Let’s face it: convincing your audience to buy your goods or services is challenging. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something.
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible — especially if you remember that copy starts and ends with the customer.
What does that mean?
Copy that identifies wants, needs, struggles, and objections will connect with prospects. If you can capture your audience’s voice as well, your copy will resonate.
In other words, it’ll be more effective. Prospects will feel seen, heard, and validated — as if you’ve read their minds.
Copy resembling people’s thoughts and feelings develops trust, affinity, and loyalty. It’ll be easier to position your offer as the solution they’re seeking.
Want to increase conversions? Keep reading to start capturing your customer’s voice in your copywriting in 5 simple steps.
Figuring out how to sound like your customer is an art in itself.
The first thing you need to do is identify their specific desires, struggles, and concerns. Then, you have to analyze how they describe these things in their own words.
When you learn how customers phrase their thoughts and feelings, you can use the same words in your copy. That’ll not only save you the time and effort of coming up with the copy yourself. It’s also a surefire way to resonate with your reader. You can be more confident it’ll land with them.
Think about when someone articulates one of your thoughts or feelings back at you. It might have been something your friend said, the lyrics in your favorite song, or a line from a great movie. How did you feel when you heard it?
Touched? Validated? Understood? Your relationship with your friend or your affinity for that art might have grown, too.
That’s what you need to do in your copy. Your copy needs to make an emotional impact on your audience before they consider buying.
So how can you do this?
By conducting Voice of Customer (VoC) research.
There are many different ways you can research your target audience. VoC research involves understanding customer psychology and breaking it down in their words. It analyzes how customers' thoughts and feelings and how you can apply them to your copy.
Doing VoC research will help you create copy that sounds like you’ve read your customers’ minds. When customers feel like you understand who they are, it’ll move them further toward a yes.
You may think you already have an idea of what your audience sounds like now, but it’s only an idea. That’s not enough to produce copy that builds a strong relationship and compels prospects to buy.
Follow these 5 steps to start your VoC research and find out what’s relevant and persuasive to customers.
The best way to start capturing your customer’s voice is by going to the source. Talk with them. Ask them questions. Listen to their experiences.
The best way to do this is by requesting an interview with previous customers and clients. It may seem intimidating and even a bit extreme right now. The thing is, hearing this from customers will provide helpful information.
You don’t have to put so much pressure on your interview. All you’re trying to do is hear how your product or service affected your customers’ lives in their own words. You only need to listen for the themes potential customers will find relatable.
To do that, you need to ask the right questions.
These questions should tell you what customers felt and thought about their purchase. Some sample questions include:
When you request an interview from your past customers or clients, it’s a good idea to include an incentive. That’ll increase your chances of getting a response. For example, you could offer to feature them in a blog post, case study, or testimonial on your website. This is a double-win for you since you can also provide audiences with more original content.
Regardless, interviews should give you a sense of what people felt and thought. By recording and analyzing their responses, you can use the same words in your copy. It’ll help you target new prospects with similar experiences or reasons for choosing you.
If you can learn what motivates their behaviors and actions, it’ll be easier to convince customers to buy from you. So zero in on real customers’ phrasing to attract new ones.
Learn the strategies on how to spark buying behavior in your target market here.
Interviews are a great way to hear about your customer’s experience, but they’re not always viable. People could say no, there could be budget constraints, or someone might not have time.
In that case, sending out surveys to customers is the second-best option. You can send these questionnaires to your email list subscribers.
Like with the customer interviews above, it’ll help to include an incentive to get a response. For example, you could offer 10% off of their next purchase, future store credit, or a chance to win a gift. Use anything that gives you a higher chance of getting an answer.
The questions you ask should also be like ones asked in interviews. Ask about their purchasing journey. Find out what your customers thought and felt before, during, and after their purchase.
It’s generally better to get spoken responses over written ones. Verbal responses are more spontaneous and less filtered. It’s less likely they’ll edit what they say in real-time. You can also see your customers face-to-face, providing a more honest emotional response. Plus, you can read their body language, too, which will give you a better insight into their feelings.
All that said, written responses are still invaluable. Sure, people could edit and change what they mean and say when typing out their answers. That could provide you with a more accurate picture, though.
The response rate may be slower, but that gives past customers the chance to reflect. They can provide more well-thought-out responses that articulate what they experienced. You can use these responses in your copy word for word to connect with new costumes.
Even without speaking, these questions will reveal your customers’ priorities and values. Once you do, you can incorporate the language they use to describe these things in your copy. That’ll help you target and attract new customers with similar goals and challenges.
Since the internet makes it so easy to share your thoughts, you don’t have to ask customers what they think. Instead, you can check out the reviews and feedback they leave online.
If you’ve left a section for reviews and feedback on your website or social media pages, check out what people say. How many stars did your customers leave? What was the average score or rating? How do they describe their experience with your brand? What did they like about your offer? What did they dislike? If mentioned, how does it compare with your competitors?
Pay attention to the language they use. People tend to write in an unrestrained manner on the internet, so you’ll have plenty of data to use. If you can pinpoint common words or phrases in customer comments, you can reuse them in your brand’s copy. That will help you target new customers with similar priorities and concerns.
For example, imagine your business sells banana-flavored health foods. There’s a lot of competition within the health foods industry. It can be difficult for products or brands to stand out.
Comments on your website or competitors’ websites will show you what customers want. You can use these findings to not only improve your offer but improve your copy as well.
