copywriting-in-marketing-guide-buyer-persona

COPYWRITING IN MARKETING GUIDE: WIN THE LONG GAME

Copywriting for the sake of copywriting in marketing will take up limited resources without achieving its purpose. And copy always has a purpose. We’re here to answer that question – how to achieve the goals set for copy?

I must be honest here – I spent 30 minutes debating whether I should describe copywriting in marketing as a long con or not. It might not be flattering, but I’m saying this as a copywriter in a marketing team, and with no offense intended – marketers are the greatest con artists there ever will be. And copywriting is their greatest weapon.

And yet, copywriting in marketing is not so much a con, but a long game. It starts with identifying your ideal persona and ends with that persona becoming your advocate. To play and win at that game, you need to be aware of your customer’s lifecycle and use some of the best copywriting practices that will make your copy effective. Below, we’ll touch upon these topics, but make sure you have a basic understanding of what is copywriting before that.

Copywriting in Marketing: Who is it for?

There’s a very clear distinction between your target audience, your ideal buyer persona, and your most common customer. And you must be aware of it, regardless of whether you’re an aspiring copywriter or an entrepreneur looking to incorporate copy and content for marketing in their strategy.

Copy and content marketing should target your ideal buyer.

But what’s the difference?

TARGET AUDIENCEIDEAL BUYER PERSONA
A broad population segment, most likely to take the desired action.A single person plucked from your target audience and fleshed out.
Has general characteristics.Has specific characteristics.
Informs targeting.Informs content.

Remember, you’re writing for people. People don’t care about features, they care about solutions. You’re not selling 25 mm thick bamboo shades, you’re selling shade, privacy, and the perfect microclimate. You’re not selling copywriting services, you’re selling efficient messages, conversions, and budget and time optimization for businesses.

That’s why building your ideal persona must be on top of your list of priorities. At a glance, creating a fleshed-out fictional character sounds like a waste of time. But trust me on this. I’m also a writer.

The ideal buyer persona informs copy and content the same way fleshed-out characters give life to stories. No one likes books with two-dimensional characters, and no one will buy into your proposition if you’re treating them as 2D not-even-secondary characters.

If you’re itching to find out how to develop a fleshed-out persona, stick with me. There’s something in it for you as well.

Ideal Buyer Persona for Copywriting in Marketing

A buyer persona definition does not explain how to create that ideal image. What you need to remember, though, is that just like a fictional character, they’ll have specific characteristics, pains, goals, motivations, etc. To start shaping the ideal buyer persona for your brand, you need to start asking questions:

  • Who is this person? – Be clear and specific on their age, location, what’s their gender identity (if it’s relevant). You can even name them.
  • Where are they coming from? – What’s their background, education, occupation, family circumstance, income, etc.

Flesh Out Your Persona

While this sounds like defining your target audience, don’t stop there. Dig deeper, think about:

  • What hobbies and interests they have?
  • What media are they consuming and how?
  • What other brands/products/services they favor?
  • What are their goals? – What’s the ideal state they’d like to reach, what they should do to achieve it?
  • What are their pains? – What’s the thing keeping them from achieving this ideal state?
  • What are their gains? – What do they want from the solution for their pains?

To take this one step further – come up with quotes and use an AI face generator to give your buyer persona the final touches.

Creating this fleshed-out character doesn’t have to be all guesswork. If you’re just starting out, you might have less information to base your ideal buyer persona on. You can rely on social listening and reviews. If you already have a track record, you can use the data from your Google Analytics and your social media stats to make assumptions about this single person representing your target audience.

Once you create the image of your ideal buyer persona, you’ll know who you’re talking to. And that will help you achieve the goals you’ve set for your copywriting and content strategy. Download the free buyer persona template I’ve made for you, to help you kickstart that process:

A business can have several personas. You must take tailor-made actions for every one of them!

Customer Lifecycle: Stages & Content

The digital-first marketing environment we all strive to survive in has greatly changed customers’ experiences with our brands. Their journeys are not linear, don’t always follow established logic, and can outright confound us sometimes. But we all need a foundation to step on, and that’s the customer lifecycle and its stages.

They inform the type of copy and content for marketing you’re creating to help prospects or current clients move forward in their journey. Below we’ll cover each of these stages, along with the content types that can help you achieve your goals for each individual stage:

Awareness Stage

Your buyer persona has defined some sort of problem, but they’re not aware of how to solve it, let alone being able to purchase your offer to help them. That’s where educational content comes in handy. It helps users clearly define their problem and what the potential solutions can be. You should create value that will make your target audience aware of you and your solution.

Consideration Stage

Your solution is probably one of many out there. During the consideration stage, you must position yourself as the expert in the room. White papers, case studies, even free e-books can demonstrate how your expertise has helped others. Testimonials and customer reviews can tip the scales in your favor. But please, don’t be one of those generating or showcasing fake reviews on their website.

Decision Stage

That’s when the customer is ready to give money to solve their problem and achieve their goals. Making an investment is not a simple decision. At this stage, you can offer a variety of freebies to convince the user to trust you. Free consultations, free resources, free trials are all non-committal opportunities that can make the decision easier.

Retention Stage

This is the point when you can turn one-off clients into loyal customers. Content can greatly vary, depending on your business. Newsletters, follow-up emails to inquire about satisfaction, bonus free resources, exclusive discounts, and quality customer support all play a role here.

This is the general path your ideal buyer persona takes – from awareness to loyalty and advocacy. Throughout all these stages you must add value and retain a coherent, consistent tone in your content. Once you’ve fleshed out your persona and tailored your messages and pitch, weave them into your copywriting for marketing. Create copy and content that not only converts but elevates the target audience and resonates with them and their needs. Here’s how to achieve it:

Characteristics of Copywriting in Marketing

Copywriting can be many things, but experts can unite behind several characteristics:

  1. IT LISTENS – social listening is a powerful tool in the world of marketing. Listen to what your customers want and give it to them. Tweak your message to resonate with their needs.
  2. IT EMPOWERS – consider Dove’s initiatives and messages, focused on positive body image and nurturing healthy self-esteem. Their message tilts perspectives and shifts the narrative.
copywriting-in-marketing-dove-example
  • IT’S CLEAR – say it with less.
  • IT’S CREATIVE – that goes without saying. And if you’ve done 1 through 3, it can’t be anything else but creative.
  • IT’S RELEVANT – many brands craft irrelevant messages, thinking snappier copy will get more attention. But attention without action is pointless. Copy must be relevant to your persona’s needs, goals and pains/gains.

Copywriting in marketing has a place in ads, emails, landing pages, long-form content – everywhere and in every way that you can address your target audience. Once you develop your ideal buyer persona, you can create the right message and turn it into effective copy. Go grab your free template now and start crafting, preparing yourself to weave storytelling into your content. That’s exactly what we’ll be talking about next time!

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I’m a copywriter by work, reader by heart, writer by night & a daydreamer all year round. I dabble in graphic design whenever time’s left. I breathe words and try to weave worlds.
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