the role
As you develop your brand personality, it is important to identify the role you want to play with your customers. Your role or relationship to them can dramatically change the tone of voice and content you use in everything from a social media update to an ad campaign.
Do you want to be the older authoritative figure they listen to and admire? The quirky aunt they love? The best friend they can’t live without? The older brother or sister who is looking out for them?
Find the role your customer needs that best matches your mission and why. Not only will it make you more relatable and your tone and purpose clearer, but it can also help you build rapid rapport and loyalty simply by reminding them of someone who is important to them.
With customers bombarded with so many brands and advertisements each day, it is your job to make your marketing messages more persuasive and relevant to break through the noise.
But where do you start? Here are six tips to help you make your marketing messages more persuasive.
1. Know what your customers are buying
When your customers choose to buy from you, they are buying more than a product or service. They are buying the solution to their problem, the answer to their question, the feeling they’ve been missing or the convenience they’ve been wanting.
When you uncover what your customers really want, you capture not only the attention of your customer but their heart as well.
2. Speak with authority
Every purchase requires your customer to trust you. The higher the purchase price, the more trust your customer needs to have in you.
To build trust, you need to speak with authority. Present yourself as the expert, share your knowledge, draw on your experiences, and tell stories about the value you have provided. Own your skills and expertise. Be confident in your abilities and bold in your belief that you can deliver. Confidence makes you more persuasive.
3. Leverage social proof
People follow people. People also want to be part of something – a movement, cause, group or community. Social proof helps you to build this.
When you share the experiences others have had with your products and services, you ease the concerns and minimise the risks for your customers. But more importantly, you create commonality among your customers, and that can be built into a sense of community.
4. Treat customers as ‘the one’
Do the unexpected. Go above and beyond. Be committed to doing the most you can do in your business. The more you can make your customers feel like they are the only one you are concerned about and the only one you are speaking to, the more powerful your message becomes.
5. Keep it simple
Our customers crave convenience, yet many of us have a tendency to overcomplicate our sales process. We give too many choices and price points, include too many steps and clicks and request too many details.
Keep it simple. Don’t ask for every contact detail up front, make your website easy to navigate, ensure the next step is clear, and your calls to action are compelling and easy to follow.
6. Create urgency
We are a competitive bunch. If we think we are going to miss out on something, we act faster. So once you have established your value, create urgency through special edition products or services, time limited opportunities or bonuses open to limited people.
How can you be more persuasive in your marketing?
Emotions are powerful motivators. They influence every purchase decision we make. Every day we buy based on feelings of love, fear, greed, guilt, anger, frustration, happiness, hope, and curiosity and then justify our purchases logically.
While we can try to avoid using them, the truth is if you want to persuade people to buy your products and services you need to appeal to their emotions. Your potential customers are not as interested in the features of your product or service as much as what it will do for them, give them, save them, make them feel or help them become.
So to help you get greater results from your marketing, advertising and sales meetings, here are the three keys to emotional selling.
1. Understand key emotional drivers
There are a number of key emotional drivers that motivate each of us. But the catch is they don’t affect us all, in the same way. Your job is to work out the drivers that will appeal to your customers the most. Here are just a few:
▪ To love and be loved
▪ To feel secure and have stability
▪ To feel important and receive praise
▪ To have pride in who we are and what we do
▪ To feel like we are making a difference
2. Know your audience
In order to appeal to your potential customer’s key emotional drivers you need to have an intimate knowledge of your target audience. You get this by looking at your past and current customers, what they needed, what they bought and why they bought it. You also get it by putting yourself in your potential customers shoes.
▪ What are their greatest needs and wants?
▪ What are their most pressing frustrations?
▪ What is their deepest fear?
▪ What keeps them up at night?
Once you begin to understand your potential customer and what they want and need from your industry and business, you can then identify which emotions you need to appeal to in order to push their buy buttons.
3. Tell the story
As you begin to talk or write to your potential customer, paint the picture of their current situation particularly the pain and frustration, they are experiencing. Once you’ve made them uncomfortable, give them hope, explaining what it could be like once they have your product or service.
