It’s hard to stand out, especially if your business is in a competitive and oversaturated market.
Your best bet is to present yourself as fresh, original, and different within your market. The problem is that it’s tempting to see what your competitors are doing.
Sure, it’s helpful to keep an eye on them, but constant observation makes it easy to copy every move your competitors make. That’s why some businesses end up sounding exactly like each other. Some even have identical names, icons, and color schemes.
It’s funny. Everyone wants to get a leg up on each other, but tons of brands are often indistinguishable.
How about your business? Are you following the same industry trends as everyone else? Offering the same services, creating the same content, saying the same things?
If that’s the case, don’t worry. These tips will help you break the monotony.
It might seem impossible to separate yourself from the rest of the pack right now. That's why I'm sharing these 7 copywriting strategies you can start using today. They'll help you illustrate your brand’s uniqueness to your audience and stand out amongst your competition.
So, stop worrying if your business seems bland, unoriginal, or replaceable. Learn how to convey what makes your brand different, remarkable, and even unforgettable. Find out how to attract new and excited customers and earn a good reputation in your industry.
Do these things right, and you’ll find yourself with a better conversion rate than you ever thought possible.
Read on to get started.
Before establishing your brand’s identity, you need to define what your business’s goals are.
What will you provide customers with? How will your product or service improve their lives? What benefits do you offer? What do you want to achieve? In other words, what greater good do you want to create through your business?
Imagine your business sells banana-flavored chips. What broader goal would you hope to meet?
You might want to provide consumers with healthier and more sustainable snack options. Snacks that stand apart from highly-processed junk food. You might be trying to encourage consumers to choose to live a healthier lifestyle. Your product could act as a bridge for them to do this.
That’s what an overarching goal looks like.
Now, think about your actual business. What’s yours?
You may already know, but are you communicating these things in your copy?
After all, it’s easy to get caught up in trivial details when writing. For example, are you spending most of your time worried about using the right industry buzzwords at the right time? Do you find that your main concern is about sounding snappy or clever for your readers?
If so, you’re focusing on the wrong things. Those are just distractions. And it makes you lose the point of what your copy should do, which is: convey how your offer serves your customer.
So, how do you help your customers?
If you’re having trouble coming up with these answers on your own, look at what your current customers say. Check out their comments about your product or service, and note down all the ways it helps them. You can also send surveys to get more direct answers.
While everyone in your industry tries to outdo each other with gimmicks, focus on your brand’s value.
Pinpointing your brand’s worth will help your business sound more confident, professional, and trustworthy. Plus, it’ll help you stick out amongst your competitors.
Now that you have a clear vision of your business’s goals, you can get specific about who your target audience is.
You could think you already know who they are. But you might only know them as a group of customers. Who are they as people, though?
How do they look? How do their lives look? How does their lifestyle look? What kinds of personalities do they have? What do they have trouble with? Why would they need your product or service?
These questions are a lot harder to answer, aren’t they?
But that’s the point. Forcing yourself to think about these questions will help you understand your audience. When you do, you’ll know exactly what they need to see from you as a brand and be able to tailor your copy for them.
For example, you’ll learn what kind of ideas, language, words, and tone of voice resonate with your customers. And you can use that in your copy to attract, engage, and interact with them.
Let's go back to selling healthy banana snacks in Tip #1. You’d write in a different way to appeal to different customers, right? If you wanted to supply snacks to small businesses, you wouldn't use the same tone you'd use to sell to gym bros. The same goes if you switch their positions.
Both of those customer bases have different priorities and values. So, when you write for an ideal consumer base, you need to appeal to their specific desires. Otherwise, your copy will never resonate with them.
The more you sound like your audience, the more they’ll feel like you understand them. By showing that you get their worries, concerns, and struggles, they’ll feel seen and heard. They’ll feel like they matter.
You can then show how your product, service, or brand is the thing they need to get rid of their woes.
That’ll help customers distinguish your brand from others. You won't seem unrelatable, stiff, or intimidating like your competition. Instead, your audience will regard your brand as approachable and trustworthy. That’ll make them want to use your product or service over others.
So, zone in on who you’re writing for and write with them in mind.
Before you can showcase what makes your brand stand out, you have to figure out its unique qualities.
