In your business you probably have some kind of vernacular or “right” words that are used to describe what you do. But in copywriting to attract attention and sales, you need to know the words that your customers are using to describe that product or service.
For example, a financial planner may talk frequently about annuities as an investment vehicle. A couple of problems with that… 1) most people don’t know what annuities actually are and 2) what little they do know is that they are frequently abused and might be actually dangerous. Holy crap, our financial gal is just trying to get them into a safe, secure investment and all of a sudden she is Bernie Madoff?
But it makes sense. People are not as familiar with your industry or offerings so they are looking for things the way they think of them, not what they really are!
I like to draw pictures and doodle. In that world there is a thing called “Zentangles” which is a very specific kind of doodling and the people who do it and sell it are very proud of the intricacies of their art, which is great!
But some people who like to doodle and who aren’t as caught up in the “right” way are also potential customers of their books, products and classes, they just don’t use the word “Zentangle”. They say doodling or sketching or drawing.
I love this example of a visual way to show that all Zentangles don’t have to be boring or “perfect”. This is fun and interesting and would maybe draw me more into the genre (where I would be willing to spend money to learn how to do “real” Zentangles).
I have been fasciated for a while with the ladies who are generating money with their blogs, videos and social accounts pitching diapers, makeup and crafts. Now, most of them may not be making Oprah money, but I bet a good portion of them make more money than the majority of “internet marketers” out there selling affiliate products.
You have probably heard the term “mommy bloggers” before right?
Well as far as I can tell, they aren’t totally thrilled to be called Mommy Bloggers. They prefer to be called lifestyle bloggers or social media influencers or a whole host of other things, just not Mommy Bloggers.
Here is a great post about this subject if you are interested…it is fascinating Stop Calling Us “Mommy Bloggers”
It is totally within their right to call themselves whatever they damn well please, but if they are trying to get business money and sponsorships, it might pay to be a little bit more flexible.
Companies that are looking to spend marketing dollars may be looking for Mommy Bloggers and so they are leaving potential money on the table by insisting on using words they like instead of what their customers may be searching for.
Where Are They In The Buying Cycle?
One last thing to think about is where they are in the buying cycle when they are searching for specific words. Admittedly the more general words are for people who are earlier in the buying cycle than the more specific words.
Going back to our financial planner for a bit, someone looking for a “straight life SPIA” (some type of annuity) is probably later in the buying cycle than someone looking for “safe secure investments for retirement”.
That said, when you do get those targeted shoppers, it still pays to talk to them in a less industry based jargony way.
While I don’t agree with the “talk to them like they are a 5th grader”, I do know that there is a disconnect when you know way more about your topic than they do!
You don’t have to be a copywriting whiz to make your potential customers comfortable and your products or services easy to find, you just have to start thinking about what they are actually searching for to help them and use those words in your marketing message!