Your task: Entice the world to use your new client’s services.
The challenge? Writing about services in such a way that it doesn’t sound like a salesperson’s well-rehearsed elevator pitch filled with specs and benefits. So, what do you write about?
Remember: Marketing educates and inspires your readers to realize the value in the service they’re exploring, then take action. Your superpower is inspiring consumers to see beyond price tags.
When do writers write about services?
“With services, you’re selling an experience.” – Microsoft 365
Your client will share their content plan with you, which outlines the content types they want to create to support the marketing of their services. Each of these assets will focus on selling the skills and expertise of the brand’s staff that fuel a service, not a tangible product. For example, think of a real estate agent. When you hire one, your fee is buying their knowledge of the home-buying process, housing industry, and local community.
The following assets are commonly requested by our service-offering clients here at ClearVoice:
- Blog post
- Customer story
- Email drip campaign
- Landing page
- Press release
- User’s guide
- Website copy
Two brands that excel at writing about services
Let’s take a closer look at two marketing examples that make specific services irresistibly necessary. These two brands do an excellent job of aligning with their target audiences, digging deep to understand their pain points, and offering service-based solutions.
1. Rev: Customer story with Home Depot
When you hear about transcription services, you probably think of writers needing phone interviews morphed into text documents. But in the customer stories published by Rev (a provider of transcriptions, captions, and subtitles), middle-of-funnel corporate consumers quickly realize nearly any brand could utilize these services.
In a story about Home Depot, Rev explains how the home improvement retailer wanted to make their training resources accessible to all employees. Rev provided English captions, Spanish subtitles, and document translations to give each Home Depot team member equal access to the educational materials. The story addresses the customer’s challenges in detail, what solutions were provided and how they impacted the company both from a human resources perspective and cost-benefit analysis. This insider vignette is winning as it highlights not only the value for the staff of Home Depot, but also for their budget-eyeing executives who enjoyed a reduction in subtitling costs by 90 percent.
2. LifeLock: Landing page about identity theft
We live much of our lives online and are acutely aware of the damage hackers do. But, how much do we really understand about their entry points and our minimizing risk? Online identity theft protection service provider LifeLock created a landing page to educate and entice readers to learn more about protecting themselves.
On this top-of-funnel page, you learn which types of information are vulnerable by life stages and how this information might get used illegally.
For example, did you realize hackers look for children’s social security numbers (because they have a clean credit record), then open up new accounts in those names? Yikes!
So, that social security number could be exposed if you’ve had a new baby and are submitting insurance forms online to get the little one coverage. The LifeLock landing page does finish with some sales copy, which works well.
It entices readers to learn more about how to protect themselves online with detailed bullet point lists, a convenient 1-800 number, and links to additional information. The page overall feels genuinely informative and helpful.
How can writing about services enhance your content?
When your consumer can’t immediately engage their senses by touching, seeing, hearing, tasting, or smelling something you’re promoting, you have to get inside their head to make them imagine themselves engaging with the service.
You’re selling an experience. Once they’re hooked, it’s like any other sales funnel. Move them through and get them to buy, with the power of your creative words.
Writing about services by thinking beyond the usual product, price, promotion, and place enhances your content via perspective. Your consumer can see how the service could benefit them and play out to improve a situation.
Consider how consumers get in tune with people, process, and physical evidence (like testimonials and reviews) when engaging in service marketing.
Writing this type of content will ultimately:
- Move buyers through your sales funnel
- Boost conversion rates on your website
- Educate consumers on a relatable level
- Make your brand more empathetic
- Differentiate your service from others
- Do this when writing about services
Four do’s for writing about services
So, just how do we sell an experience that someone could have?
We put on our persuasive, creative hats and speak at a granular level to our target audience, share glowing recommendations from current users of the service, weave in effective SEO strategies, and tie it all up in a nice little package with ample research and data to back up the perceived experience you’re selling. Here’s how.
1. Do speak to your target audience.
It’s most common for marketers to create three audience segments, according to HubSpot. Has your client specified which one you’re writing for? They might offer up vignettes of potential consumers via buyer persona profiles for you to study.
