Five questions to help you tell the story

Stories are powerful. We not only remember them long than we remember facts, they engage us, appeal to our imagination and when done right, cause us to become emotionally invested. 

Imagine if you could cause this same reaction in your target market after they read your website or promotional material? How many more enquiries would you get? How many more sales would you convert? To help you, here are five questions that once answered will help you tell the story of your products and services and emotionally engage your target market.

1.    What is your target market’s biggest need, frustration or problem? 

People always move faster away from pain then they do towards pleasure, so pain is a good place to start your story. What problems do your target market experience without your product? What limitations do similar products or services have (without naming and shaming) that could be causing your target market frustration? 

What is keeping them up at night? What is costing them money, time or limiting their growth that can be related to not having or using your product or service?

2. Why haven’t they been able to solve it? 

Once you’ve established their pain, look at why they haven’t been able to solve it until now. Was it due to a lack of time, money or knowledge? Have options or availability been limited until you or your new product or service has come along? 

3. What would their life be like if their problem was solved?

Paint the pleasure. Describe the life of your target market once their problems have been solved, their ideal “imagine if…” scenario. How much more effective, efficient or profitable will their business be? How much easier and happier will their life be? 

4. How does your product or service solve their need? 

Once you’ve taken them to a place of pleasure and hope, show them how you or your products or your services make it possible. How are your products or services different? How have they helped others achieve the same ideal scenario? 

5. What do they need to do now? 

Now it’s time for your call to action. What steps do they have to take now to start making their ideal scenario a reality? Is it to call, email or buy now? Do they need to go to another web page, book a consultation, request a quote or download something? 

Work out exactly what action you want them to take then call them to do it while offering them an incentive or emotional pull.
 
By taking your target market through this process, you allow them to have an emotional experience with your product or service before they even try it, a very powerful marketing technique that will result in more enquiries and conversions.

Amanda


Questions to ask when writing or reviewing your website copy

The words on your website can be the difference between a website browser and a new customer. With more and more potential customers heading online to find and buy products, your website copy has never been more important.

To make your words count, here are seven questions to ask when you are writing or reviewing your website copy.

1. Does your copy appeal to your target audiences?

Are you writing for your target market or about you? Good copy is all about your target market, it addresses their frustrations, solves their problems, gives them the benefits and answers their question “what is in it for me”?

Once you have written your copy, read through it and count how many “you’s” you have versus how many “we’s”. You should be talking about your customer at least twice as many times as you are talking about your business.

2. Is there a benefit driven or emotionally appealing headline on each page?

Don’t underestimate the power of headlines. With 5-10 seconds to capture the attention of your target market, your headline will help you make an impact and connect with your reader, and if done correctly, encourage them to keep reading.

3. Are sub-headlines easily identifiable and do they guide readers through the page?

Most of your website readers aren’t readers at all, they are scanners. This means they will be scanning through parts of your copy to find what is relevant or of interest to them. Sub-headlines are great for drawing attention to certain parts of your copy and make it easier for scanners to find what they are looking for.

4. Is the critical content above the fold?

In sales copy your most hard-hitting, benefit-driven information needs to be first, with as much appearing above the fold (where your reader doesn’t have to scroll down) as possible. When your reader lands on your website they want to know “what’s in it for me?”, good copy will always give them the answer straight up.

5. Are testimonials or case studies used to prove the value?

To back up claims you make in your copy, include testimonials that demonstrate benefits and results you have generated for past and present customers. Remember, no-one sells your business better than a happy customer.

If you claim your products or services can boost sales or minimise expenses by a certain percentage within a particular timeframe, provide a testimonial or case study that proves your claim. You will add credibility and build trust with your readers if you do.

6. Is there a call to action on every page?

Are you creating a sense of urgency by giving a compelling reason to act now on every page? Your website should be an extension of your sales team and be converting readers into leads and buyers. To do this, each page needs to have a strong call to action.

When establishing your call to action, ask yourself “what do I want my reader to do once they have finished reading this page?”

