If you’re lucky, you run a business that offers a product or service that no one else offers. But most businesses offer the same products as their competitors. Take a printing business, for example. They offer largely similar products, and the process of printing those products is the same for all printing companies.
This presents a challenge when you’re writing your marketing content. How can you write content that will make your business stand out, if you’re doing the same thing as everyone else? It’s easy to give in to the temptation to rest on your laurels and think that everyone knows what you do.
The thing is, potential customers may know what you do, but they don’t know how you do it, or why you do it. There are five questions that you can ask yourself, and taking the time to those questions will give you the tools you need to create sparkling copy.
#1. Why did I set up my business?
That’s obvious, you’re saying to yourself. To make money. This may be true, but customers don’t want to hear it. Besides, true entrepreneurs are driven by more than the bottom line. They’re driven by passion, by a desire to share their skills and by a drive to innovate. In the case of our printing business, the founder may appreciate the craftsmanship associated with the printing process, or believe strongly in the power of printed material as a marketing tool.
#2. What do I do that’s different?
The products and services you offer may be similar to those of your competitors, but they won’t be exactly the same, and even if they are, the way you deliver them may be different. The printing company may offer marketing materials with a twist, such as logos on memory sticks, wall art and T shirt. It may specialise in printing methods and products that aren’t available in many other companies. Or it may have invested in the latest technology, to ensure speed and efficiency of service.
#3. Who are my customers?
You may be inclined to say that everyone is potentially your customer, but there are particular sub-sections of the community that your offer is more likely to appeal to. Identifying those customers will help you create more focused marketing content that will appeal directly to them.
To help you pinpoint these customers, create a profile of your target customer. Give them a name, age and occupation and detail their tastes, habits and interests. The printing company may choose to target Samantha, a 35 year old marketing manager with an SME. They’ll keep her needs and interests in mind when creating their copy.
#4. What are my customers’ problems?
Customers seek out products and services because they have a need that they expect your company to meet. If you can identify that need, you’ll be able to create marketing copy that makes potential customers feel that you understand them and that you can solve their problems. For example, a customer contacting a printing company will have a need for marketing materials that will make their business, cause or event more visible.
#5. How can I solve my customers’ problems?
Once you’ve identified what your customer wants from you, you can demonstrate your ability to solve their problems in your copy. You can also speak in a more general way about what you do to go the extra mile for customers, to show them that you value them.
The printing company may have invested in cutting edge technology so they can offer innovative services to their customers. Or they may take it upon themselves to deliver the products to customers, rather than expecting the customer to call into their premises.
So why should you spend your precious time working out the answers to these questions? After all, you have a business to run. Because this short-term time investment will have long term dividends. Your copy will show your customers what makes you different from the rest of the market, which will give you the edge over your competitors.
Your customers will know who you are and what you can do for them. You’ll become their go-to company when they have a problem and they’re looking for a solution. In other words, they’ll get your company’s message.
Have you asked yourself questions like these? How have they helped you communicate better with your customers?
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