Are you promoting your online business with content that engages customers, or do you send them heading for the exit after the first paragraph?
Too many eCommerce websites are “me” focused. They waste space on long chunks of text telling the brand narrative of the company, and singing their own praises.
Self-promotion is important. People respond to confident sales pitches and compelling stories, but it’s easy to go too far.
Instead, online businesses need to rein in their egos and deliver customer-focused content. They need to create content that relentlessly concentrates on the needs, personality, and desires of customers.
Here’s how it’s done.
Think About Why People Have Landed at Your Site
First off, it’s important to think about what motivates your customers. When people search on Google for products, they tend to do so via questions. Products are solutions to their problems. Whether the problem is a leaking faucet or the need for a dazzling wedding gown, customers are looking for copy that resolves their problems.
Always write copy that addresses these questions. Find out what search queries people are using to reach your site, and use these queries as a foundation for your landing page content. FAQ-style articles are a good format to use, as long as the questions are relevant and the answers are informative.
You can research relevant questions via Google’s suggested queries or check out query aggregating sites like Quora. Alternatively, you can run a simple Twitter query along the lines of “accounting cloud ? -filter:links.” This will return any recent conversations about “accounting cloud” that include questions and it also excludes any links, so you can get a handle on what people are talking about right now.
Write Content for Multiple Audiences
Most eCommerce businesses have a diverse customer base. Few companies market their products solely to women between 32 and 34 years old with blonde hair. Instead, site designers need to communicate with multiple audiences.
One way to do so is via specific landing pages for different search queries or advertising campaigns. If you know that traffic from a certain source is relatively homogenous, you can easily find a tone and content that suits their needs.
Sometimes, it’s not so simple. Much of the time, customer-focused content has to speak to many kinds of person at once. Avoid using cultural references or language that is only relevant to one age group or geographic area. Try to stress universal aspects of your products as well, not their specific appeal to one kind of customer.
The right approach is to strike a balance between tailored landing pages for different groups and general content related to major keywords.
Keep it Simple, All the Time
Simplicity is almost always a virtue in marketing, but particularly so in the world of online selling. Web users tend to have low attention spans. They aren’t likely to digest huge chunks of text, and they don’t like being vexed by complex sentences or words.
Read through any copy that you intend to post on your site. Is it too technical? Do you pause at any stage while reading to think about what the text is trying to say? Try to create a seamless flow that directs the reader smoothly from the header to the call-to-action at the end.
There’s a place for jargon if you provide technical services or products for a niche demographic, but even then, companies that make complex concepts accessible tend to have more success.
There’s also a danger of oversimplifying. Companies need to convey relevant information about what they offer, after all, and customers hate being treated like fools. Again, there’s a balance to strike. Try to write in a readable, human way that appeals to your average customer and includes information they can use.
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Repeat, Repeat, and Repeat
Writing great eCommerce copy is not unlike hypnosis. The best content absorbs the attention of the reader, communicating its key message almost subconsciously. Before the customer is even aware of it, they are ready to engage further.
Repetition is a key tool to use if you want to mesmerize your audience. Remember that readers have low concentration spans, so incorporate your call-to-action at least twice in the text. Include your USP more than once as well. Try to evenly distribute key terms in the introduction, main body and conclusion.
Another good idea is to use third-party repetition to hammer home your message. Feel free to use quotes from reviews or social media comments that reiterate you key message. That way, you can keep readers enthralled and build trust by adding external testimony.
Adding a video that repeats your key points is another great idea. It will help to implant your USP in the minds of visitors and will appeal to some people who don’t have the stomach for text-based copy.
Focus on What Your Audience Needs
Sometimes, the best way to create customer-focused content is to take a step back and think conceptually about human needs.
There are some basic needs that underlie the desires of customers for consumer products, and these can be worked into your copy to enhance its impact. For example, people tend to strongly desire security. If your product is related to security, include keywords that are associated with this need, such as protection, safety, reassurance, peace of mind, or guarantee.
Another commonly accepted need revolves around love and belonging. If your product can be used to bring people together or enhance their attractiveness, use appropriate keywords like community, togetherness, love, family, or friendship.
By building your content around basic human needs, you can structure every piece of copy in a way that penetrates to the heart of customers’ desires.
Always Keep Individuals in Mind
With recent changes to Facebook and Google’s algorithm, the web is rapidly moving toward a more personalized experience. This poses a challenge to marketers, who need to produce content that delivers relevant information in an accessible manner. But it’s also a great opportunity.
By focusing constantly on the customer, you can ensure that your site’s copy meets the requirements of today’s online marketplace. Keeping the needs of customers in mind at all times will drive traffic to your site and boost conversions. More importantly, it will allow you to create content that truly connects with people, creating the kind of long-lasting bonds that encourage customers to return again and again.
Track and Test
Email, as with paid traffic and SEO, can be radically improved by tracking and testing your results. Tracking allows you to see the percentage of visitors that joined your list, the open rates, clicked links, and other helpful data. Testing will enable you to get the most out of every message you send. You could send two different emails to smaller segments of your list, then use the results to pick a winner that the bulk of subscribers receive. Tracking and testing are the elements that can turn a failing campaign into a successful one.
Gaining your first subscribers can often be the trickiest part of email marketing, with subsequent leads far easier to acquire. When you have a system that works, your main focus can then be set on generating new traffic. Some marketers are overly cautious as they start to see people join their list, but you shouldn’t be afraid of testing from the start. While mistakes will inevitably be made along the way, your email list can gradually become one of the biggest assets in your business.