By doing this, you are allowing them to have an emotional experience with your product or service before they even try it.
So the next time you are in a sales meeting or preparing your marketing material, remember words tell but emotion sells.
Can you believe the end of the year is right around the corner? To help you gear up for a bigger, better year with your business, here are five words to put into action to help boost your marketing in the year ahead.
Now is the time to review. What worked, what didn’t and what can be made better? Will you be aiming for a different market this coming year? What do they need and want? What problems, worries and frustrations do they have? If you aren’t changing target markets, are your messages working or do you need to change your approach?
We are doing business in an increasingly global, faceless environment, don’t underestimate the need to personalise your marketing. People want and need to feel as though you are talking just to them, but to do this you need to be more aware of your audience and more targeted in your marketing approach.
It might be a case of doing three specific marketing or advertising campaigns to key target markets as opposed to one general one. While it can sound like more effort, you will get far better results being specific.
Make your marketing easier in the New Year by theming your content and campaigns. Grab a large wall planner and write down all key dates, events and tradeshows within your business and industry. Then write in all related causes, awareness days, weeks or months, and public holidays.
If you are planning public relations and advertising campaigns in the New Year, request the media kits of the publications you want to target and write down the editorial themes they will be covering.
Very soon you will start to see possible themes emerge within your calendar. Then once you’ve decided you can theme your social media, marketing material and promotions around these making it easier to find content and identify the best marketing activities.
There is no marketing strategy more powerful than genuinely caring for your customers. Go the extra mile, help where you can and take the time to answer questions. Build relationships with your customers don’t just bank transactions.
Customers don’t just want to purchase a product or service from a business anymore they want a genuine, transparent experience from a business that knows who they are and what they stand for.
For this reason, you need to be authentic and transparent in your marketing and in the way you do business. If you make a claim, back it up. If you make a mistake, own it and fix it. Be real, at the end of the day most people are buying the people behind the business, not a product or service.
How will you be shaking up your marketing in the New Year?
Could you be marketing to the wrong person or leaving off a key influencer and costing your business sales? While we spend most of our marketing budgets targeting the end user of our product or service, the truth is in many situations that one person rarely makes the purchase decision alone.
They consult with someone else, present their findings and in some cases even ask for approval or make a joint decision to proceed. In other cases someone else (think of the child in the supermarket) can have far greater influence over the buying decision, convincing your potential customer to buy your products or services in a more persuasive way than you doing it direct.
So how do you influence the influencer? Here are three tips to get you started.
1. Identify who your potential customers’ influencers are
There can be different influencers of a purchase decision depending on the product or service you provide. From business partners, colleagues, employers and different departments within their organisation, to husbands, wives, kids, mothers, fathers, extended family and friends.
Not too mention the trend setters, ‘in crowd’, celebrities and even the ‘enemies’ or competitors of your potential customer can influence the way they buy and determine if they’ll do business with you over someone else.
In order to influence the influencer you need to identify who else you are marketing to in addition to your potential customer. Ask yourself who will be in their ear? Who else will need to sign off on the purchase? Who else will have a vested interest in the purchase? Is my customer aware of this influencer and trying to convince them too?
2. Get in the mind of the influencer
Marketing to an influencer often requires completely different messaging than marketing to your potential customer. They have different needs, frustrations and motivations and tend to be less engaged with your product or service.
Normally only having the incomplete, second-hand information to go on, the influencer may even be wary and skeptical of how you can help, planting seeds of doubt in the mind of your potential customer. For this reason, you need to ensure you give them the information they need to get on board with the purchase.
To do this ask yourself, what will your target markets influencer be saying in their ear? What concerns and objections will they have? What benefits will they want to see? What information do you need to share (either directly or give to your potential customer) to help the influencer to fall in love with your product too?
3. Target the influencer in your marketing
Once you know the influencers you are targeting and what concerns and motivations they have, address them in your marketing messages.
It could be as subtle as working in benefits and features that will appeal to them and address key objections, or it could be as obvious as a ‘how to convince your husband/wife/business partner’ guide.
How can you influence the influencer in your own business?