So, what are all of the ways your brand sticks out from your competitors?
If you're worried about how to set your brand apart, you might be drawing blanks. Don’t worry about that. There are some simple steps you can take to figure out what makes your brand unique over others.
Start by seeing what your competitors are doing. Check their websites and compare their different offers. Note the similarities and differences.
After you’ve gathered all of that data, take a look at your own business. What’s something original about your offer that would attract customers?
If you’re not sure what that is or how to make your offer more appealing, look up your target audience’s comments.
You can find this information on your competitor’s websites. Note all of the different ways their customers were happy or dissatisfied with their experience. It can also help to check public forums like Reddit or Amazon reviews for honest opinions.
Refer to your banana snack emporium from Tip #1. Imagine your product’s sales are slowing down. So, you go to your competitors’ websites and check out internet forums to figure out why.
You see many customers choosing your competitors’ brands because they use eco-friendly packaging. That's something your business doesn’t do. Yet, you also see customers say that your snacks taste better.
So what should you do with that information? Your product is better, right? So, should you highlight how your snacks are more delicious than your competitors'? Well, you could, but then you’d only be half-listening to your customers.
From your research, you can tell that consumers value the flavor and the quality of the packaging. It’s not one feature or the other. So, don’t make your audience choose. Instead, give them what they want.
To increase your sales, use eco-friendly materials in your packaging and promote the change. Show customers that you share the same values as them. Your product is tastier, so consumers should then switch over to your product instead.
Bottom line: you can learn a lot from what your competitors are doing right and what they’re doing wrong. This research will help you figure out what your target audience wishes for instead.
In other words, researching helps you figure out what the perfect offer is for your customer. And, it will show you how to provide it.
Find specific and key differences between you and everyone else in your industry. Then, you can start highlighting these things to your audience.
Your audience will see that your brand offers exactly what they wanted, in their own words (refer to Tip #2). They’ll feel like your brand is a godsend.
Now you’ve realized your business goals, ideal customers, and brand’s unique selling point. The next step is to communicate those points.
To answer these questions, think about the tone you want to use. In other words, when people read your copy, how do you want to sound?
Do you want to sound funny, authoritative, quirky, serious, informative, confident, casual, conversational, serious? A combination of these?
The tone of voice you use in your copy is your brand’s personality. So, how do you want to come off to your audience? What kind of impression do you want to make on them?
It might seem intimidating to choose the right tone for your brand. You may not know how to choose the right personality traits. Instead of assigning random characteristics to your brand, consider your target audience instead.
At this point, you should know their likes, values, beliefs, and preferences. You can tap into these qualities to help you decide what tone your brand should have. After all, the tone you use in your copy should appeal to your ideal customers.
Imagine you’re trying to sell banana-flavored liquor to young adults. You’re never going to reach them if you sound stern, stodgy, or stoic in your copy. But if you sound more like them, i.e., fun, exciting, and adventurous--someone they can identify with--they’ll be more attracted to your business.
Another idea you can try is, again, to check what your competition is doing. Analyze their copy and assess the tone they write in. Chances are they sound like each other, which is good news for you.
You see, you should know what kind of language resonates with your ideal customers. You should also know how your competitors sound. Then, you can make intentional choices in your copy to sound different from the competition and appeal to your target audience.
You won’t have to spend all your company’s time, effort, and money to figure out what lands with your customers. Instead, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t work from analyzing your competition.
This will give your brand a double advantage and separate your business from the rest of the pack.
We already spent plenty of time on why it’s important to check out the competition. Keep in mind, there’s a key difference between the advice from the above and this next point.
The advice from above involves learning from your competitors with intention. It doesn't involve copying them because everyone else is.
Sure, all industries have specific buzzwords, technical jargon, and common phrases. That doesn’t mean you have to pepper them throughout your copy at random to grab your audience’s attention.
For example, what exactly are you “disrupting”? What are you trying to “amplify”? What “growth” are you “hacking”?
You see, these are gimmicks.
Imagine producing the same content and saying the same things as your competitors. How’re you supposed to differentiate yourself from them?
A better question is: how will your audience be able to realize the unique value you can provide them?
