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How to Sound Like a Human in Your Copy (and Sell More!)

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How to Sound Like a Human in Your Copy (and Sell More!)


Businesses have been boring people with their sales copy since the stock photo was invented. Probably longer.

Which is fine. There is a place for that. Keep your brochures. Keep your 45-minute PowerPoint presentation. Explain to me every aspect of your product or service… your mission statement, history, every feature and benefit, that picture of your founder with his arms folded.

That stuff is great… but don’t bring that shiz to social media. You see, I’m on social media to STOP thinking. I’m there to feel. Do you have anything that makes me feel something about your business or the problem you solve in my life?

No? Ok, let’s work on that.

If you’ve been hanging out around DigitalMarketer for any length of time, you’ve heard someone mention Desmond Morris and the 12 Stages of Human Intimacy, and about how every interaction is human to human. Not B2C or B2B. It don’t matter what you’re sellin’.

Great copy hits folks at a real, human level. It doesn’t ask for something right off the bat. If you make me FEEL something, then I’ll give myself permission to start THINKING about what you sell.

Easier said than done, amiright? It’s tough!

Here are some tips to get out of your spreadsheet and start thinking about your product or service like an actual human who might buy it. 

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Numero Uno: Focus on Stage Five of the Customer Value Journey (Excite)

Listen, if you’re not familiar with the Customer Value Journey, stop reading this article and go here right now

Are you up to speed? Excellent. 

As a Digital Marketer Certified Partner, we’ve had the opportunity of building out many Customer Value Journeys for our clients. Stage five is the Excite phase. It tends to be difficult for some businesses to explain why people get excited about them. 

Kinda sad, right? 

They know why they are excited but have a hard time articulating why their customer might be.

This is all about the “A-Ha Moment”. It’s your secret sauce, it’s the thing that turns your product/service from a “nice to have” to a “must-have.”

You must know what this is for your business. And if you say “we’re the best” I will reach through this screen and slap you. To quote Sally Hogshead “Different is Better Than Better.” 

Once you understand this key element of your business – you will be free from trying to explain everything right off the bat. You will have focus. And most importantly, you will have the power to make people EXCITED (that’s a feeling!). 

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Once they’re excited, you have their attention, and you can hand them a brochure and fold your arms in a power pose. Just kidding. Power poses are for boy bands. Don’t do that. Unless you’re in a boy band. Or a doctor. Why do doctors love to fold their arms in photos?

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Numero Dos: Understand That the Hero is Not You

It seems like if you have to sell something you have to talk about yourself, right? 

NO, you jerk – you’re so self-centered, geez. 

You eventually do have to talk about yourself to sell your stuff. But you need to position yourself as the GUIDE. You are Yoda. You are Gandalf. And I am a nerd.

Your customer is the hero, and they have a villain: a problem in their life which you get to show them how to defeat. Your product is their Excalibur. It’s way more exciting than your brochure. 

Keep this in mind in the imagery that you use on your website, social channels, or anywhere else. The customer is the focus. And it is usually more effective to focus on the desired after-state at the end of the journey than the miserable before-state they find themselves in right now. 

In the movie poster, it’s them in the foreground holding Excalibur (your product) triumphantly over their head, and you are in the background smiling like a proud parent (arms folded of course).

Story is a powerful tool to make someone feel something. Humans are drawn to stories.

If you want to know more about learning how to tell a story around your business, Donald Miller’s Building a StoryBrand is required reading.

Here’s a picture of Donald Miller from a Forbes article. (ahem… arms)

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Numero Tres: Your Customers Are Your Best Writers (cheat code)

So if your customer is the hero and you want to write copy that sounds more like your hero… to find more heroes… look no further than your reviews. They are a Gold Mine.

See also  How AI lets marketers create human-centric CX at scale

Spend some time reading every review that you can. You’ll not only learn what is important to your customers (great hints here for some A-Ha Moments), but you’ll learn how to talk like them. 