These target audience guides go far beyond basic demographics. Expect to learn minute details, like the names of other brands this consumer uses, how they spend their weekends, and what books they’re reading. All of these tips give insight into the lives of the people you’re trying to hook with your words.
2. Do include current service user testimonials.
Once you have the attention of a razor-focused audience, introduce them to people like themselves. Share testimonials of satisfied consumers who use the service and share first-person insight.
OptinMonster, an online lead generation software, says testimonials provide social proof, a psychology-based phenomenon where people follow the actions of others in their pursuit of managing good choices. It’s the old, if it worked for them, it will work for me mentality.
3. Do combine keywords with specific service names for SEO.
As you craft the copy, be extra mindful of the SEO integration your client is requesting. You may need to use both the designated keywords and the branded service name near one another not only in the body of the text, but also in subheadings and the title.
Making this flow seamlessly without feeling keyword-stuffed is where your talent comes into play. Edit, edit, edit until that copy is seamless and enjoyable to browse.
4. Do offer research and references.
Finally, remember to appeal to the analytical thinkers who are crunching the numbers before pressing the Buy button. Can you explain the ROI of the service with in-depth analysis and charts?
Can you share case studies of others who have used the service, then enjoyed financial savings because of it? Readers love to see proof the service works. Period. Businesses should establish references, or current clients who are willing to speak with a potential buyer of the service.
As a writer, mentioning that references are available for potential buyers to visit with could be the sentence that moves a lead into the bottom of funnel.
4 don’ts for writing about services
When writing about something your buyer can’t see or touch, your ideas might drift in directions that aren’t cool in the business world. Taking a we’re better than the other person approach is petty.
Overpromising sets the brand’s sales team up for failure. Be clear on what your client wants you to articulate in your marketing copy and avoid these common missteps.
1. Don’t compare the service to a competitor’s offering.
When you anchor your marketing copy on comparisons, you’re simply giving curious readers a list of other businesses to investigate. They’ll likely open a few more tabs and see what the other guys have to offer.
Yikes! Then they’re no longer on your client’s website. And if that isn’t enough reason to keep your copy focused on the brand you’re contracted to write about, taking a comparison approach could invite legal issues.
2. Don’t sell and leave leads dangling.
As a writer, what can you do to nurture, not abandon leads? Let’s say you’ve written a killer landing page or ebook that leaves readers intrigued with the service you’re discussing.
They get to the last word, and think on it. Why not end the text with a call to action that entices them to take the next step? Will your client let you mention a free trial period of the service? Or, can you explain that you’d love to write copy for their retargeting efforts, such as a Facebook ad or email drip campaign?
3. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver.
A reader is consuming the words you write for one reason: to learn more. What is the service? What can it offer them? What are the benefits? How does it fit into their needs?
As you write, explain exactly which issues the service solves — and have enough transparency to explain what it doesn’t do. Never mislead potential consumers with false claims or promises. Ever. Your credibility as a writer and the client’s reputation hinges on honesty.
4. Don’t get too focused on the now.
Here’s the reality of services marketing copy: It gets sliced, diced, and repurposed. As you draft the client’s content, they will likely want you to keep the tone evergreen, or timeless.
This means not leaning into the current news, holidays, pop culture, seasons, or even industry trends as the backbone of your text. Why? It will appear outdated once that topic is no longer in the headlines.
Takeaway tips for writing about services
When you’re hired to write this type of copy, think longevity. Will the words make sense for buyers seeking this service today, and next year? Since the brand is investing in professional copywriting, they want it to be relevant for as long as they are selling the service.
As you write, remember these points:
- Sell the experience of using the service and how it will make the user feel or solve a problem.
- Do share testimonials and references from people who have used the service to build consumer confidence via social proof.
- Work with the provided keywords and SEO provided by the client in lieu of grabbing interest with current events.
- Be honest about what the client is actually selling and focus your text on the exact audience they are targeting.
Curious to understand this type of writing in more depth? Learn about the duties of writers creating landing pages and press releases, two categories of service-based brands often hire ClearVoice writers to craft. Ready to write? Claim your ClearVoice Portfolio today!