Each industry has specific standards. And it’s important to follow them only up to a point, though. The good news is, you can decide what that point is.
Within your industry, think about the trends that are popular now. And determine, do these things match your brand?
Do they align your brand’s goals that you decided from Tip #1? Do they connect with what your customers want from Tip #2? Do they highlight your brand’s uniqueness from Tip #3? And do they match with your tone from Tip #4?
Don't agonize over every little thing your competitors are doing. Instead, ask yourself these questions.
If those things fit well with your business, go ahead and do them. If not, then don’t.
Your business’s actions will communicate your values to your audience and your peers.
Doing what’s best for your brand will help you stand out from everyone else.
Examples and metaphors that resonate with your audience will also help you stand out.
Think back on all the research you did for Tip #2. You know who your target audience is, what their lives look like, and more.
You can use this information in your copy to create examples and metaphors that they relate to.
For example, let's say you wanted to sell your banana snacks to gym bros. How could you use the information you gathered to appeal to them in your copy?
You might have found out your target audience worries about their macro requirements. They want to consume the right amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat per day.
This kind of information is invaluable because it’s a specific concern of your audience. You can address this issue in your copy to pique your audience’s attention. Then, you can position your product as the thing they need to solve this problem.
What does that look like? You could create an ad that shows how an aspiring gym bro is trying to bulk up. When he checks his food log app at the end of the day, it shows that he’s nowhere near meeting his daily macros.
Next, showcase your product. Show how eating your snack can help him get in the carbs, protein, or fat he needs. You can even show how convenient your product is by eating it before his workout, after it, or whenever.
The point is it helps your target customer reach their goals.
Relevant examples and metaphors show your audience that you understand their lives. They show that your product or service is a perfect fit.
It'll also make your business seem relatable.
Relatability helps your customer build a sense of trust and loyalty to your brand.
Get your audience to connect with your business on an emotional level. You can then build your own unique and dedicated customer base. That's something that your competitors will find harder to replicate.
This tip may seem obvious, but it's surprising how many people skip this step.
Let me clarify first: I don’t mean checking for spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes only. (Although that’s important, too.) I mean making sure your copy hits your main points.
For example, does your writing express the benefits of your product or service? Are you explaining it in ways that will attract and resonate with your audience? Do your words match the tone you chose for your brand?
To set your brand apart, it needs to be consistent. Everything you write represents your company’s personality. That means all your copy needs to match.
Think of it this way: imagine your business writes blog posts every week. Some posts read as informative and helpful, while others sound silly and irrelevant. That's not going to give your audience a consistent impression. Instead, they’ll get mixed messages about your company’s message.
Or worse... they’ll stop reading altogether.
That’s why you need to make sure your copy stays on brand. A great way to do this is to have other people in your business read your copy. Since they also know the angle your brand is going for, they can help keep your message in line.
Another tip is to take a break from your copy. After you’ve finished writing, wait a day before you edit. Even as little as an hour works, too. The idea is to create some distance from what you wrote so that you can read it over with a fresh pair of eyes.
While writing, it’s easy to get stuck in your own head. That’s why it’s important to step away from your copy for a while. It’ll help you maintain a more objective perspective when you edit your copy.
Bottom line: these crucial steps will help ensure that your copy is on message. That'll help you build a strong, unique reputation amongst your customers and peers.
Now that you’ve read these 7 tips, you’re prepared to set your copy and your business apart from your competitors.
Remember: your business is unique and irreplaceable. It can and will provide value to your customers, but you need to communicate this clearly. Make sure your audience recognizes what your business can do for them.
Then, convince them that it’s the best option.
The best way to start is to hone in on why that’s true. What distinguishes your brand and offer from other competitors? Why is it more beneficial to your customers? In what specific ways?
Once you’ve figured out these key points, showcase them to your audience.
Choose the right tone of voice for your brand to connect with customers. You can use the research you did above to find the right characteristics that’ll appeal to your target audience. Once you do, you can start letting your brand’s personality shine.
No more feeling like your business is identical and indistinguishable from everyone else. Or worse: redundant and forgettable.
Instead, your business will attract more interest and attention from new customers. You'll establish a strong presence within your industry and your audience will take notice with their wallets.
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