And since reviews are public and pretty much fair game – you can just use their actual words in your copy. Emojis and all. It’s like cheating.

Our agency creates video ads. We write scripts and hire a lot of smart funny people. But the best words we use and most effective sales copy often come straight from reviews.

So press up, down, up, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, and then start using reviews in your marketing! You’re now INVINCIBLE!

Numero Cuatro: Heighten Reality

Good content informs or entertains. Great content does both. But remember, make them feel something first (as a human) so they give themselves permission to think about you.

While it may not be appropriate for every audience, most businesses can stand to bring a little levity, a little magic, a few giggles to their content.

As I said, we make video ads and we’ve found that the easiest way to do that is with cheap laughs. You know, stuff that worked on the playground. I’m talking toots. I’m talking about falling down the stairs. That kind of stuff.

Sophisticated advice, no?

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Any other marketing blogs tell you to use more toots?

Here’s the kicker – it has to support the sale. Your jokes have to make sense within the world of your hero, their villain, and you, the wise guide with the plan for victory.

As long as everything is in the context of your sales message – don’t be shy. Make your characters zany. Use costumes, special effects, make everything in the world you are creating just a little “bigger” than it would be in the real world. The smell is worse. The cowboy hat is taller. The accent is more exaggerated

You can also personify abstract things. Like All-State did with Mayhem, or like we did with Pain

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Numero Cinco: Hire Funny People

By this point in the article, you either think I’m mildly amusing or a complete idiot. Both are true.

When this fact dawned on me, I realized that we needed to hire some people that were both funnier and smarter than me to help write scripts for our video ads.

It’s the best thing we ever did.

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You likely have people on your team that are very good at sales and marketing, but you probably don’t have anyone that can write comedy.

Guess which one is easier to teach?

Hire some freelance comedians and host a Writer’s Retreat. They are a game-changer.

Here’s how we run ours:

  • Get an Airbnb for a couple of days.
  • All the writers stay on site.
  • Provide lots of food and drinks, treat them well.
  • On Day 1, go over the critical sales messages and value propositions.
  • That night, without influencing each other, each writer comes up with an original concept.
  • The next day is spent with everyone collaborating to make one script the best it can be.
  • Choosing a script to work on is hard, but you walk away with a bunch of other concepts you can use later.

Comedians are often able to bring a fresh and unexpected perspective that can grab attention. They aren’t as close to it as we are, and frankly, they don’t care as much about how many sales the video will generate. That’s an asset for this type of work – they can focus on the more human, story-driven aspects.

Another game-changer for us: hire improv actors for your video. They just approach things differently and will add another layer to your script that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

We’ve come a long way together. I hope this article has helped you see some ways that your business can put a more human face on your messaging. If you want to talk more about it, we’d love to. Check us out at GravityDigital.com

I’ll leave you with a photo of our beloved founder Casey. 

Matt Brannon

As a Digital Marketer Certified Partner and Creative Director at Gravity Digital, Matt Brannon helps create funny, stuff-selling videos for direct to consumer brands.



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MARKETING

Using Google Analytics 4 integrations for insights and media activations

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Using Google Analytics 4 integrations for insights and media activations

No matter which stage of Google Analytics 4 implementation you’re currently involved in, the opportunities to integrate with other products shouldn’t be overlooked. The best part is that the basic versions are free for everyone, so there are quick wins to be had if you aren’t using these yet.

Other features and reporting experiences aside, an edge that Google Analytics has over other analytics platforms is that it fits well with the Google Marketing Platform (GMP). If you’re using Google Ads, Search Ads 360, DV360, or other media tools in the suite, GA can be a hub, as well as a source in the media activation process.

GA integrations as a hub

The paid media platforms in GMP have advanced, automated reporting. These platforms are powerful tools to analyze the beginning of the user journey by drawing people to the site and to the end of the experience by converting. 

