Know your competition

Evan Kimbrell
A free video tutorial from Evan Kimbrell
Founder of Sprintkick | Ex-VC | Ex-startup founder
4.4 instructor rating • 22 courses • 593,014 students

Learn more from the full course

Modern Copywriting: Writing copy that sells in 2021

Learn how to strategically deliver words that get people to take action using the art and science of copywriting.

07:07:25 of on-demand video • Updated March 2021

  • What copywriting is and what you need to know to do it effectively
  • How to gain a thorough understanding of your audience, competition, products, and your brand’s unique voice
  • Copywriting tactics including structure, persuasion, emotion, power words, clarity, and more
  • Proven copywriting formulas that remove the guesswork from writing
  • The differences between B2B and B2C copywriting and how to craft B2B copywriting most effectively
  • How to write headlines that draw people in and get them moving down the rest of the page
  • Copywriting tactics for specific types of projects, including landing pages, CTAs, email, social media, videos, and much more
English Hey guys, welcome back to the course. In this lecture, we're going to talk about how competition affects your copy, what you can do to stay ahead, and how to make your copy stand out by focusing on what we call your USP. your copy, what you can do to stay ahead, and how to make your copy stand out by focusing on what we call your USP. Now, we talked about the importance of conveying your benefits, now we need to look at your weaknesses. But before we can even do that, we need to look around and assess your market. Now, what are your competitors saying about themselves? What are they saying about you? To write compelling copy, you have to know what differentiates your product from the product of the competition. You need to ask yourself, "What is my competitor's weakness or weaknesses?" Once you know their weaknesses, well, you can make sure that the audience also knows them, and knows why buying their product is a terrible, terrible mistake. well, you can make sure that the audience also knows them, and knows why buying their product is a terrible, terrible mistake. Get started by thoroughly researching your competition and understanding what they offer in terms of products and services. Get started by thoroughly researching your competition and understanding what they offer in terms of products and services. Next, list the elements of their offerings that are inferior to your own. Feel free to tear the competition apart, but be realistic in your comparisons. You want to be able to support your claims if you are challenged, and there's a good chance you will be. You want to be able to support your claims if you are challenged, and there's a good chance you will be. So look around online. How many truly unique businesses are there out there? To be honest, most businesses are not altogether unique. There may be dozens of different Ubers, 20 Expedias, and 50 Basecamps. So if you're providing a service that customers can get from any number of different businesses, how do you convince people to choose you over them? Well, it's kind of like dating, I guess. Now, one method is to create a specific product or service that targets people with a unique need. Sure, there may be hundreds of calendar apps out there, but there may only be one or two who integrate with, say, task management software. Deciding to focus on a narrow cross-section of a potential market is one way that businesses differentiate themselves from their competitors. Creating your USP, or your unique selling proposition, is simply creating a short description of your product or service that allows customers to understand what you do and why they should choose you over your competitors. product or service that allows customers to understand what you do and why they should choose you over your competitors. Let's look at Southwest Airlines. When you go to their home page, they're not talking about the friendly skies or being on time. Their unique selling proposition is all about low sale fares. Low prices is how they roll. If price happens to be your deciding factor, which, turns out, with airlines that's pretty much everybody's deciding factor, If price happens to be your deciding factor, which, turns out, with airlines that's pretty much everybody's deciding factor, well, then you might buy airline tickets from Southwest. Southwest wants you to know that their prices are low, that's why they focus on it. Now, some USPs, unique selling propositions, turn a negative into a positive, like we'll see in an upcoming lecture with Volkswagen. Back in 2010, Domino's Pizza was facing heavy competition and declining sales, and a lot of their problems stemmed from the quality of their pizza - or really, the lack of quality. Their pizza really just sucked, plain and simple. So they embraced the negative. Not only did they redo their pizza recipe, but that became the focus of their advertising and copy, and it helped define a new USP. We listened to your complaints, we've made a change, and now we think our pizza is much, much better. One way to approach creating your own unique selling