A to Z of Copywriting – Q is for Quality and Questions
Updated: Sep 12, 2022
Quite rightly, when writing for business – whether for marketing purposes or simply when communicating with your clients – you want your writing to be of quality. Clear, succinct sentences that flow well and are grammatically correct. That helps your audience to recognise you for the professional that you are. Plus, quality writing helps you stand out from your competitors.
It’s a bit like food shopping. We choose the best quality, freshest ingredients we can afford so that our cooking efforts result in meals that the whole family will love. Well, unless you have fussy little ones!
Picture this: Your marketing is the bricks and mortar of a hypothetical supermarket or high street shop. Imagine it being as large or small as your business! Inside are your different ‘departments’, being the 7 Ps of Marketing:
It's the third ‘department’ – Promotion – that attracts your customers to the hypothetical store and helps them select your products over any others. Promotion is the part of your marketing strategy that includes social media, digital and email marketing.
Now, let’s drill down further to each element that needs quality copywriting: advertising, blogs, newsletters, web content, flyers, and leaflets, to name but a few. These are the fresh food aisles in your store; the place where your customers are browsing, trying to decide which ingredients work best for their purposes.
Your writing is the shelves and cabinets that display your products. The words on your packaging promote your services, spotlighting their benefits to help your customers make their decisions.
For your customers to buy your products, your words need to be factual, clear and persuasive. They need to be strong, quality words that convey you as a trustworthy, professional business that values its clients, providing the best service possible.
So, how do you decide what to write? How to portray your products? By asking questions!
Quality Questions Find the Answers you Need
Questions are essential when carrying out market research for product development purposes. Their answers will steer you in the right direction. To discover what your clients truly need, those questions must be really good quality, open ones that demand thoughtful responses.
For instance, if you’re a cheese maker wanting to create some mouth-watering new flavours, you could ask questions like: What is your favourite cheese flavour? But that’s a closed question needing a one- or two-word answer. Follow that up with an open question that needs a fuller explanation, such as: If you were hosting a dinner party, what cheeses would you serve at the end? Or: How often do you cook with cheese? Or: When buying cheese, how do you make your choices without a tasting? Or: What meals do you tend to eat cheese with?
Perhaps you’re a software developer wanting to create something different to help certain types of businesses. So ask questions about what the customer’s pain points are, and where they need help. Ask for examples of times when they’ve struggled because they don’t have that crucial ‘something’ that you can develop or adapt for them.
Questions help to open up conversations about what your prospective customers need. You may be surprised at some of the gems that come out of those conversations.
Once you have all those answers, not only can you develop new products to solve their issues, but you’ve also discovered the benefits that you can use in your marketing copy. Result!
Better still, one of the best, low-cost marketing activities you can do is writing case studies for your website and social media. Case studies are where quality open questions really come to the fore, resulting in some valuable responses. Read more about how to interview for and write case studies here.
… Please excuse me; all this writing about food is making me hungry. But before I run off to raid the fridge, if you could do with some help in writing those quality words to make your customers’ mouths drool for your deliciously delightful products, do get in touch!