What about the middle? A solid Google Analytics implementation offers multi-step conversions, custom user behavior data and rich segment data to build and share audiences.

GA integrations as sources for insights

Google Analytics 4 isn’t just about analyzing data, it’s about acting on it. For example, the Audience feature leverages your analytics implementation — you can use the data to segment users and create audiences for remarketing, targeting, A/B testing, and personalization. 

Through settings in GA, you can also link other products and share audience and conversion data.

Below are the integrations currently available for Google Analytics 4 as of June 2022. Notice that it’s already quite a lengthy list.

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  • Google Ads.
  • BigQuery (extra costs are incurred in Google Cloud).
  • Display & Video 360 (DV360).
  • Google Ad Manager  (GAM).
  • Google Merchant Center.
  • Google Optimize. 
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) (this one requires the Salesforce Journey Builder). 
  • Search Console.
  • Play integration.
  • Search Ads 360 (SA360).

The first step to building out your analytics insights is taking inventory of your GMP stack. Which products are you using right now? The products will depend on what type of site or app you have and the products in which you are investing. However, three of those integrations can apply to all properties — BigQuery, Search Console and Optimize. It doesn’t matter if you’re an advertiser, publisher, retail or service site — each of these integrations is a possibility to use today for free in Google Analytics 4. 

Let’s take a closer look at these three fundamental integrations.

BigQuery

What is BigQuery? A Google Cloud data warehouse that’s not exclusively for Google Analytics or GMP.

Who is it for? Teams and leaders that will benefit from this connection are involved in areas like BI, data science, and data administration.

See also  How AI lets marketers create human-centric CX at scale

With BigQuery, you’ll have all of your data exported to a data warehouse that you own and control. Once the data is in Google Cloud, there’s freedom to send to another database, blend with data outside of Google Analytics, and perform advanced reporting in other tools. The GA BigQuery data has other benefits, including integration with CRM data.

How to integrate. The integration is self-serve within the interface, but there needs to be a BigQuery project available to link the Google Analytics tool. If you do not have a project yet, go to the Google APIs Resources page to create a new one. On the page, it looks technical and there’s code references, but that part isn’t necessary and you can skip it. The instructions for doing it through the interface are in modules in the “Console” tab. Below are the simplified steps:

  1. Select the option to create a project on the upper left of the page.
  1. Name your project, select the “Create” button, and there’s now a new project in Google Cloud. 
  2. The last step is turning on a setting to use BigQuery. There are a lot of technical options in the menu, but the only area you need to go to for this is “Library” under “APIs & Services,” where you can search for BigQuery and enable it.

After the project is created, it’s ready to be integrated with Google Analytics 4. Back in the GA interface, the option to link it is under property settings. 

Now your raw GA4 data will start collecting into the project to be available for immediate use. Out of the integrations listed here, this one has the most steps. However, the other products are just a few clicks. (Note: BigQuery comes at an extra cost. However, for most accounts it will not be significant — it is sometimes just a few dollars.) 


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Search Console

What is Search Console? It’s a platform for monitoring in-depth metrics and reports related to organic Google search performance and site speed.

Who is it for? Most teams will benefit in some way from analyzing search data. This includes content creators, SEO teams, and web developers.

How to integrate. A Search Console property must be created, and it must be verified. Sometimes this is as simple as selecting a few buttons in the interface.

Once there is a Search Console property, or once there is access to an existing property, the link is in the same menu as the BigQuery link under Property Settings.

After, organic metrics and reports that are not out-of-the-box will be available in Google Analytics 4. Once the product linking is complete and working, there’s a last step to enable GA users to benefit from the enhanced data. It may be noticeable (and possibly confusing) that the Search Console data isn’t within the default interface navigation. To see the reports, the reporting collections in the menu should be edited.

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To modify the navigation, select “Library” at the bottom of the screen:

Next, begin the process to create a collection, under Collections. The template for Search Console will be located as the bottom right option. The option to start from scratch without a template is also available.

