This post is part 3 of a 6 part series on branding that will be featured exclusively on the Successher blog.
For many of your potential customers the descriptions of the products or services you sell can be a factor in whether or not they purchase or choose to pass. Entice them and they may give you a chance, leave them with more questions than answers though and you may be sending them straight to your competitor. To help you create product or service descriptions that are more likely to inspire purchases here are 10 ways to help you make the “write” choices.
1. Speak the right language: When writing product or service descriptions you need to focus on both what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. The latter is the part that some business owners don’t fully understand and so instead of writing to and for their audience they instead opt for something they feel has broader appeal. Not only is this a waste of market research but it may also cause you to omit key details of your offerings because they’re less widely appreciated or understood.
2. Avoid unhelpful adjectives: What do words like “delicious”, “comfortable” and “soothing” all have in common? They’re adjectives that are subjective and by extension unhelpful when describing something, especially when that something isn’t directly in front of a person. In store or at an event where your product or service is instantly accessible feel free to use these words, but online opt for more specific language that provides a potential customer with usable details.
3. Less is more: If you can’t describe your product or service in 3-5 simple sentences or a bullet point list, it may be too complex. At the very least potential customers may look at it like it’s too much information and either skim it or skip it. To avoid this, work on creating descriptions that are as straightforward as possible without sacrificing style.
4. Make it personal: Your product or service descriptions are a part of your brand story and that should be obvious to anyone who reads them. Infuse some personality into them so that it’s clear they come from your company. Not only does this help to reduce the risk of copycats but it also helps create cohesion.
5. Sweat the small stuff: The internet is full of horror stories of people who thought they were ordering one things and got another. Sometimes this is the result of a customer not reading the description, but sometimes it’s the failure of a business to share pertinent information. For products you need to include things like color, complete measurements, allergy alerts, and anything else that may be pertinent. For services, be as clear as possible about what it is that you’re offering and how it’ll be delivered.
6. Toot your own horn: What makes your product or service special? That’s something that you should be answering in your product descriptions. Keywords like one-of-a-kind (OOAK), handmade, one-on-one and custom are all value adding. Similarly, be sure to share if the particular product or service has won any notable awards recently.
7. Avoid comparisons: It may seem like a simple way to describe what you’re selling to say it’s “like ___________” or “similar to ______________” but rather than making a sale you may be sending your customers straight to someone else. This is especially true if you’re a small business in an industry with bigger brands and bigger names.
8. Good vibes only: Your product descriptions are a place to showcase what you do, not slam someone else. Similar to how you want to avoid comparisons, you also want to avoid anything that may create conflict. For example I was recently on a website where the owner (or whoever writes her descriptions) said something negative about her competitors. Even though she didn’t call them by name, and even though her claims were true I left her site without spending any money because her actions felt petty to me.
9. Edit: Your product or service descriptions should be just as polished as any other piece of writing you do for your business. For this reason take the time to read them out loud (if you can’t get through them without stumbling then simplify them), and be brutal as you edit. Also if possible let someone else read them and give you their take.
10. Update as necessary: Any time that you make changes to your product or services you need to be sure to update. Also while accolades are nice they should be recent, within the last year at most, unless it’s an award you can only win once.
Treat your product and service descriptions as an extension of your product or service because that’s exactly what they are. Be sure to check the blog for part 4 of this series which will center around taking professional images.