Think like your audience does! Sounds simple, right? But it's just not that easy.
Copywriting, and in fact Marketing in general isn’t overly difficult on the surface. There! I said it! Don’t get me wrong, it can be a labyrinth of trials and errors, strategy and processes, but communicating to an audience, especially today with social media, is not rocket science.
Organisations rely heavily on their Marketing strategy to be successful, but there is a huge divide between those doing it right, and those that need to hire a professional copywriter.
Why is there poor content out there?
By this, I don’t mean poorly written (although there is plenty of that out there, too!). I mean, poorly executed, with no backbone in strategy and research.
Something I say over and over again in my General Assembly Marketing and Copywriting class is “we are all copywriters.” We’ve all gone to school and learned our ABCs. We’ve all written countless cards, emails, memos, letters and comments. We can all communicate. So what’s the difference between this and creating content that really speaks to our customers in an effective way?
What’s the trick to getting it right?
It’s all a state of mind. I see it over and over again in my career, and have been guilty of it myself in the past too. That’s because the difference is extremely subtle, and yet, it can make or break your campaign.
We’re not thinking like our customers!
It’s not ground-breaking by any means, and yet why are people still doing it? The problem is, we don’t put ourselves truly in the minds of our customers. As business people, we all have a tendency to struggle with separating our own personal biases and viewpoints from that of our customer. It’s a basic human hurdle and has been happening ever since commerce began, but that really is no excuse. When creating content, most fall into the trap of not freeing themselves from their well-entrenched industry knowledge, when they really should be asking questions like a person who isn’t aware of everything: your customer.
The best example I can give is when you start a new job, and you get in to meet everyone, only to discover that the staff know every technicality and every acronym, and proceed to dump it all over you, freaking you out. It’s not their fault- it’s completely understandable! They live and breathe their products every day, spending hours within the industry every week. But the new employee, just like your customer, does NOT; and therein lies the disconnect.
So, don’t write your content like someone who knows everything- write it like your customer, who probably thinks of your product for a total of five minutes of their day.
Take for example, a Sydney delivery company that I won’t name and shame. Their website structure and content was supposed to be geared toward making it easy to ship and courier packages. The problem was, for the average person like myself who didn’t know all of their jargon and how to assign twelve digit codes to my order, it didn’t work. I was not the only one who found that receiving a receipt for a pick up didn’t necessarily mean you booked a pick up (stupid, I know right?!). Their mistake was that they assumed their level of technical knowledge when writing the content for their website, and not an average person.
See The Problem?
The issue we all struggle with is, we are not thinking like our customers. They are time poor, highly educated, want results and demand personalised content. They don’t want a page of general white goods; they want fridges between a specific price range that fit their kitchen décor, and are environmentally friendly.
Customers have so much choice today and so little time that if they don’t get the content they want in three seconds, they bounce from your website and find someone else who does it better. This is a terrible loss for any organisation and is never acceptable- so give the customer what they want.
When writing content and producing Marketing strategy, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and really get to know what they are looking for, not what you are. Do research and ask questions like:
Just remember your customer’s viewpoint at all times when creating content, because it’s them who are the target, not you.