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Copywriting: a short guide for flooring contractors

Barry takes a look at content and how flooring contractors can write good marketing or sales copy for your marketing, brochures, website or e-mails.

THERE’s been much talk about the ability of artificial intelligence (AI) to take the hard work out of copywriting. However, when it comes to writing an article, creating advertising copy, website content or marketing emails, is it better that you search AI for a quick ‘cheat’, or write your own copy from scratch? I’d suggest you should be writing copy that’s unique to you.

Yes, a blank sheet can be daunting and in my experience, many find it easier to change someone else’s copy rather than write their own, but your own words will be infinitely more personal to your business, your products and services.

In this issue I’m having a look at content and how flooring contractors can write good marketing or sales copy for your marketing, brochures, website, or e-mails.
Three simple rules

  1. The first thing to consider when writing sales copy is what the key message is. This sounds obvious but it is really easy to overlook because you know your subject intimately and forget that the reader will not. Which is why you must be clear what your story is about, give strong benefits, and make obvious what you want the reader to do.
  2. The benefits are those aspects of your product or service that will help the reader understand how you can meet their needs. Benefits could include a demonstration of how you might be cheaper yet equally or more effective than a competitor; be some aspect of your service that saves time for the customer and is a more cost-effective means of meeting their need, or that you have innovative and/or unique ways of doing things that are exclusive to you. It is also important that you don’t hide the benefits within weaker copy that will dilute your efforts and reduce the effectiveness of your message.
  3. Finally, you must close with a strong call to action, explaining exactly how you would like the reader to respond, perhaps with an enquiry for more information. One way to think about this is to consider the typical ‘buyer journey’ and ensure that you include information about every product or service you are offering for each stage.
    The buyer’s journey
    When a buyer is looking for a supplier to deliver the next project, they will research the most likely candidates for the work. Business research has found that potential customers will have spent time accessing websites and other sources and have a good idea of how you can help them before they contact you. This is what they are looking for:
  4. Top-line company information for those who are new to your company, and will include product, technical and application information. It is the point where you position yourself as an authority on flooring and then expand the message to make your products or service offering very clear.
  5. This is where a buyer is making comparisons between you and other potential suppliers. Here, you must write into your copy the technical aspects of your business and hammer home the benefits to the customer – put in website terms, this is the ‘product page’ or ‘technical information’ layer of the buyer’s journey.
  6. The final stage is the point where a buying decision is likely to be made. If gaining a sale or a new customer is the key objective of your sales copy, then it this is where they get in touch for the information they need to make that final specification decision. Try to close the sale by making it as easy as possible for customers to take the next step, whether this is asking for to quote or tender, requesting a sales presentation, phone or online call, or buying a product directly.

    Don’t forget to include those strong calls to action at each stage to draw the customer in.
    It is also good practice to take a single product or service and put yourself in the position of a customer at each of the above stages. Check that there is a clear path in your copy so the visitor/reader can find the information they need quickly.

    What can I write about?
    There are several subjects you could focus on for your copy content, with a few of the more popular ones listed below. However, the best judge of what your flooring customers want to know about will be you – just stop and think what concerns them most when you’re discussing a project with a customer and flesh this out in your writing, keeping in mind:
  • The key message
  • The benefits they will gain from working with you
  • What action you then want them to take to do next
    The types of content popular with business-to-business decision makers include:
  • Comparisons between your services and those of your competitors
  • Case studies and success stories
  • Information designed to demonstrate the value to internal stakeholders; think of the decision-making unit*
  • Product tutorials – explain how you and your team successfully delivered a previously completed project
  • Guidance and problem-solving experience; how you foresee and overcome problems before they occur.

    Don’t forget the FAQs
    There are several reasons to include one or two frequently asked questions (FAQs) as these could help you reduce the number of routine questions you receive. As you don’t wish to eliminate direct contact completely, you could reiterate some of the key product advantages, for instance, explaining the order process, delivery options, or promoting your business in general.

    For example, perhaps one of your selling points is that you have locations around the country. Alternatively, that you focus your activities within a particular geographical area or project specialism. It will save you and the customer time if they understand that you only work in the south-east, when the contract is in Liverpool, for instance.

    In summary good copy must highlight the key messages, sell the benefits, and have a strong call to action.

    Please remember, don’t go heavy on the jargon. Keep it simple and straightforward so that it flows well and gets everything you wish to say over clearly. As ‘LBC’ radio presenter Nick Ferrari said to a contributor, ‘Imagine you’re talking to Mrs Jones in Clapham.’

    If you’d like more information about marketing your flooring business, or to find out how StreetwiseSubbie can help you to create a cost-efficient sales strategy, email info@streetwisesubbie.com
    01773 712116
    Barry Ashmore is managing director and
    co-founder of StreetwiseSubbie.com
  • The decision-making unit includes those within a customer’s business who can influence the specification process who you will not necessarily know.
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