When you’re shopping in a brick and mortar store, you can interact with products. You can touch, see and inspect them. When you shop online, you can’t.
Product descriptions (along with great product photos) are one of the best ways you can entice your online customers to proceed to checkout. So it’s important to make them as impactful as possible.
Here are the eight do’s and don’ts to follow if you want to write standout product descriptions.
Customers have a short attention span, so write product descriptions that are concise. Tell them what they need to know and avoid filler text. When editing, try auditing your words. Ask yourself “does the customer need to know this?”. If the answer is no, consider removing it.
Before you get to writing, list the qualities that make the product special. This is your writing roadmap. Write about the product’s defining features, the materials it’s made of and its dimensions. Why? Because that’s what is most likely to interest the customer and encourage them to buy.
Understand your customer
Only feature information that’s useful for your customer. That means understanding who they are and what makes them tick. Get as much demographic and psychographic information on your customers as possible.
With tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Business Manager, and Lightspeed Analytics, you can know everything from where customers are located, what device they’re using, what language they speak, their age and so much more. This information goes a long way and assures that you’re writing for your audience.
Focus on the product’s value
Real and perceived value are the two ways that customers determine a product’s value. Real value is measured by how useful the product is to the customer, whereas perceived value is how much the customer feels the product is worth. For instance, an iPhone’s real value is internet connectivity, apps and a great camera. It’s perceived value is status, identity and brand prestige.
Write product descriptions that balance both the product’s real and perceived value. Your goal is to clearly explain the product’s key features (it’s real value) while also showcasing the product’s perceived value. Choose your adjectives wisely.
How you write your product descriptions depends heavily on who your customers are and what type of product you’re selling. Some products need more technical descriptions than others. For example, you might focus more on a t-shirt’s perceived value and more on a computer’s real value.
Make your writing scannable
Product descriptions need to be easily scannable. The reality is that not everyone is going to carefully read them. Write shorter paragraphs. Having problems writing short descriptions? Try using Hemingway. It’s a great writing tool that helps you keep your writing short and effective.
Use your brand voice
Every company should have a unique brand voice. What is a brand voice? It’s a defining document that outlines the tone and style of language that you use to communicate with customers.
You want your brand voice to reinforce your brand’s personality. How do you want your brand to be perceived? Funny? Honest? Friendly? Helpful? Ask yourself these questions and document your results. It’s important to define what your brand voice is and to use it consistently across all of your channels—from your social media accounts to your ads and your website copy.
When in doubt, hire a professional
Everyone has their strengths. You might be so busy running the other parts of your business that writing your content simply isn’t realistic. Or writing might not be your thing—and that’s okay. Why spend precious time on something that someone else can do better, faster?
It’s a better use of your time to do what you’re most effective at and leave the writing to a professional. Bad writing can hurt your brand. Don’t risk it.
Take the time to define your brand’s voice, your customers’ needs, and your product’s value. It will go a long way in helping you consistently write standout copy—from your product descriptions to your social posts and advertisements.
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