Malaysia today is looking at a growing number of internet penetration, about 22 million out of 30 million population in total. That’s CLOSE to 70% of Malaysians browsing around search engines, social media and the works.
*Internet penetration briefly means you and everyone else who uses the world wide web on a daily basis as opposed to those who don’t.
But what does that mean to you?
If you’re living in a wooden shack deep inside the thick rainforest of Taman Negara, disconnected to the world outside, this probably wouldn’t mean much to you but if you ARE reading this, it means you’re part of the crowd. The crowd that business and brands look for. The crowd that brings profits through sales. Only problem is, there’s 22 million of you. There’s no possible way to catch your eyes and flash their products and see you grab the bait, reaching for your wallet.
So the question is, what made you favor a certain brand, shop, business over the other?
What made you choose to buy that watch, car or even house?
The answer is in loose terms: Keyword. Catchphrase. Tagline. The basic copywriting hook, line and sinker.
Here’s the story:
You’re a young, up and coming executive climbing the ladder to corporate success. You have some money to spend, you have your sense of style and flair. Your idea of a reasonably priced shoes? RM300. Your dream house is a 2-bedroom multi-development high-rise with gym and pools. You drive a decent continental hatchback. You’re not wealthy but you’re on your way there.
As a business, how do we grab your attention?
Of course we may put an ad out there saying:
The ad above might make you turn yet not decide but what if we line up our ads like THIS:
Now this, will most probably stop you dead on your tracks (providing you’re our target audience, of course). The key here is, to make you see what you’re getting. To lay out the benefits, the gain you will get from buying this apartment. The hook is to lay out your troubles, your shortcomings, your needs then reeling you in with an offer of a solution before sinking you with the CTA (Call To Action), that the solution is only offered in a limited amount.
Passing The Buck
This is actually a tried and tested method, a classic marketing technique that works from the Depression Era until today.
We call it PAS and it does not mean that party with the green and white logo. It means Problem, Agitate, Solution.
PAS works by stating the obvious PROBLEMS – It could be body fat, driving an old car, less money or in this case, renting a battered house. Telling your audience about THEIR problems is like catching their first impression. They read, they relate, they engage but what do you do next?
You AGITATE their problems. You rub salt on their wounds. This is an extension of their problems: Not fitting into their old jeans. A car that breaks down every month. Not having the luxury to afford anything but in our context, is the traffic jam the audience has to go through apart from living in a worn out quarter.
Now you’re getting their attention. They stop scrolling their timeline. They give this ad more than 3 seconds of their very limited attention. So what now?
You give them the SOLUTION!
And the solution to body fat could be the weight loss program you offer.
A brand new car or an investment scheme and in this case: A NEW house that’s BETTER, CLOSER to the office and the icing on the cake is that the unit offers tonnes of accessibilities and amenities.
Selling your brand is as simple as picking the right words.
Taglines, slogans and catchphrase all narrow down to basically casting the PERFECT line with the PERFECT bait in the PERFECT spot. The rest is up to the fishes, your audience, your customers.
This ALL comes back to our country’s 70% internet penetration and according to Tom Osborne of Hays Malaysia, Malaysians on average own FOUR social media accounts and this discovery led to brands fighting a death match to get the biggest haul. Tom says that by the year 2020, digital advertising expenditure is expected to rise gradually and healthily as the country turns into an e-commerce hub. From findings, a big majority of our internet users ARE those from the middle class, average to above average earners, English-speakers and are comfortable at online shopping.
This is YOUR target audience. Your sales return. If you’re selling your brand, your service, your product, this is where you narrow down your audience before you cast your hook – digital advertising & marketing.
Bridging The Gap
Offering your product and service requires not just great visuals, outstanding strategies but effective content copies. Of course, the PAS method may not work on all audiences but it’s up to you to pinpoint that group of people you’re targeting. Creating compelling content copies doesn’t stop at one method and this brings us to method number TWO – The Bridge Technique.
The Bridge Technique is all about stating the obvious. Telling it out and showing your audience what the situation is like right now, capping your copies to sound more subtle and moderate before offering a nicer what-ifs.
Picture it this way:
You’re selling frozen yoghurt, sorbet or sherbet.
The easier option would be to just say you sell ice creams in different flavors, that’s it.
Using the Bridge Technique however will make your persuasion sound like this:
Sundays are the best days. A stroll in the park. Sun shining bright.
A refreshing, lemon sorbet would be the day better wouldn’t it?
This technique explains the connection of two subject or two instances and offering something in the end.
It doesn’t pose a problem nor does it give a solution. It merely offers something that people, just might want.
These two techniques mentioned are only scratching the surface of creating an engaging, compelling digital marketing strategy. Obviously there’s more to it than just keywords and copies. Tune in for the 2nd article to dive in deeper into the abyss, the Mariana’s Trench of content copywriting.
Remember, there’s no perfect formula. Find your audience and you will find your formula.
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