Let’s say a review on your website reads, “This brand’s banana chips are only okay. Like a lot of brands, this one also has that bland, chalky taste. And they lose their crisp shortly after opening the bag. [X Competitor’s] snacks taste a lot better and can hold their shape well. I hate how they use so many artificial sweeteners. It’s disappointing. These snacks aren’t natural.”
Although this review doesn’t sing your product’s praises, there’s still a wealth of information here. You can work off of comments like these to help your product and your copy.
First, you can start making your product taste better and last longer in less processed ways. Once you do, you can promote these changes to your audience. Each of your new packages could read “Less processed. Less disappointment. Less is more.”
By tailoring your copy to the way your customer speaks, you’re showing that you’re always listening to them. They’ll see that you care about their needs, which will help you build trust, loyalty, and retention. Not only that, it will draw customers’ attention to your product. If you can empathize with their values, people will be more likely to choose your brand over others.
If you know what your customers are looking for, then you’ll know what to do and say to fulfill their wishes. That will make them feel like your brand is a perfect fit for them.
Know how to write compelling and persuasive case studies here.
The first 3 steps helped you gather customer responses on your brand’s terms. In other words, they’re data points you asked for or found on your platforms.
While these are excellent methods for learning how your customers speak, they're formal. Since customers know you’re going to read their comments, they’ll be more self-conscious of what they say. In other words, it’ll affect the quality of their answers.
To get honest, authentic, and genuine opinions from your customers, don't prompt them. They have to express themselves away from your brand. In internet spaces where they feel the most comfortable to say whatever they want. All without knowing you’re looking over their shoulder.
If you want to get these answers, you have to reach out further on the internet. This means searching social media sites or forums where your audience shares opinions. These sites include Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and anywhere your customers spend time online.
The way users talk online is different from how they talk with you. On these sites, users feel like they have the liberty of expressing their most honest views. They don’t have to worry about the structure of answering your brand’s specific questions. Your customers can say what they want about you, competitors, and relevant industries.
On these websites, the audience consists of friends, peers, and other like-minded people. They’re sharing their thoughts with people who are also interested in what they are. They’ll speak more with enthusiasm, whether it reflects well or not so well on your brand.
Don’t let this idea intimidate you, though. Searching online will reveal a goldmine of comments that can help you improve your copy. You’ll see what your customers want and how they express it.
Let’s go back to the banana health snacks example. Imagine going on Reddit for your research and looking at a healthy snack subreddit. What if users criticized brands over “sus” or suspicious food sources. These brands talk about sourcing local, sustainable food, but they aren’t transparent.
You can use these findings in your product and copy to set yourself apart from your competitors.
First, make sure your product sources and manufactures your goods in an ethical way. Don’t lie to your customers and say you are when you’re not. Then, promote the healthy practices your company implements. The next newsletter headline could read, “We take the “sus” out of sustainability.” This will get more prospects to interact with your brand in a positive way.
By scoping out comments online, you can show customers that you have the same priorities. This shows your audience that you understand their priorities and desires. Demonstrating this will help you position your brand as the perfect choice.
Here's how you can effectively position testimonials in your copywriting.
Now that you’ve gathered this information, it’s time to organize your findings. Start with common themes and patterns in the responses and categorize them.
Some sample categories include:
After you’ve sorted your data, highlight the most powerful words or phrases. What did they say that encapsulated their experience?
Often, the best copy doesn’t come from your mind. Instead, it comes right out of the customer’s mouth. People who need your solution can describe what they’re thinking or feeling better than you can.
When you find the most impactful statements made by your customers, you can use them in your copy. It will help you reach other customers who can identify with them.
Going back to the healthy snack example, imagine you found this comment in your research: “I’d been trying to fix my nutrition for years, but it was hard to switch to healthier foods. They always tasted bland and never satisfied me. I couldn’t keep eating them, and I’d always start bingeing junk food again. It was so frustrating!”
“But then I tried [your brand’s] banana chips, and I’ve been able to keep the weight off. That’s helped keep me motivated enough to reach my fitness goals, too. They’re a great way to start transitioning into healthy eating!”
What are some things that stand out to you in this comment? Try breaking up some words or phrases into the four categories above.
For desire, you can use “fix nutrition.” For pain points, you could put down “hard to switch to healthy foods.” For challenges, it could be “stick with eating healthy food” and “re-binge again.” Last, the customer’s concerns were “trying to eat more healthy food for years.”
You can incorporate these findings into your copy to attract similar people. The words will resonate since they come from someone with the same thoughts and feelings.
Keeping track of your customers’ words will help you know what you need to say to future customers.
If your audience feels like your copy mirrors their thoughts and feelings, they’ll be more likely to buy from you.
Think about it: people get bombarded with tons of messages every day. It’s hard to create copy that lands and sticks. Writing copy that sounds like your audience will stick in their minds.
If you can write the words your customers use and match their voice and tone, you’ll have a higher chance of reaching them. They’ll feel like you relate with them and align with their values.
You’ll make your audience feel like you understand their priorities and concerns. That’ll help them develop trust, affinity, and even loyalty to your brand.
To make sure this happens, you need to conduct Voice-of-Customer (VoC) research. This will make all your copy and content much easier to write since you’ll know what to say and how to say it.
Once your copy connects, you can convince your audience that your offer is the right choice.
Now that you know how to use VoC research, start applying these 5 steps to improve your copy. By analyzing comments, reviews, and opinions, you can reach your target audience.
Next time you write copy, don’t guess what your audience wants to see or hear anymore. Instead, know.
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