Marketing is an essential element for any business; without effective marketing no business can survive. The reality is that poor marketing often results in negligible exposure and mediocre lead generation, which is a common reason for business failure.
Understanding how to effectively market your business is the challenge; how to make your marketing stand out from the crowd. There are a plethora of media offering the ability to market and promote any business, but what sets you apart from your competition? Why should people come to you? How do you get your message across in an effective way? What are the essential ingredients for any form of marketing material?
This article delves into the essential elements of marketing material. However rather than simply present the elements themselves, there are throughout the article, questions, to help you obtain the answers that will inherently provide the basis for the content of your marketing material.
Before you commence writing copy for your marketing material, it pays to spend some time ascertaining key elements which will be used throughout the promotional material. Ask yourself the following questions:
Who is your Ideal Customer?
With the ability to target marketing via infinite routes, contemplating this question will enable you to stop wasting marketing budget on audiences indifferent to your product. You can target profiled groups and significantly improve your response rates.
You can ascertain who your ideal client is by reviewing current clients and prospective clients who exhibit interest in competitors’ products.
What is their age range?
What are their interests?
Where do they reside?
What is their income banding?
What level of education?
What other products do they demonstrate an interest in?
With this information (and more) you can construct a profile of your ideal client, which then enables you to review the various marketing opportunities available and select those options likely to represent an optimum return on investment.
What is your Unique Selling Point / Proposition (USP)?
This is a difficult question to solve because it can be challenging to quantify:
Could be the product
Could be the way it’s sold
Could be the price
Could be the availability of a special offer
Could be the warranty / after sales service
Consider the following questions:
What are your potential clients looking for?
What problems does your product solve?
What differentiates you from your competition?
Why would anyone buy from you?
Place yourself in your potential client’s shoes; what would stimulate their interest and desire for your product?
Think about why your current clients purchase from you.
Now Let’s Create that Content
Once you have answers to the previous questions, you’re in a strong position to create marketing material that will effectively market your product.
For the content follow AIDA. AIDA is an oft quoted mnemonic which is deciphered as Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. But what does AIDA mean?
Create attention through your marketing headline; make the headline stand out. Use attention-grabbing headlines that sell your product; include your USP if possible. When marketing a product especially to new potential clients, it is a good idea to offer them a special deal or an introductory discount.
Create copy that creates interest. Elaborate on your headline and give your audience a reason to read the remaining content. Explain how the product will deliver what the potential client desires.
Create desire for your product; sell benefits and communicate easy to read bullet points and lists. Most people will skim through the content; by highlighting the most important elements in bullet points, they are more likely to be noted.
The ultimate aim is to facilitate action. Use calls to action eg Call us NOW, Visit our website, Buy now.
To facilitate an action, it helps to create urgency, which is done by setting a deadline for the offer.
Now that we’ve addressed the main elements, let’s dive into actually creating the content and for that you can then use the techniques outlined below.
A) Write for your Target Audience, not Everyone and Ensure that you Promote your USP
When creating your marketing material, use the information ascertained from those previous questions concerning your target client profile. Write with the target in mind, use terminology that is relevant to them. Using the word “You” will make the reader feel the content is relevant to them; use “You” frequently.
Tell people about your USPs; what about you and your company sets you apart from the competition?
B) Write Headlines that Attract ATTENTION
Much like the subheading you have just read, your eyes were drawn to the word that is capitalized; ATTENTION. Ensure that the heading or title of your marketing material stands out and grabs the attention of the reader.
It is estimated that approximately eight out of 10 people will read a headline, however only two out of 10 will continue to read the remaining content. The title, strapline or heading, whichever element is at the top of the marketing material, needs to grab attention and seamlessly follow-on to the next element, which is to create interest.
Examples to maximize attention are terms such as save money, save time and special offer. It is important to get this right; the remaining content will not be read if this doesn’t work.
C) Sell the Benefits not the Features
A common mistake made is when businesses promote products by selling the features of a product rather than the benefits.
For example a feature of a rowing machine may be that it features variable resistance; the benefit would be that it enables the user to tailor their workout for their specific requirements, meaning they will obtain optimum results.
People buy because the product solves a problem for them. For example:
Will it facilitate making money?
Will it save time?
Will it improve health?
D) Ensure you use Effective Calls to Action and Add a Fixed Deadline to Increase Response Rates
As outlined previously, the use of calls to specific action are an integral element of any marketing material. Add to this the inclusion of a deadline and response rates will increase.
E) Add some Visual Interest
Imagery where pertinent can make a huge difference. Use imagery that enhances or visually compliments the narrative. An image that conveys the message or how the product will benefit the individual is an ideal choice.
F) Add Reviews for Credibility
Credibility is enhanced by including reviews and testimonials.
Marketing material must convey its message quickly and effectively; you will need to convince a potential client to purchase from you without being able to sell to them face-to-face or on the phone. Selling via your promotional material is challenging as you have little control over the audience reviewing your marketing content; reviews and testimonials therefore have a significant impact on response rates. The bottom line is that they establish credibility.
By following the guidelines above you will create content which will stand out and take your marketing to the next level.