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After saving, go back to the library area and publish your collection. The report should now be accessible from the left navigation:

Optimize

What is Optimize? Optimize is an A/B testing and personalization tool.

Who is it for? It’s for marketers, conversion rate optimization (CRO) teams, content creators, or UX leads.

How to integrate. This one isn’t as apparent as the other links. Right now, the integration option does not show up in the Google Analytics property settings. That doesn’t mean that it’s not available, it means that the linking hasn’t been done yet. 

So, instead of starting in Google Analytics, the process begins in the Optimize interface. Under Settings, navigate to the Measurement section and edit. A dropdown will be available with a list of all the properties that you have access to. Unlike the previous version of Google Analytics, the integration links to a GA data stream instead of the GA property.

Once it’s linked, the icon will show up in Google Analytics:

When the link is active, Google Analytics 4 data can be used for audience targeting, conversion optimization, and objectives.

Note: If you are already linked to a legacy Google Analytics property, check with your team to make sure that it is ok to switch it to the Google Analytics 4 data.

Read next: Is Google Analytics going away? What marketers need to know

With the integration of BigQuery, Search Console, and Optimize, anyone can advance their analytics capabilities for current or future initiatives.

Below are brief explanations of the media platforms that Google Analytics 4 can integrate with. Most of these depend on what products are in use, what vertical an organization falls under, or other specific contexts and devices. 

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Google Ads

What is Google Ads? It’s the most popular and well-known search advertising tool, formerly known as AdWords.

Who is it for? It’s for marketers, advertisers and paid media specialists.

What it does. Google Ads was one of the first products to have GA4 linking capabilities. It’s built to provide value both ways – by getting Ads metrics and reporting from Google Ads to GA and by sending audiences and getting conversions from GA to Google Ads.

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Google Analytics 4 to Google Ads linking information and instructions here.

Display & Video 360

What is DV360? It’s a programmatic advertising platform. Also referred to as a DSP, DV360 is used to bid on display ad placements on publisher/content sites.

Who is it for? It’s for marketers, advertisers and paid media specialists within enterprise organizations.

Google Analytics 4 to DV360 linking information and instructions here.

Search Ads 360

What is SA360? This is like Google Ads, but super-charged. It’s a management and bidding tool to run ads across multiple channels and search engines.

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Who is it for? It’s for marketers, advertisers and paid media specialists within enterprise organizations.

Google Analytics 4 to SA360 linking information and instructions here.

Google Ads Manager 

What is GAM? It’s an enterprise platform for publishers to manage and serve ads on their site or app.

Who is it for? Marketers, advertisers and paid media specialists within enterprise organizations.

Google Analytics 4 to GAM linking information and instructions here.

Google Merchant Center

What is Google Merchant Center? A separate platform from Google Ads to promote products, mainly on Google Shopping.

Who is it for? It’s for marketers and advertisers within an e-commerce organization.

Google Analytics 4 to Google Merchant Center linking information and instructions here.

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Salesforce Marketing Cloud

SFMC is for cross-channel digital marketers. This integration is meant for use in the SFMC Journey Builder and can bring in Google Analytics data.

Google Analytics 4 to SFMC information and instructions here (through Salesforce).

Google Play

Google Play is Google’s app store and it’s for digital marketers who analyze in-app purchases and subscriptions.

Google Analytics 4 to Google Play linking information and instructions here.

If your organization is using any of those media tools, it’s a great time to start the strategy and process of leveraging Google Analytics 4 data to enhance analysis across multiple products and teams. There’s no reason not to start since they are available to all GA4 properties.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


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About The Author

Samantha has been working with web analytics and implementation for over 10 years. She is a data advocate and consultant for companies ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 corporations. As a trainer, she has led courses for over 1000 attendees over the past 6 years across the United States. Whether it’s tag management, analytics strategy, data visualization, or coding, she loves the excitement of developing bespoke solutions across a vast variety of verticals.

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