7. Is there a way to capture your readers contact information?

Have you provided an irresistible offer that compels your reader to give up their contact information? In addition to wanting your reader to respond to your call to action, you also want to get their contact details. This way, you are in control of how regularly they hear about your business.

To do this, you need to offer them something of value. It could be a checklist, an e-book, a cheat sheet or a template of some sort. Whatever you choose, make sure it is easy to sign up for, if there is too much effort involved you may limit your sign-ups.

Amanda


Six usability mistakes businesses make with their web copy

When it comes to writing for the web, to make your copy truly effective there is a lot you need to do in a small amount of time. You need to be compelling and establish your value quickly, though you also need to make sure your copy is easy to read, easy to understand and leads your web visitor somewhere – preferably to a sale.

Unfortunately for most businesses their web copy doesn’t even come close to doing this. To make sure you’re not in the majority, here are six usability mistakes most businesses are making with their web copy and how you can avoid them to make sure you get the results you want.

Mistake #1 – Choosing pretty fonts instead of practical fonts

With a wide range of fonts to choose from it can be tempting to go for a font that will look more attractive to make a statement or differentiate you from other sites. The only challenge is many of these fonts can be harder to read, particularly on a computer screen that is hard enough to read on.

When it comes to the web (and really the same applies across all your marketing material) fonts like Arial, Calibri, Tahoma and other smooth rounded fonts make your text easier to read for your visitors. Also keep in mind the size, colour and spacing of your text as this will impact readability too.

Mistake #2 – Not having critical content above the fold

The space above the fold (where people don’t have to scroll to down to see text or images) is prime real estate on your website so be sure to make the most of it. Instead of sticking a large image that doesn’t establish your value or what you do, place your most critical and compelling information there so your reader has incentive to scroll down.

It could be a paragraph, a sentence or a headline, there is no rule as to how much text there should be, just as long as it gives your reader a reason to read more. The less you rely on your reader scrolling the better.

Mistake #3 – Not giving mobile users access to your full website

You’ve no doubt experienced the frustration of using your mobile to access a website you regularly use on your desktop only to find you can’t access what you need to. So don’t disadvantage (or annoy) your mobile visitors by giving them a limited version of your website. Mobile users should have the same usability and search ability as desktop users.

It is important to check your website on your mobile and see what your website looks like to readers and what they can see above the fold as this can often vary depending on the device they are using.

Mistake #4 – Not having a clear sales process or navigational path

One of the first steps you should take when planning your website is to work out what you want your readers to do on each page and where you want them to go next. Do they need to be guided through a number of pages in order to make the sale or will they get everything they need to purchase off the one?

Ask yourself what path would you ultimately like them to take through your website? What page should they visit first? What page should they visit second and so on? Once you have worked out where they should go, make sure it is easily signalled in your copy along with a call to action that allows them to act now if they want to.

Mistake #5 – Not having website pages that are easily digested in 5-10 seconds

On the web you have 5-10 seconds to grab the attention of your reader – the time it takes to read a headline and maybe your first sentence. You don’t have long at all to establish what you do and what value you can provide, but you need to find a way.

It used to be just your home page you had to do this on as that was the main point of entry to your website, but now your reader’s search could land them on any page from your blog to your service page, your about us to your contact page, so every web page needs to establish your value, start solving a problem or provide the information your reader is looking for within 5-10 seconds.

Mistake #6 – Not making it easy for a visitor to get in contact with you

So many businesses are becoming faceless online, only allowing their web visitors to contact them through a designated contact form, while this can work with some industries and businesses, most consumers want to be able to get in touch with you in a variety of ways like phone, email, social media and a contact form.

Minimise your web visitor’s frustration by making it easy for them to get in touch with you. Where possible include your phone, email and social media contact details on every page or in your side bar so regardless of what page your web visitor is on they can get in contact with you easily. If you are worried about listing your email because of spam, then spell it out in full like amanda(at)velocitymedia(dot)com(dot)au.

Amanda


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