How many times have you heard the phrase KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE? It’s one of the holiest of holy commandments in marketing.
To write effective copy, you need to know your audience so you can speak their language and address their pains. For example, you wouldn’t speak at a Star Wars convention and close with live long and prosper.
Discovering your target audience and learning what drives their decisions is part of the copywriting process. However, before you understand your audience, there are a few things you need to know.
There are unspoken truths about your clients or customers – things that many small business owners or entrepreneurs simply don’t understand. But these three unspoken truths about your audience have to be understood before you write a single word of copy.
Truth 1: Your Audience Doesn’t Care About You
They only care about what you can do for them.
I know, I know. I was a little hurt when I found this out, too. Unfortunately, the reality is there are a lot of really good copywriters out there. So whenever I decide to call it quits to retire to the lake for an idyllic life of fishing and toy photography, my clients will move on and a new copywriter will take my place.
The same thing goes for your SaaS, technology, retail or janitorial services company. Because unless you invent a cutting-edge product that’s never been seen before or provide a service that’s never been offered, chances are you’re just one company in a very competitive market.
While that seems like the perfect opportunity to make yourself stand out, you’re right. This is where identity and branding really matters. But that only gets them interested. It doesn’t convince them to buy your product or hire you. They need to know what you can do for them because, at the end of the day, you don’t sell products or services. You improve their lives by solving their problems.
Consider the following two statements you might find on a retailer’s website:
- We have more than 100 styles of graphic t-shirts in stock.
- Keep up with the latest pop culture trends with over 100 styles of graphic t-shirts to choose from.
By flipping the narrative from what you have to offer to the benefits you provide, you create customer-centric copywriting that takes the focus away from you and puts it back on your audience.
Truth 2: Your Audience is Very Busy or Very Lazy
To be honest, it’s probably the latter, but to give them the benefit of the doubt, let’s go with the former. Either way, the point is that they’re not going to go out of their way to follow your lead or do what you ask them to do. Take point-of-sale (POS) surveys as an example.
How often have you gone through your favorite drive-thru or your local DIY home repair supercenter and been told you’ve been selected to participate in a customer service survey?
These POS surveys, sometimes called sales receipt surveys, ask you to use your phone or computer to complete a relatively short survey about your experience. To encourage your participation, they often offer incentives like free food or a chance to win a cash prize or gift card.
Who doesn’t like free food or money?
Apparently, a lot of people. The response rate on POS surveys is only 1%. The problem is that many people simply throw the receipts away, either forgetting about the survey or opting not to waste their time regardless of the incentive.
To get your audience to follow your lead, you need to make it very easy for them to complete the action you set before them. Using clear and concise calls-to-action (CTAs), you increase your odds of directing your audience to take the action you want them to take.
Truth 3: Your Audience is Smarter Than You Think
Master showman P.T. Barnum has been attributed with the phrase, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
While there’s some debate on whether or not he actually delivered the famous quip, it enforces a common misconception that most audiences aren’t very intelligent or are easily swayed by blatant exaggerations paired with a little razzle-dazzle – in this case, a slick-looking website.
However, David Ogilvy had a different opinion on the topic. Known as the Father of Advertising, the famous British advertising executive said, “The customer is not a moron. She’s your wife.”
He believed in showing the audience reliable, trustworthy data and letting them make their own decisions. This led to a new way of advertising that depended on the intelligence of the customer, downplaying the hype that surrounded most advertising campaigns of the day.
By giving your audience access to factual proof and backing it up with solid social proof, you let them see for themselves the true benefits of your offer without patronizing or insulting them in the process. You acknowledge their intellect and ask them to come to their own conclusions on whether your product or service is right for them.
Once you understand the three unspoken truths about your audience, you can start taking a deeper dive into who they are, the challenges they face and how you can help them. Then, and only then, will you be able to produce effective copywriting that turns visitors into leads, leads into prospects and prospects into customers.
For help with your website copywriting, click here and send me an email. Together, we’ll craft customer-centric messaging that focuses on the challenges your customers face and how you can solve them.
Until next time,