It’s often said that good advertising can be the most effective weapon in a marketer’s arsenal, and what do you better represent than the most powerful weapon in your business—your writing!
You’ve undoubtedly heard the expression “Write what you know.” That’s a piece of advice that’s as old as time itself, but it never gets easier to follow. Write what you know helps you avoid the common pitfall of many newbies — you write what you think your target audience wants to hear. However, if you want to grow your business, you need to understand that your potential customers may be more interested in hearing about your product or service than what you know about it.
Let’s take a look at how you can write copy that bites the biggest marketing bullets—your target audience’s main interests, problems, and questions. Then, we’ll cover some helpful tips on how to make this sort of advertising effective.
Know Your Audience
Above all else, before you write a word, you need to know your target audience. This means that you need to understand what interests them, what problems they’re facing, and what questions they’re asking. To get the most out of your next marketing piece, review what you know about your target audience so you can write with confidence. You can also use your knowledge of your target audience to refine your message and strengthen your argument.
To form a good impression of your target audience, ask friends, family, and coworkers to share their opinions about you. You can also consult marketing material such as websites, product reviews, and forums to gain an understanding of what resonates with your target audience. Finally, take some time to visit your local library and look up your target audience in books. This will give you a chance to get to know your audience through words rather than slides or charts.
Create a Position
You can use your knowledge of your target audience to create a position — that is, you can define the answer to the problems that your target audience is facing. For example, if your target audience has a problem with organization, you can create a position that is ‘organized.’ Define three adjectives that best represent this position:
The advantage of creating a position is that it allows you to incorporate your product or service into your writing effectively. For example, let’s say that you’re writing for a business-to-consumer (B2C) website and your target audience is experiencing problems with their PCs. You can position yourself as an expert in PC repair and include tips on how to diagnose and fix PC issues. When you introduce yourself as an expert in the field, you’re giving the reader confidence that you know what you’re talking about. Then, when you list the problems your target audience is facing, you give them a chance to find a solution. You can also use your position to establish a connection with the reader. For example, if you’re a nutritionist who specializes in weight loss, you can position yourself as someone who’s ‘been there.’
You can use two numbers with terrific success when writing copy that makes a powerful impact. First, quantify everything. Second, check for accuracy. Many people think that they can get away with ‘fake’ numbers in advertising, but this is a dangerous game. When you have a tendency to lie, you give the impression that you don’t respect the truth. Consumers are becoming more savvy, and they’re catching on quickly that some advertisements are more effective than others. If you want to write successful advertising, be accurate in your numbers. Furthermore, the older the information you use, the more people will believe it. For example, if you want to promote a new perfume and you’re using old data to support your claim that it’s ‘the most popular fragrance in the world,’ don’t be surprised if people begin to question your judgment. Always check your sources, and make sure that they’re current.
Develop A Thematic
Once you’ve created a position and used numbers to support your claims, you can develop a thematic for your campaign. A thematic is a theme that you want to promote, such as ‘environmental awareness’ or ‘family values.’ When you have a core set of themes, you can use different approaches to tackle your target audience. For example, if your thematic is ‘family values,’ you can create different types of content, such as an advertisement, a blog post, and a short story. The idea is to create content that will resonate with your target audience. This is sometimes referred to as ‘tone of voice’ or ‘approach.’
Above all, be consistent. Once you’ve learned how to write good copy, it is almost impossible to go back. If you want to learn how to write effective advertising, start from the beginning by reading the advice put forth in this article. Then, use what you’ve learned to develop successful campaigns. If you want to grow your business, utilize the advice and examples presented here to create effective ads that will make a lasting impression.