proposition is to follow the advice of John Carlton, who is also known as the most respected writing teacher alive (something like that). Carlton, who is also known as the most respected writing teacher alive (something like that). His approach is broken down into three different sections. Section 1, "We help [...]" and in the blank you fill in your target audience. Number two, "do [...]", and then it's what it is that you help your target audience accomplish, and number three, "even if [...]", Number two, "do [...]", and then it's what it is that you help your target audience accomplish, and number three, "even if [...]", and then you insert the worst case scenario happens. What you have to remember is that your USP isn't your motto or your tagline. Your USP is essentially your elevator pitch, it's a pithy, short, and direct statement of why someone should hire you over a competitor. Go to Evernote's website and they'll give you their own pitch right there on the front page. Remember everything. Period. Get organized. Succeed together. Not only does their app help you store and organize information, but allows you to share it with a group as well. Not only does their app help you store and organize information, but allows you to share it with a group as well. Businesses wondering how to create a website and app for themselves might visit Good Barber, who states on their home page, "Websites are out. All you need is an app." on their home page, "Websites are out. All you need is an app." on their home page, "Websites are out. All you need is an app." Now, Good Barber wants businesses to create their own app using their platform, that's what they do, and they make a bold pitch right off the bat and then they back it up with lots and lots of copy. that's what they do, and they make a bold pitch right off the bat and then they back it up with lots and lots of copy. So what exactly is your unique selling proposition? A unique selling proposition is just a fancy way of saying "This is what makes us better than the other guy." If all products are the same, your customers won't know which one is right for them, so the USP helps them choose. Start off by asking yourself a question. What is it that you offer customers or clients that your competitors do not? If you deeply know your product, like, we talked about in our last lecture, you should, then you should know what the key differences are, or what some call the points of differentiation. Once you identify that unique element for your business, you'll know exactly what the theme of your content marketing should be, which will eventually become your big story of your business. If you can't see it immediately, don't give up. Often there's something there that you take for granted but others would find quite remarkable. For example, while you could buy shoes from plenty of different places online, Zappos has been a name for itself by offering a pretty amazing shipping and return policy. Free shipping for all customers on all orders and free returns up to 365 days later after purchase. Now, I know today that might not be shocking, but back when they started it that was a pretty big deal. but back when they started it that was a pretty big deal. Zappos made sure to promote these policies across their website. Many times, a USP focuses on one of three different categories. Zappos made sure to promote these policies across their website. Many times, a USP focuses on one of three different categories. Number one, quality. You know, "We've got the best ingredients or our pizza really is good," like in the case of Domino's. Number two, price, "We've got the lowest price guaranteed," like we saw with Southwest Airlines, and then number three, service. "We offer free returns or 24-hour customer service," like we saw with Zappos and the theoretical web hosting company. And like Zappos' shipping and return policy, USPs work best when they're clear and concise. Make your USP short and easy to understand. It should focus on benefits and help differentiate yourself from your competitors. Ultimately, USPs should help build trust without relying on salesy or sleazy kinds of language. Makes sense? Maybe your USP is "We help developers launch beautiful apps even if they have zero design skills," because your service is all about hooking up developers with freelance designers who need gigs. Or if you provide physical therapy for kids, let's say, maybe your USP is "We help kids develop physical strength and independence, even if they can't walk or speak" - I don't know. USPs are not your tag line, strength and independence, even if they can't walk or speak" - I don't know. USPs are not your tag line, they are what you believe in and in turn what you can focus your copy and marketing materials around. It should be a belief that's so simple that you can recite by memory. All right, guys, in the attached resources we have more on making your unique selling proposition, I suggest checking them out. Make sure that you do figure out what your USP is, and then I'll see you in the next lecture. I suggest checking them out. Make sure that you do figure out what your USP is, and then I'll see you in the next lecture.