A local paper ad caught my wife’s attention. It was promoting an international coin buyer’s event taking place over the weekend at a local hotel.
Our experience prompted my thoughts about some important copywriting and marketing principles. I was reminded how it’s essential to think about the untapped value within your products and services.
Along with gold and silver items, the company was offering cash payouts on coins of a certain vintage. My wife knew we had a few silver and half-dollars lying around so she scoured the house, drawer clutter, and forgotten containers to find a few hopefully valuable coins.
Bingo! Among some kitchen drawer clutter she uncovered a 1966 half-dollar. And we did a halfway serious happy-dance as if we were holding the winning Powerball lottery ticket.
We arrived at the hotel, took our number and a seat waiting among a few others who hoped they too had discovered the mother-lode in a jar or coffee can among their house clutter just as we had.
In a moment I’ll tell you how much our 1966 half-dollar was worth and what we walked away with check in hand. But first, our experience reminds me of some basic copywriting principles to apply to your marketing content.
Understand perceived value
Remember that people buy for emotional not rational reasons. This holds true for how they perceive the value of your services and products.
Imagine someone seeing your latest promotion for the first time. Once they begin reading they’ll immediately form an opinion about whether there’s value for them (perception).
Of course, you know the value. And it’s the job of your promotional content to sell them on it.
Your copywriting and marketing content must get inside their head. But don’t stop there. You must reach their heart – the emotional core. How?
>Use benefit-rich action words and keywords.
>Ask questions they must answer in the moment as they read, view, or listen to your content (however it’s delivered).
>Raise the value of whatever your promoting in the minds of your readers with comparative data (statistics, facts, etc.).
>Write to overcome perceptions and objections.
Deliver beneficial value
Whatever you’re promoting has built-in value. But do you know the value inside and out?
Change your perspective and look at your products and services with fresh eyes. Consider outsourcing your copywriting and marketing efforts on occasion.
Your products and services contain hidden value. And the purpose of your marketing is to discover it and create solid, compelling content that promotes it.
Show your readers the benefit-value of your services. But don’t stop there.
The purpose of copywriting is to put the product/service in their hand…in their experience with words. Use words to paint a picture of the future with them benefiting from its use and the consequences of not doing so.
Use content to get them so emotionally attached to your services that they can’t walk away without buying.
Not only give them a picture experiencing the benefit of your services. Show others benefiting also.
The “community” or “tribal” effect can increase value. It’s the show-and-tell principle that builds a story around the product/service benefits.
>Use testimonials throughout your marketing content.
>Expand your testimonials into case-studies and whitepapers.
>Show your products/services solving problems, altering outcomes, increasing confidence, saving lives, etc.
This has emotional appeal that few can ignore without joining the crowd.
Back to our coin selling experience. Our number was called. And we were graciously escorted to a table where the buyer eyed the few coins my wife had uncovered.
He immediately separated the value-coin from all the rest – our 1966 silver half-dollar – and casually told us to spend the other coins since they wouldn’t increase in value.
We agreed to his estimated value on our 1966 silver half-dollar. We shook hands. A check was issued.
And we walked away…$3 richer. Hey, unless my “math” is wrong (wouldn’t surprise me if I was) isn’t that a value increase of 400%?