Your marketing funnel is looking sharp. You’ve got your customer journey mapped out in more detail than a mountaineer’s route for his first attempt at Everest. Your email sequence is in place and it’s just about go-time.
If you want to hit a home run with your inbound marketing though, you need to get the basics in place. And by basics, I mean your copy.
All the email segmentation and programmatic targeting in the world will be useless if the words in your emails and on your landing pages don’t resonate with your target audience.
To achieve this you need to position your business clearly by highlighting your unique selling point and value proposition, in a way that connects with your ideal customer.
Here’s the process in a nutshell.
- Frame your Unique Selling Point from the customer’s perspective
- Dig deep to uncover your true Value Proposition
- Do your audience research and tap into prospects’ deepest fears and desires
Framing Your Unique Selling Point
What makes your product or service different to comparable businesses?
The mistake I often see is that businesses take too much of a “me me me” approach. Sure the USP is about your business, but it only matters to your customers in so much as it makes a difference to their lives.
Therefore, even when writing about your USP, you need to do it in a way that keeps the customer front of mind.
The navigation app, Komoot does a good job of this.
The features page tells you what is unique to the app, but it frames these features as benefits to the user.
Unique feature #1
Ability to select the type of activity you’ll be using the app for.
How it’s expressed as a benefit:
Unlike the likes of Google maps, “Komoot doesn’t just plan any route, it plans your route – the perfect one for your sport.” And goes on to illustrate the different needs of a mountain biker vs a hiker vs a road biker. As an outdoor adventurer, you get the feeling that Komoot gets it. They get you.
Unique feature #2
Inch by inch surface, waytype and elevation analysis.
How it’s expressed as a benefit:
Well firstly, they’re a little tongue-in-cheek about it, “we don’t like to brag, but komoot is the only route planner that does that.” They also say that planning an adventure is about the details and that komoot makes surprises a thing of the past. This time the benefit is a little less explicit, but it’s clear they know their audience.
Road bikes don’t do well on gravel so finding that your planned route is 50% gravel, halfway through your ride is going to put a damper on things. Knowing the surface-type before you set off is awesome.
Again, knowing that the folks at Komoot know that, makes it feel like they know you.
The Value Proposition
What value does your product or service bring to your prospects’ lives?
For your message to resonate with your prospects you’ve got to understand why they really want your product, not just why they say they want it.
Hello Fresh is a well-known recipe box delivery company operating in the UK and beyond. They deliver weekly boxes with recipes and pre-measured ingredients. On the face of it they’re an expensive alternative to an online grocery delivery.
Dig a little deeper though and you’ll see that Hello Fresh is tapping into a number of unspoken needs.
On the site, they speak about “easy-to-follow recipes”, “convenient meal kits” and “adding zest back to your dinner time”. They tap into people’s desire for convenience and their awareness of needing to eat healthily. Add these up and they sell a lifestyle.
Beneath these desires for health and convenience, there is a desire to get back to the simple, dare I say traditional, value of cooking good food, and sharing it. It’s about health & convenience, but it’s also about human connections and joy.
Your Audience Research
How you ascertain how to communicate value in a way that resonates with prospects.
You can never get inside someone else’s brain, but with the right research, you can get a glimpse into how they think.
Where to research your prospects and customers:
– Customer feedback – formal feedback forms, comments from sales calls, online reviews
– Social media conversations
Note what prospects talk about and how they talk about it.
By spending some time “with” your prospects, you’ll get an idea of how they speak. Use this intel to guide the tone of your communications. A rather extreme but illustrative example is not using London street slang in your copy if your target market is American marketing professionals. There is a massive disconnect there that will turn your prospects off, even if your service is exactly what they need.
On the flipside, by occasionally sneaking in a phrase that your prospects frequently use you’ll build rapport, which will ease the road to conversion. Beware of going overboard though – as in real life, people can spot a try-hard from a mile away.
Look out for the underlying fears/annoyances/desires.
Use your knowledge about what drives your prospects and acknowledge uncomfortable scenarios in your copy, whether it’s agitating customers’ fears, or addressing, head on, their objections.
Addressing the elephant in the room will make your case stronger.
Releasing the beta version of an online course and concerned that they’ll hesitate as it’s not the sparkly finished product? Don’t ignore it. They’re going to have those thoughts anyway so acknowledge them and turn them into a positive.
Maybe the beta version is cheaper than the final product will be, and maybe as a pioneering student they’ll get more personal attention since it’s still small-scale.
I’ve talked about three concepts here, but they all circulate around one theme: knowing your customer. The better you know your target audience, the more you’re able to tap into their emotions, and get them to click on “Buy Now.”