Too often, new business owners get caught up in the bigger picture and end up losing many smaller details. A typical beginner business writing mistake is planning your content marketing strategy perfectly, but forgetting about perfecting one of the most important aspects of digital business, product description.
What would a business owner who thinks too much in terms of strategy and too little in terms of tactics do? They’d just slap a half-decent product photo on the product page and add the bare minimum of technical information.
But that’s not enough to convert anyone and may turn your marketing strategy upside down. What do you need to do to make sure your strategy doesn’t fail because of this mistake? You write product descriptions tailored to your audience.
Here is all you need to know about doing just that.
Know the basic demographics
At the very least, you need to know your target audience’s demographics. Working without really knowing who you’re selling to is one of the major reasons why startups fail. You can easily get all the necessary data for free.
The easiest way is looking at Google Analytics data and at your Facebook follower’s records. This will show you your audience’s age, and Facebook statistics will even show you some adjacent interests.
What if that data is not enough? You can go deeper into understanding your audience and create surveys to ask your clients relevant questions. Use HubSpot CRM or Hotjar for on-site pop-up surveys or simply send a Google Form to your newsletter subscribers.
Use the information you get to see what kind of audience you’re serving. Their age and marital status will help you determine what style is more appropriate to appeal to them. The general rule is the younger the audience, the less formal language they want to see on the product description.
Learn the pains
Your next step is to find out what problems customers solve with your products. When you get to know that, you can capitalize on that as you write the description. For instance, if you’re selling t-shirts with prints, your audience’s goal is to look good, get attention drawn to them, or to be the silly goose in their friend group. If you’re selling hand-made soap, your audience’s main goal is getting away from the personal care products that contain chemicals and are tested on animals.
You can see what are the pains of your particular audience by browsing through user feedback or asking questions directly via Google Forms or in-person interviews with select clients. What you’re looking for is the problem a client had and got rid of with your product.
When you’re writing a product description, use this information to add a bit of feeling of relief to your emotional message. Add a line that goes “Make your skin shine without harming animals with this cruelty-free mask,” and it will be so much better than just stating “cruelty-free” somewhere in the bullet list.
Learn customer values
Just as you want to learn what problems do customers solve with your products, you need to know their general values. These two factors often act like two sides of one coin. In the cruelty-free care products example, we talked about earlier, the customers’ values may be living an eco-friendly lifestyle.
It doesn’t just mean buying cruelty-free products, your customers may also like eco-friendly projects like Team Trees, eat vegetarian food, or actively volunteer their time to those in need. If you discover a value like that about your audience, you can add something about it to the description to let the audience feel you’re on the same page when it comes to values.
Veronica Wright from Cake HR Software’s content team points out that the biggest problem when it comes to humor in writing website copy is that too many people treat it as a stand-up show, not a marketing endeavor. Don’t get it wrong, cracking a joke once in a while is a good idea, but only as long as it helps you make a sale.
What many people do is make a joke only they would understand. What you should be doing is making a joke that your audience would understand. Audience research helps you out with that.
If you’re dealing with an older audience, keep it simple and add a cultural reference to an old movie or a TV show. If your audience is under 25, you can go with abstract humor and referring to the latest Netflix show.
Here’s how Dollar Shave Club uses humor while describing a product with an obscure name.
The subtle joke is in the last bullet point, in case you didn’t notice. It works great because it doesn’t distract from the product description and fits the brand image of Dollar Shave Club.
Add scannable technical information
No matter what audience are you writing for, there’s one thing that you should always include. You should always add a bulleted list that contains all the relevant technical characteristics. The exact list depends on the product you’re selling and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
You should add this information because not all people are going to read your product description copy no matter how well it’s written. Many people just don’t have the time to read the description. They quickly look through the bulleted list and make the decision.
Even companies that are sell products that can profit from long product descriptions include a small list like that. Here’s how Lush does that on their website.
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For now, though, you know how to create a great product description tailored for your audience, so that’s out of the way. Add a powerful CTA to your product description, and you’ll increase its effectiveness even more.