Is problem solving in copywriting something writers care about? Over the years copywriters and marketers came up with dozens of marketing formulas which they can follow when researching their content or writing sales copy.
One of the most popular “marketing formulas” is AIDA (Attention – Interest – Desire – Action). Other commonly used include ACCA (Awareness – Comprehension – Conviction – Action) or the 4Cs (Clear – Concise – Compelling – Credible).
While a good formula helps you structure your copy, if you don’t provide a solution to the problem of your audience, your text won’t sell. Unfortunately, many writers forget that helping their audience solve problems is one of the fastest ways to establishing a strong relationship.
How to Find the Problem You Can Solve?
Even if you are a Michelangelo of copywriting and write the most beautiful copies in the whole world, if all they offer is pure beauty, they have absolutely no value.
Without researching, understanding, and addressing the needs of your audience, it’s impossible to write valuable content that converts.
To ensure that you study your target audience diligently and don’t miss any piece of relevant information, follow the below points:
Who will read the content?
If you’re writing an article for your own blog, and you know your customers well, you’ll answer this question easily. But if you’re writing for a client, you should start by asking him about his clients. Get as many information from him as possible.
Next, look around his website and check out his social media. Read the comments of his company followers. How old are they? What is their gender, occupation, income level and social status?
What is it that they are doing?
How does their average day look like? How long does it take them to get to work (commuting) and what are their hobbies and goals in life? What problem can a product or service that you are promoting help them solve?
What is their biggest motivation?
Are their motivations positive or negative? Are they driven by fear of losing a job or facing financial hardships? Or is the problem much more casual, for example, related to their hobby? (e.g.,. You are writing an ad/review of a fishing rod).
Can they understand your message?
Make sure that you choose language and words that’ll be understood by your average reader. You don’t want to put off potential clients by too complicated or informal writing.
What are their expectations?
In the end, it’s all about the outcome. Does your text solve a problem? Think of all the fears, pain points, and desires of your readers.
Your Readers Don’t Care about Anything Else
Every content has a problem that needs solving. This doesn’t just apply to sales content – even a casual blog post has a goal, the one thing that it provides your reader with. Usually, it’s information that could be either educational or entertaining. For example, think of a list-type post like “10 best spoons to eat your soup with”.
Are you selling them any spoons? Most of the time, you don’t (not a sales/product page), although some people promote affiliate offers on such pages. You don’t show them any problems a spoon can help them solve either. What’s the problem then? You help them choose the best spoon without having to waste time and money on the research and multiple purchases.
Similarly, an article “10 worst things you can say at a party” can be educating, entertaining or both hitting a slightly different pain point in each case. It all depends on the style and tone used, as well as on the examples.
Is There Any Formula to Solve Problems with?
Each formula emphasizes different part of text. Naturally there are formulas which focus on finding and solving a problem. A great example of one is the PAS formula (Problem – Agitate – Solve). If you follow the formula step-by-step you will:
- Identify a problem.
- Agitate that problem.
- Provide a solution to that problem.
While you can use this formula for any content that you write, think of how it could be used in an affiliate review. First, you have to introduce a problem to the reader. Then you agitate it by asking questions and when your readers are all dreaming about the solution, you throw the solution in their faces by introducing a specific product or service.
PAS is widely used in landing and sales pages – in fact, Dan Kennedy, a legendary direct marketer and copywriter, called it the most reliable sales formula ever invented. It can be used to great success even on social media. How? To entice readers to open a simple post (remember that, whether you want it or not, you are almost always selling.
What are you selling them in this case? It’s simple – the idea of clicking a link to read an article that contains a solution to their problem. Imagine that you wrote a post called “How to burn your belly fat like a champ.” Use of PAS would look like that:
PAS – Long Example:
P: Are you all tired of your huge belly? Are you ashamed of that big ball under your shirt? You’re not alone – thousands of men are trying tens of routines to get rid of belly fat – and they all fail!
A: Wouldn’t it be great to go to the beach without all those judgemental looks? You will never feel confident and attractive unless you change something in your life…
S: There’s something you can do. Don’t let your belly fat ruin your self-esteem. Start losing belly fat now. Fit in your favorite shirts and become attractive once again. Read this post to find out how.
PAS – Short Example:
(P) Ashamed of your belly fat? (A) Keep feeling unattractive or (S) do something about it. Check http://yoursite.com
What is the problem here? No, it’s not about the belly fat itself. The problem is feeling ashamed and unattractive.
Men with huge bellies don’t care specifically about the size of their belly – at least not until they don’t have the need to increase their attractiveness. Even health concerns aren’t as strong as the thought of not looking good. No wonder that more single than married men do something about their belly fat.
Problem Solving in Copywriting: It’s Not All About The Formula
Naturally, you can effectively solve people’s problems with or without PAS. Or using any other formula that you like. But using it definitely helps.
Remember that solving a problem is more important than all the fireworks in your copy. Only by focusing on helping your audience you provide them with what they really care about. And you don’t distract them with unnecessary content that they are not even interested in, allowing them to focus on what’s really important – taking action. .
I believe in providing value before asking for the money and prefer establishing long-term relationships over hard-sell approach - which I use to a great success working with my clients and creating content for my own web properties.
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