This weeks guest blog is brought to you by Lesley Morrissey …
I have been known to get on my ‘soapbox’ about the importance of the message when it comes to both online and offline marketing! In today’s world we are all deluged with information – so our attention span has reduced to a cursory glance. If there isn’t a clear – and captivating – message that gets our attention during that glance, everything else is academic.
Let’s be honest – how many times have you lingered on a web page that has an absolutely stunning design when you can’t see what you were looking for in evidence? Don’t get me wrong – design is important. A web page or leaflet that looks clunky and amateurish won’t impress me either, but design alone is not enough.
Every web page needs a headline that acts as a ‘hook’ to get the reader engaged. Every marketing leaflet needs a ‘read me’ headline. Every email needs an ‘open me’ subject line. Without this your message will be lost.
So what should you do to make sure these are messages that your target audience will respond to?
The answer is simple in theory – know your customer. However, this is not so simple in practice. You need to know exactly what it is that turns your target audience on.
- What presses their hot buttons?
- What will make them think ‘I have to have that’?
- What matters to them?
If you have a very broad customer base, your challenge will be finding something that all of them will respond to. Strangely, many business people don’t really know why their customers buy from them and are often astounded at the answers when they take the time to do a little research!
Go on – ask your existing customers ‘Why do you buy our products or services?’ Then ask your previous customers the same question (in the past tense, of course) and then ‘what did we do that made you stop using us?’
When you know the answers, use them – to create your headlines, marketing material and email subject line – and get the attention of other people who want what you’ve got.
Lesley Morrissey: A love of words isn’t enough – an ability to wield a pen (or keyboard ) and produce results is a good part of the equation. However, it doesn’t stop there. Back in the 1980s Lesley was responsible for the Dubai Duty Free newsletter (as well as a varied freelance career in feature writing from consumer to business). In the days before desk top publishing made layouts easy, she found herself working with some of the top advertising agencies, like J Walter Thompson and BBDO. Lesley has a unique expertise in making the words and pictures really work, particularly on the web. Connect with her on twitter: @LesleyWriter or visit her website http://www.lesleywriter.com