There’s a reason “content is king” is such a common phrase in marketing. Content touches everything you do — from website, to ads, to email, to social media and more — meaning it often forms the first impression someone gets of your brand.
Despite its importance, good writing is spectacularly difficult. Combine this with an increasing writing skills deficit created by the shift to video and visual content and an oversaturated Internet with consumer and corporate content, and it becomes increasingly difficult to stand out.
Good news for the brave writers, there are a few secrets to writing high converting messages. It starts with the right positioning!
Positioning is often confused with your vision, your message or your slogans. The reality is that positioning informs all of these things because it tells your customers why you differentiate and what they are getting when they buy from your company. The messages and slogans reinforce this position.
Getting your positioning right is crucial as it highlights your best value for your specific target market. Positioning includes your audience, your competitors, your value proposition, and your differentiator. Even with the most creative message, without proper positioning, you’ll find you’re barking up the wrong tree and your audience won’t respond.
So what are the steps to uncover your positioning?
1. Start talking to your customers.
Discover your competitive alternatives
Schedule interviews with your customers to ask them what competitive alternatives they know of. Go deeper than letting them list brands and examine how they meet customer needs and how they would solve them if your company didn’t exist. The answer may surprise you.
See your unique characteristics
Follow this question with what you think your differentiators are by asking, “What do/have we that others don’t?”
Understand your value through the eyes of the customer
Find out what value your customers get from the product/service. Go beyond what their favorite features are and why they like them. After speaking to a few customers (at least 5-7), you should begin to see the emerging value and benefit themes.
Pro tip: When converting your positioning into messaging, capture the language customers are using and use their quotes and perspective for market validation when acquiring new customers.
2. Segment your results for analysis
Using your customer interview feedback, ensure results are segmented into segments such as industry, personality, size, revenue, and ease of collaboration. The segmentation helps to group the results in the way the answers vary for different target markets. This informs your message. Similarly, emphasize customer responses that are likely to be grueling, low-margin, or difficult.
3. Focus on your market
Determine market category
Playing within a market category is great because it helps customers understand what you offer and how you can help them. The market category contextualizes what you do.
Discover market trends
Once you have your market, look at emerging trends. Influencers, events, and industry publications are great sources to find these topics. Positioning on a relevant trend speaks to the emotional side of buyers why they should care and invest time and money to solve this problem today.
Writing tips for today’s audience
You have your positioning – that’s a fantastic start. Write up-converting content now. Content is really everything your users touch – web pages, emails, social media, video scripts, etc. –
Here’s a checklist for creating compelling content that converts users:
- Write with an active voice
- Write in the language your audience speaks
- Usage validation (citations, awards, analyst feedback)
- Avoid complex words (make it easy to understand!)
- Make your content easy to read with plenty of white space
- Focus on the reader in the second person, not your business (avoid us, us and me)
- Test, test and test your messages across media
When writing compelling messaging and positioning, remember that you’re also selling to people in the B2B space.
Make sure you understand your audience and have a perspective they care about. Otherwise, you will write well, but with generic messages written for everyone and resonating with no one.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erin Pearson Vice President of Marketing at Evalueserve
As VP of Marketing at Evalueserve, Erin Pearson is responsible for both the strategic and tactical side of entering a new market, understanding the competition and growing demand. She works with cross-functional teams in sales, marketing, customer success and product. Prior to Evalueserve, she worked in sales to develop new markets and led customer success teams helping to build adoption in a new category.