Today’s post is from guest blogger Carol Marak, a copywriter for the adult living, senior, and health care space. Carol coaches businesses to find their voice and tone, to deeply understand their customer’s challenges and motivation, and to create mouthwatering content that grabs attention & increases word of mouth referrals. Find her work at Carebuzz or connect with Carol on LinkedIn.
Capturing the words that best describe your senior living community for web copy may initially be a replica of your organization’s interpretation. Who better than your staff to know what the retirement community offers potential residents? This is a good place to begin when writing for the website, but there’s more to know before publishing the copy.
If you want to grab the hearts and attention of an online audience, you must use terms that reflect the value they seek, in essence – their “what’s in it for me” benefits. The marketing staff may have good ideas describing the property’s worth to a customer, but if you listen for the motivation — the customer’s reasons for needing you — then you’ll have winning copy.
First, discover a potential resident’s “motivation” to move. Drop the illusion that anyone cares about you and start telling people what’s in it for them. Here are a few questions to ask that will lead the way:
- For what reasons do potential residents want to move from their home?
- What pains (fears) are felt that instigate a search for a retirement community?
- What are the pleasures sought when seeking a retirement lifestyle and community?
In fewer words, define your target audience by answering these questions:
- What are their biggest headaches and concerns?
- What keeps them up at night?
Look at the big picture, and don’t limit this information to just the problems your organization or community can help them solve. For example, when you target women in their fifties (many of whom are family caregivers), they are primarily concerned about aging parents, college-aged children, staying in good shape, eating nutritious foods, travel, retirement income, reinventing themselves, volunteering, self-care, age-defying services, quality girlfriend time, and a hassle-free lifestyle. This frame of reference helps you to flesh out a profile of your typical adult buyer (a family caregiver) to help you create inspiring copy. Demonstrating empathy and understanding of what their lives are like will go the distance in building trust and relationships online.
Second, see the world through their eyes. A world view is a compelling interpretation of the challenges and opportunities that your buyers face. It describes their past, present and future in a way that leads to your solution. This is where your marketing lives. Everything you do and say must be consistent with it. Your world view should be built on reality. It’s a story that makes sense. If people buy your world view, you’re on the inside track to a sales engagement.
Third, build a compelling value proposition. Your compelling value allows the potential customer to visualize the benefit you give and then deeply connect with it. For example: “Move to a new lifestyle community.” The benefit is that we offer lifelong learning classes that keep you involved as active contributors in the greater community. You will make valuable friendships with other residents in class and enjoy good fellowship while you perfect your skills. Here’s another example: “Our residents are supported and fulfilled – giving them the ability to give as well as receive, be of value to others, and feel competent and in control of their lives.”
Fourth, add customer reviews. The more measurable results you demonstrate showing what your customers have experienced, the more of an impact your web copy will have. Customer reviews add clarity, a visual, and the experience you are trying to convey — an illustration of what can be expected, rather than a vague picture of it.
Fifth, expose your beliefs. In Simon Sinek’s inspiring TED talk about the power of a company’s beliefs, he says, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” In essence, the features and functions won’t change behavior, but beliefs light up the part of the brain that drives decisions and behavior. People then rationalize feelings of trust and loyalty with the feature/function parts.
Knowing your ‘WHY’ is the language understood by feelings. That’s where people like, trust and become loyal to you, because they believe in the same thing you believe in — which hits the emotional “fuzzy” part of the brain.
Make your web copy sing with emotional drivers to connect and engage your audience. Remember, building a relationship with a prospect online is the same as any long-term relationship: you can’t force someone to commit, but you also cannot afford to lose potential residents because your copy doesn’t match their ideal “what’s in it for me” benefits.