What’s the one thing most people pay attention to when they create site or marketing materials? The visuals. Because the first impression matters.
But, when it comes to “greeting” your customers, everything is important. The colors that you use, the graphics that you add, and the words that you write. Yes, the words.
Unfortunately, many business owners still underestimate the importance of a compelling copy. And yet its words that tell your customers about your brand’s mission, values, and UVP. Of course, as long as you stay consistent and coherent in what you convey.
Why is Copy Consistency Crucial?
It’s simple. Without consistency, visitors to your website won’t understand what you can offer them, what’s your mission, what you really offer and who you are. They’ll feel lost. This will confuse them, and they’ll be unable to trust you. Such visitors won’t convert, which means that all the effort put into attracting them to your site is lost.
In reality, it’s hard, if not impossible, to establish a strong relationship with someone who doesn’t understand what your company is about. But it’s not the only reason.
Having your copy aligned with your brand and keeping things consistent makes it easier for your audience to spot your ads. This makes your brand more recognizable, helping you build a more active audience. Not to mention that people who recognize you, usually trust you more. This helps boost your sales funnel’s conversion rates.
All that translates into higher revenue. According to the 2016 Brand Consistency Impact Study survey, branding consistency can increase your revenue by around 23%.
I wouldn’t mind a spike like that, and something tells me you wouldn’t either.
So how to ensure that your copy actually supports your brand, instead of harming it?
Getting Your Copy Right – the Foundations
To adjust your web copy to your brand, you need to understand what your brand is about and know how to convey it.
You see, quite often we have it all at the back of our heads. Unfortunately, your audience can’t see what’s in there. To make putting it all on paper easier, answer the below questions:
a) What are the main values of your brand?
The values of your brand influence its core elements – design, copy, and product. Even your relationships with competitors and customers. To identify them, think what you want to be associated with. Trust? Reliability? Change? Do you want to make the world a better place? Is passion what drives you and your employees?
Or maybe you just want to make the best products in the market, focus on those with potential, develop and innovate? If you still can’t figure it out, listen to Steve Jobs talking about Apple’s core values:
b) What is the UVP (unique value proposition) of your product or service?
Why your product or service is better than that of your competitors? What’s the one thing that makes it a better choice for your clients? Remember that, quite often, the UVP will be at the center of your marketing efforts. But don’t mistake it for a slogan or a catchphrase. A good UVP should:
- Be easy to understand. Nothing fancy or quirky about it.
- Mention what value (benefit) the customer gets in exchange for his money.
- Not be exaggerated or made of empty words and superlatives
- Directly tell the buyer why your product is better than that of its competitors
Below, you can find broad examples of a UVP – to make your company truly competitive, it’s best to mix some of them with one another. Also, it’s good if the UVP easily amplified by a direct financial incentive (free shipping, no setup fee) – but it’s not a necessity, and it won’t make sense in some industries.
- Price. Imagine that you are a management consulting agency and you charge only a % of the savings your services brought to the business. No result = no cost = little risk for the buyer (unless you make things worse!) Usually, it’s best not to compete with price only (especially in retail)
- Customer service. For example, a highly-personalized approach or a 24/7 support in an industry where it’s uncommon.
- Specialization. You offer a specific sub-type of a broad type of services. Even better if you target a very narrow audience too!
- Offering related/complementary services. Web design together with hosting = the whole package.
- A specific type of customer that you work with (freelancers only, SMEs only, consultants only, yoga trainers only)
- Industry (eCommerce only, or B2B only, Law/Healthcare)
- Sub-niche (Divorce lawyers only or electricians only). This helps you show your audience that you understand THEIR needs better than others
Below, you can find three different UVPs of various SaaS products. All of them are presented above the fold, right after the visitor enters the site:
Xtensio – a platform for businesses to collaborate, share, and present
- It’s clear what the tool does
- The sub-headline emphasizes its advantage over related tools
- Good visual presentation of the UVP (connecting all business parties)
Time Doctor – Time tracking software with screenshots
- It’s clear what the tool is about
- Statistical data empowers one of the main benefits of the tool
- Core features are all listed together with clear graphic symbols
CrossBrowserTesting – a Browser Testing Tool
- Although the main headline is a bit vague, the sub-headline explains the UVP well
- The bolded text emphasizes the value of the offer
- Smooth transition to its core features
c) Who is your ideal customer?
The next step is finding your audience and customers. Who is your product or service aimed at? The easiest way to answer this question is to create buyer personas. If you haven’t done so yet, read this article.
d) What emotions do you (and your customers) associate with your brand image?
Do you use emotions to connect with your customers? Are your ads, videos, blog posts or other marketing materials created to evoke an emotional response? Joy, sadness, fear, and anger are the core emotions used by brands to create stronger bonds with their customers and make them more loyal.
If you can’t think of any emotions that your customers feel when interacting with your brand, it’s a good time to re-evaluate your advertising. In the end, emotional content can be motivating and inspiring, and is often perceived positively by your audience.
Now that you have the foundations, it’s time for the next step – the language that you use.
What language does your brand speak?
Your brand language has an immense impact on how potential customers perceive your company. Everything has a meaning – whether you speak as “we” or “they”, your tone, form, and who you are speaking to. And let’s not forget about grammar.
For example, if you speak as “we”, you position your company as a partner, not as a separate business entity. People like to know that your employees feel good about your brand and stay united and loyal to it. Writing about your business in the third person makes the whole message a lot more distant and can make it harder for customers to trust you. But when you decide to go with the first-person-approach, pay attention not to be too:
- Informal in niches in which professional image is a currency. Think law or medicine.
- Focused on showing how cool your brand is, forgetting about the basics such as convincingly presenting your products and services.
- Distant from your customers. They want to get to know you and feel that they can trust you
The copy that you use will also depend on the size of your company. If you have a narrow product group, and one or two buyer personas, you don’t need different voices. You can keep most of your copy similar across your whole site.
But if you are a corporate entity with different product groups, multiple buyer personals, and even distinct brands, you need to create separate message groups. For example, one group for each specific set of products, followed by a customized message to individual personas. This means that at a high level, you will use a slightly different language compared to what you will use on ads targeting a specific buyer persona. The language will further change depending on the stage of their journey.
One last tip. When writing marketing copy, always use bold statements. Avoid thinking and believing. Instead, show your audience that you know what you’re doing and position yourself as an expert in your field.
Ensure You Don’t Have to Explain Anything
The worst thing that can happen is having to explain to your customers what your brand is about. Your UVP, values and mission should be easy to spot and understand for everyone who reads your marketing creatives – from your website, to emails and Facebook ads. Use data to your advantage.
When working on your copy and figuring out which elements of your brand to emphasize, make use of everything that you know about your customers. The more you know about your audience, the clearer image of what they want will be. And once you know their needs, tell them exactly what they want to hear.