Whether you’re fresh out of college as an emerging marketing professional or a pay-per-click (PPC) guru, you’ve heard of the buying cycle. It has many aliases such as: the marketing funnel, the purchase funnel, or even the buying cyclone, but it essentially has the same hierarchy regardless of the name. It is such a simple concept, and yet when paired correctly with the features and benefits your product or service provides, it can be the differential equation to winning new customers, especially when writing PPC ads.
The first stage in any decision is knowing whether or not the product or service even exists. When writing ad copy for awareness, you need to think about the benefits your product or service offers. If you come right out of the gate with, “Laptops With 12 Hour Battery Life. More Info!”, you’re not going to have very many people make it to the next stage of your cycle. Instead, something like “Throw Your Laptop Like A Frisbee. View Ultraportable Laptops Today!” would peak some curiosity. Now, no sane person would ever throw their laptop like a Frisbee, but it’s the principle of the matter.
Now that you’ve built some awareness and genuine curiosity, you need to keep the momentum going by building more interest to pull your potential customers into the next stage. You can do this by writing your ads to focus on benefits. When writing ads for this stage, you want to tell your customers how you may be able to solve their problem or fulfill their needs. Something like, “Lightweight, Powerful and HD Laptops. Learn More Today!” might get the job done. Hold on, you’re telling me my laptop can be lightweight, powerful and HD? I want to learn more! *click*
Depending on the product or service, customers can either spend a short time in this stage or it can be quite the process. Regardless, customers start to research how powerful their laptop needs to be, what the necessary screen size should be and how much memory they really need. At this point, you want to write ads for both features and benefits. It sounds tricky at first, but just finish the sentence.
While every stage in the buying cycle is significant, this step may have the most importance. At this point, customers are filtering out options and looking for any reason not to buy your product or service. This is where your unique selling proposition (USP) comes into play. What are you able to give to the customer that no one else can? Maybe your laptop is the only ultra-portable with three HDMI outputs, or maybe it’s the only laptop with a backlit keyboard, touch screen, and an i7 processor. Whatever the case, you need to win over prospective customers.
You made it! Or rather, they made it! Your customer, who didn’t even know you existed, is now about to confirm their purchase from your brand. It’s time to finish with one more benefit, this could be something as simple as free shipping.
After a purchase is made, all you need to do now is to ensure your customer wants to come back the next time they are in need of a Frisbee laptop. Optimistically, if they are satisfied with their purchase, they will share their experience with someone within their immediate network and the cycle continues on. Oh hey, your new customer just completed the first step—creating awareness.