Whether you are a small business owner, an entrepreneur, or a service professional, I bet that when it comes to marketing, you’re feeling more than a bit overwhelmed. I’ll also bet that even though you may be an expert in your niche, you probably don’t feel like an expert in keeping your marketing pipeline full of new customers.
Being overwhelmed and insecure about your marketing can be dangerous if you don’t learn and plan.
I have seen it over an over. One person or business devises a marketing piece, such as an advertisement, that breaks new ground. People are going, “Wow,” that ad or strategy is converting leads into sales like gangbusters, and everyone else in that market is scrambling to catch up.
Unfortunately, the next thing that usually happens is that others try to copy the successful ad for their businesses, but they don’t adjust the ad to fit their marketing or their focus. Naturally, placed in the wrong context, the ad or strategy fails.
Driven by panic rather than purpose, by uncertainty rather than an understanding of one’s audience, and by ignorance rather than expertise, the imitation of the original ad or strategy will just look like drivel.
The result is failure — money and time wasted, and prospects lost — all for a marketing piece that was copied instead of thought out, planned, and targeted. That is why I want to put you in the driver’s seat of your marketing by sharing 3 things you need to think about before you turn the key on your next campaign.
The most effective marketing materials are effective because they are planned. The business person who plans their marketing ahead of time is compelled to ask: What is the purpose of this particular piece of marketing? In other words, what is the result I want to achieve?
Knowing in advance what you want a marketing piece to do will help you write copy that is focused and clear and that guides the reader toward your goal.
For example, if you want to educate your readers about a skill they should develop, your copy will be focused on showing them how they can. If you want to persuade them to take an action, your copy will be focused on telling them why they should.
The purpose, result, goal, or aim of any given marketing piece or campaign can be varied–to educate and inform, to persuade or call to action, to inspire and motivate–but you must know what you want to do before you jump in and start writing copy, and before deciding which medium will be the best to deliver your message.
To ensure that your marketing copy is purpose-driven, write the purpose of each marketing piece as a statement, for example, “The goal of this marketing campaign is to persuade my audience that they can’t live without this product or service another day.”
Having a purpose, you know exactly what you want your marketing piece to do. Next, you need to get clear about who you’re directing it at–you need to know our audience. To be truly audience-driven, your marketing needs to do 3 things:
- Speak directly and clearly to your target market:
After all, what may look and seem great to you may not look or seem great to your audience. If you know your target market, you will tailor your message to them–using their preferred styles of communication and design.
- Answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” (WIFM):
In other words, communicate benefits: how will this product, information, or service help them? How exactly will their lives change as a result of reading your information, taking the action you say they should, or changing their ideas about something? Why should they care?
- Appeal to your mom:
Your mother represents a great cross-section of your audience. So ask yourself, would she understand the message? Would she understand the action that you are asking her to take? Write the content and design the piece with your mother in mind, and it will be clear enough for your audience, too.
Third, you need to establish your expert status and build your credibility. You need to let your prospects know why they should listen to you and what qualifies you as an expert. Your audience needs to trust you and believe you before they will take the action you are requesting.
Writing good marketing copy can be daunting, but don’t let that stop you. Once you know that your marketing needs to be driven by purpose, audience, and expertise, you won’t have to beg, borrow, and steal to put together just a mediocre marketing piece. With marketing made magnetic because it’s driven by the right things, the only problem you might have to deal with, is people copying you.