In business it pays to be different, but when you’re selling the same products or services as everyone else in your industry, it can be hard to find a way to differentiate yourself that doesn’t include competing on price.
While it can seem like a good idea to begin with, focusing on price alone means you have to work harder to make a profit, it leaves you vulnerable to competitors who undercut and you tend to attract a certain kind of customer – those difficult, fickle, price-driven customers who will up and leave you the moment they find a cheaper price.
So how do you find your point of difference when you have the same offering as others? Here are six ideas to get you thinking about how you can differentiate your business without competing on price.
1. Experience or expertise
Take a closer look at what you personally bring to your business and clients that your competitors don’t.
- Have you been in business longer?
- Have you had more industry experience?
- Have you built your business out of your own need so have first-hand experience with the issue your clients are facing?
- Do you specialise in an area most don’t?
- Do you have any specific qualifications that are hard to attain or very exclusive?
- Have you dealt with difficult or uncommon situations that have given you more specialised knowledge
- Are you or your business more well-known and trusted?
- Have you worked for any major companies?
- Have you written a book?
- Are you a member of any exclusive groups or associations?
- Have you won an award?
2. Better processes
Are there any key differences in the way you develop, produce (or source) and deliver your products or services compared to the way others do?
- Is your project briefing more comprehensive to ensure more tailored products or services?
- Do you take extra steps to ensure higher quality products or services?
- Do you follow a specific process or formula that gets more consistent results?
- Do you have better client follow up to ensure they received what they needed/wanted?
- Do you offer a guarantee that is more inclusive or longer than your competitors?
3. Exceptional quality and/or consistent results
Do you produce higher quality products or services or do you get greater or more consistent results? If you can prove you products or services are of a higher standard, have more value or achieve better results than your competitors, a potential client will quickly select your business even if you are more expensive.
- Have you helped a large percentage of clients achieve something? (70% of clients achieve their goal weight within six months of training with you)
- Do you have quantifiable results that are proven through testimonials or case studies? (Doubling profit, halving expenses)
- Do your products last longer or work faster?
- Are they more environmentally friendly or energy efficient?
- Do you use more stronger, durable and/or safer materials?
- Do you as a business have a better safety record?
- Do you have the exclusive rights to sell a particular brand or product?
4. A wider range of products or services
Do you or could you offer a wider range of products or services than your competitors?
- Do you have a wider range of colours, shapes or styles?
- Do you have it available in different material?
- Do you have better or more add-ons?
- Do you offer (or have you aligned with other businesses to offer) a one stop shop of services?
- Do you include “how to” guides, workshops, or webinars on how to get the most from your products or as a value add for your services?
5. More personalised and/or quicker service
Do you provide a really quick turnaround on products or services compared to others in your industry? Or a more personalised service where your competitors are faceless? Many people will choose a business and pay more if products and services are recieved quicker and/or they have the convenience of being able to contact someone easily.
- Will customers always talk to a human being or only be on hold for a certain period of time? (particularly important in industries where you are normally left on hold or have to do everything through a website and not talk to someone)
- Are you easier to get hold of?
- Are you available for longer hours or have an emergency after hours call service (if applicable to your industry)?
- Do you have a set time you answer enquiries by?
- Do you ship products or deliver services quicker?
- Do you have a guaranteed delivery time?
- Do you give your clients more one-on-one time?
- Do you spend more quality time getting to know clients in order to help them better?
6. Well-known clients
Do any well-known individuals or brands use your products or services? Being able to differentiate yourself by the quality of your clients can be a great way to establish credibility and generate publicity for your business. Not only do you appeal to their fans and clients, people will naturally assume you are good if high-profile people or businesses use and endorse your products or services.
Ask your well-known clients if they would mind giving you a testimonial (video is ideal) about how they have enjoyed your products and services. Also ask if you can use their name and logo on your website and in other promotional material, as this will help build credibility and rapport with potential customers.
There are literally hundreds of ways to differentiate your business and establish your value. The key is to get a little creative. Look closely at the needs and frustrations of your potential clients and what your competitors are doing and more importantly not doing, very soon you will start to identify your existing points of difference and additional opportunities for you to differentiate.
