This is how you’re going to mine for Copy Gold…
Let’s dive right into this post with a bold statement: Most Marketers are LAZY Targeters.
Most people think that if you’re going into business, you can hang your virtual shingle and you’re going to make it big. People are going to “discover” what you’ve got for sale and they’re going to flock to you.
(Admit it. You thought it was going to be easier than it was… didn’t you? I did!)
Their products are designed “for everyone,” and their target audience is “nice and broad.” All it takes is an episode or two of Shark Tank and you’ll hear “the potential market is everyone in America!” or “Everyone will want this product.”
Here’s the problem with that thinking: When you don’t define in super specific detail who your product or service is for… your copy ends up being boring, lackluster, and worst of all… ineffective.
Have you ever run ads or a JV campaign or a launch sequence and it flopped? It’s easy to blame it on Facebook ads or the traffic coming from your affiliates, but if your copy doesn’t speak directly to the problem that you’re solving in near-intimate detail, you’re not going to have a winner.
And poor copy is a result of poor targeting.
When you want to write winning copy (and let’s face it… who doesn’t?) then you’ve got to know who you’re talking to. And I mean REALLY know who you’re talking to.
You’re not just selling something… you’re building a relationship. And just like your real, live, in-person relationships… your customer relationships require that you actually get to know the person that you’re talking to.
There are FOUR types of questions that you should always be asking about your target market. And it’s like a table or a stool… if one of the legs is shorter than the others, things are gonna get a bit wobbly.
Question Type 1
Who Are They?
This is the basis of your customer avatar, or customer profile as I like to call it. We’re getting to know your customer DEMOGRAPHICALLY.
(Important note: This information is the basic targeting stuff, so while it’s the right place to start, there’s a lot more after this. Because paid ads talk about this, we tend to stop here because that’s all we need to get our ads live. But diving deeper is going to show us the copy that will turn that traffic into leads and leads into buyers.)
When you get to know someone demographically, you’re figuring out the Age, Gender, Occupation, Income Level, Location, and Marital Status of your customer. If you’re in the B2B world, knowing their industry and their specific job title is important – and while you’re at it, see what information you can find about their company’s income, location, and number of employees.
Here’s why this is important: When we know this level of information, we’re starting to see what our group looks like. We’re getting a picture in our head of who this person is, and even what they might physically look like. We’re seeing our customer as an individual rather than a faceless person on the other side of the computer buying our stuff.
Consider this: According to the State of Content Marketing Report in 2013, 90% of consumers find custom content useful.
Question Type 2:
What They Like & Dislike
This is digging a little deeper into their habits and likes. Where we begin to put a face with the data and get to know our people SOCIALLY.
Consider what your friends know about you. They know what kind of car you drive, whether you own or rent your home, if you’re a dog person or a cat person, where you spend your vacations, how many kids you have, what kind of movies get you excited, your favorite band, how you spend your weekend… the list goes on and on.
And while it may not seem that it will help at first, it’s important that you know this kind of information about your customers as well. Yes, even if you sell widgets that have nothing to do with the movies or vacations – know the kind of life your customers lead.
Here’s why this is important: This helps you get to know what your customers care about so you can connect with them on a deeper social level. Because while everyone’s telling you to put your personality in your marketing… you’ve gotta remember that it’s not all about you.
In fact, Unbounce has a case study where overhauling a landing page and adding in more about their customers contributed to a 1250% conversion INCREASE. That’s no laughing matter.
Suffice to say, your customers probably aren’t real responsive to the can-on-a-string method. What else are you doing that ACTUALLY works?
Question Type 3:
How They Interact With You
A number of really smart marketers and copywriters have said “The relationship BEGINS with the sale,” and they’re right. I like to liken it to a date. When someone signs up for your lead magnet, they’ve winked at you and said they like what they see and they want to know more. When they interact with your content and read your e-mails and click through to your sales pages, that’s them getting to know you.
And when they buy, they’re saying YES to that first date. You’re not married yet. It’s not over. It’s just beginning.
Question Type 3 is all about your budding relationship. After all, if you want to get more customers, it’s good to know what your current customers do, right? We’re getting to know them RELATIONALLY.
The big goal of this section is to help you determine who your BUYERS are versus who just follows your stuff.
See if you can answer all of these questions about your best customers:
- How did you find them (or how did they find you)?
- Do they interact with your social media?
- Do they share your Tweets, Photos, Videos or Statuses?
- Have they given you a testimonial?
- Have they commented on your blog?
- Have they left your business a review on a review site?
- Did they purchase in person or online or both?
- Buying Frequency
- High-ticket or low-dollar purchases?
- Consistent or inconsistent purchase history?
- Do they refer? Why or why not? A little confession: The previous 3 sets of questions are going to help with your ad targeting and maybe a little bit with identifying your WHO. But the real copy gold comes from question set #4.
Before we get there, though – I want to bring something up. Just because these 3 sets of questions aren’t where the copy gold is doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be looking for answers to them all the time. They’re part of developing that relationship with your customers – a relationship that’s pretty crucial.
(Read the following in an old-west style Prospector’s voice. “There’s gold in that thar copy!”)
Question Type 4:
The Copy Gold
These questions are the real, deep, sales-material type questions – these answers are the ones you turn into headlines and pain points and hooks and all the fun copy stuff that you get to play with when you KNOW your audience.
In a minute I’m going to give you my copy trick for these questions. See, these questions aren’t always the easiest to get the answers to. In fact, you’re likely to NOT get answers to these questions until you’re able to sit down and have an actual conversation with some people in your target market.
My copy trick isn’t really a trick so much as a word: empathy. Sit down, close your eyes, and imagine that you are this person. You know where they live and what magazines they read (and you’ve read some of them yourself, right?) and you have an idea of how they found you. (And if you don’t know, it’s probably killing your sales.)
So put yourself in their shoes when you think about the pain points they’re feeling, the problems they have that they want YOU to solve, and the stuff in their lives that they want more of.
All the questions you’re asking yourself about your target audience can be summed up with one big question:
What problems do they have that they’re paying you to solve?
Get these answers into a proven copy formula… and you really can hardly go wrong. (I mean, sure, there are copy techniques to follow and persuasion best practices… but if you can’t answer the Type 4 questions, all the strategies in the world will have you falling short of where you could be.
So there you have it – a whole bunch of questions that it’s time for you to ask about your audience. In the comments below, share your favorite tool or technique for finding out the answers to questions like these!