This is article was first published as a guest post on CertifiedKnowledge.org , November 18, 2010.
Advertising is very much like a dance.
Two people (a business and a prospect) moving rhythmically towards a conversion. Ask any woman experienced in paired dancing and she’ll tell you there’s nothing worse than a bad partner. To listen is the way to lead.
How good of a dance partner are you with your customers?
The following is a concept I learned from Brad Geddes which has helped me increase conversions for my clients and myself. I put my own ‘twist’ to it and it goes something like this:
There are a series of steps a buyer goes through before deciding to purchase a product from a specific website. Some call it the sales funnel, the buying funnel, the sales process… let’s call it the Disco Dance: Discovery, Interest, Study, Comparison, Order.
Understanding each step of the Disco Dance and finding where a prospect is in the process – judging by the keyword they used or the web page they came from – helps tremendously in crafting the message that resonates most with him or her.
It helps decide whether to write a benefits driven ad, a features driven ad or one that combines both so you can lead your prospects seamlessly towards the conversion you both want.
Maggie is our stick figure and we’ll use her to explain the different steps in the dance so you can lead her to the sale.
Maggie becomes aware of her problem. At this stage she might not know much about the problem nor the solutions that are available, she uses very general terms to see what’s out there.
Your Ad – A benefit driven ad will most likely appeal to her. Tell her how you will solve her problem and make her life so much better. Do not confuse her with specialized terms she might not be familiar with.
Your Landing Page – Showcase benefits on your landing page and provide information about features leading her to the order. Since this is the earliest stage of the dance, you might want to simply ask for her contact information so you can slowly inform her through other means of communication. Most visitors from the display network (formely known as content network) are at this stage of the dance.
II. INTEREST & STUDY
Once she has found the solution you propose and has grown a little (or a lot) of interest from the benefits she now knows about, she studies the offer and the offerer. She starts digging in and gathering more information to help her decide.
In this stage of research, she might use more specific keywords.
Showing her features is a great choice since she already knows a little about the benefits… but she’s still early in the Disco Dance so it’s important to remind her about the benefits as well.
Your Ad – An ad showcasing both features and benefits should do well.
Your landing page – At this point you should move quickly into showing the best features of your product and move her to comparing your offer to your competition (if necessary) since this is the next probable step she will take.
At this stage into the dance she knows quite a lot about the benefits and has decided to buy. It’s now a matter of who she will buy from. She’ll compare product features, prices, etc… She uses more specific keywords including comparison terms and product names.
Your Ad – An ad showcasing features and facts about your product will guide her better to the next step which is ordering your product. This is where you need to show what differentiates you from your competition, better prices maybe, a discount, free shipping, etc.
Your Landing Page – Provide details about what your product features are so she has everything she needs to compare you with others. Don’t leave anything out. A feature table can be great thing to do. Even better, you could have a comparison chart that highlights main differences between your product and those from the other guys… you know, the competitors (yes, those ones!).
She’s made her choice, she knows what she wants and gets it. Congratulations, you’re a great dancer!
At this point, Maggie could keep the product, talk about it to her friends or… ask for a refund.
Preventing that refund to happen and encouraging her to talk about you to her friends is a more advanced dance class. See you when you graduate.
When you know where a prospect is in the Disco Dance, your ad and landing page can quickly lead them through all the remaining steps until the order. It can happen fast or it can take a little more time… but as long as you lead them by listening, they will come back for another dance.