If you are like most business owners your biggest point of difference comes not from what you do or even how you do it, it comes from what you know.
The knowledge you have around your industry, products and services, your customers needs, problems and challenges, the lessons you’ve learnt and the formulas, templates, processes and systems you’ve created based on your knowledge and experience is all extremely valuable.
What’s more it could be what influences a potential customer in doing business with you over your competitors. Yet most of us undersell it.
So if by chance you are underselling your knowledge, here are four reasons why you should stop doubting and start sharing.
1. Your industry knowledge isn’t “common sense”
When something comes easy to you, it can be easy to think that it comes easy to everyone else too – but it doesn’t. The truth is you have distinct skills and knowledge that most people will never have. Even the most researched customers won’t come close to what you know.
2. You may share the same expertise, but not the same experience
While you may feel that the industry knowledge you have isn’t unique, that it is shared by anyone working in your industry, your experience is. The experience you have gained from working in your industry day in and day out can’t be replicated.
No one has been exactly where you are today. They haven’t had the same life experiences, the same customers, learned the same business lessons, or had the same setbacks and wins. You are far more knowledgeable than you realise.
3. Your explanation and application could be just what someone needs
Each of us respond better to particular communication and learning styles and build rapport quicker with specific personalities.
While you may not be the most knowledgeable person in your industry – or even close at this stage, how you explain, implement or package your knowledge could be what spurs a customer or potential customer to finally take action on something they have “heard a hundred times” before.
4. Every great expert started as an amateur
Remember that every great expert and every successful entrepreneur and business leader started out as an amateur. The only difference is they kept learning, growing and sharing what they knew with their staff, customers and the world.
Are you underselling yourself?
Your ability to compel your customers, readers and followers to read on, act or buy, directly determines your leads, conversions and business profits.
So how do you become more compelling in your sales and marketing? Here are three ways to get you started.
1. Keep a little mystery
In the same way you wouldn’t tell your entire life story in the first few dates with someone, don’t feel you need to inform your potential customer, reader or follower of every facet of your business, industry or topic in the first few touch points. Leave a little mystery by informing them slowly.
Mystery leaves your potential customers wanting more, providing of course that you give away the right details to begin with. To use mystery effectively you need to know who you are targeting and what key selling points will most appeal to them.
Infomercials and your answer to the common question “so what do you do?” are great places to practice a little business mystery.
2. Offer information teasers
Key information like statistics, industry insights, inside secrets, usability tips, and handy hints on areas your target audience are interested in can spark interest and get them to take a level of action like giving over their contact details to you.
Knowledge is power, and in this day and age it is our most valuable commodity – not to mention our biggest point of difference. Sharing relevant and interesting information builds your credibility and positions you as an expert in your field, giving potential customers the confidence in doing business with you.
The trick here though, is in knowing how much of your knowledge to give away, as it will depend on the action you need a potential customer to take. Being a ‘teaser’ your information should be limited, but at the same time it needs to be enough to build trust and leave potential customers, followers or readers feeling like you’ve given them real value.
Always keep some information under lock and key for your paying customers, or to get potential customers taking bigger steps of trust with you.
Social media, newsletters, website opt-ins, blog posts and advertisements are great places to tease with compelling information.
3. Limit options and choices
While potential customers want to feel like they have a choice in what they do or buy, too much choice can overwhelm your buyer and cause you to lose control in the sales process.
Before you do any sales or marketing you should map out the steps you want to take each customer through. While not all will follow and some will jump ahead, having this planned out allows you to guide potential customers to the decision you want them to take.
In a service-based business it could be having a few core packages, memberships or services with the ability to customise or value-add further should you need too. For online product-based businesses it could be having a clear category headings and links to the most popular products from your home page as opposed to listing all products immediately.
By having limited choices buyers can quickly determine the products or services most relevant to them, or what their next step needs to be without being overwhelmed by information. It also means you can use sneaky call to action tips to help boost your conversions.
Keep in mind that too much information or too many choices can stall the buying process and even drive them to a competitor who keeps choices simple. This is particularly important for websites and sales meetings.
What are some ways you can be more compelling in your sales, marketing and copywriting?