This is Chapter 4, Part 2 from the Copywriting for Social Media Guide.
Oh, the competitive copywriting… yes, there is such a thing. Besides knowing your competition, it’s also important to know a thing or two about competitive copywriting.
Competitive copywriting is also known as competitive marketing, or competitive advertising, and even as ‘copy fighting’. Which is not to be confused with the copy from the fight club.
The point here is to understand the battle between competitors and where your copy should be. Competitive marketing is something most businesses are scared to do – like mentioning the competition for example. In fact, some companies make it a rule never to mention their competitor’s name, out of fear.
Here’s an example where companies weren’t afraid to mention their competition on social media.
Once upon a time, there were two great and famous car companies: BMW and Audi. All was well in their kingdoms, until they thought they would spice things up a ‘bit. 😏
Well, don’t get us all wrong, BMW and Audi are known for venting out disapproval (“friendly” arguments if you will) against each other every now and then. So this doesn’t come as a great surprise. Here’s what happened between the two giants on Twitter:
It all started when BMW posted an image of the M4 in its gorgeous blue at the Yas Marina race circuit with sparks flying in the background. So far so good. But what Audi’s Twitter manager saw was something quite different than just sparks.
The truth is that once you see what was probably meant to be seen 😯, you simply can’t unsee it. So, yeah, sparks do fly for this #M4 in exclusive Yas Marina Blue, indeed, but…
As you can see, the circles of light in the background, while very cool and sparkly, it also attracted eyes and comments on social media. As a result, Audi took the chance to look into its rival.
And, it seems the illuminating ring formation behind the vehicle has a huge resemblance to Audi’s four-ring logo.
Audi obviously reacted. Here’s what their tweet said in reply:
And, then, when everyone thought this may be the end of it… BMW came up with a reply, too: “We see it, where we usually do… in the rearview mirror.” Ouch! 🙊
Twitter users responded with some hilarious tweets.
So, people react on social media when such marketing ‘fights’ happen – you can always expect that. Make sure to handle things well, on whichever side you are on. People are watching and your public reaction will speak volumes.
There’s obviously a risk in approaching competitive marketing. But, there’s a positive side to it as well. Also, competition may prove (debatable, but still worth being mentioned…😁) to be a purposeful factor in the process of becoming better at what you do.
Check out some more ad wars ⚔️, here. 👈
What’s the positive side?
Well, the fact that you could specifically talk about what makes your competition a bad choice for the audience and what makes you a better choice.
When going for competitive marketing, try to always focus on the benefits your company, your product or your services provide. But there are certain things you don’t want your competitive copy to bring to the table.
Here’s what you DON’T want to achieve with your competitive copy:
- You don’t want it to make you look insecure
- You don’t want to appear to attack the people that like your competitor
- You don’t want people feel sorry for your competitor
- You don’t want to make it look like you are fighting a clearly (or less) popular opponent
Always consider your tone in the process. Ask yourself the following questions to determine your tone:
- Am I being aggressive or playful?
- Am I being rude or am I being respectful?
- After reading my copy would people want to hang out with me more than they did before?
- Keep in mind that your audience will focus on the messages you give them. They will think very little about the info you leave unmentioned. What you could also do, is point at one of your weaknesses and make it seem as if this is your only weakness.
But, when going for competitive copywriting, be ready. When you attack your competitor, they will attack back.
👇 Here are 2 approaches when that happens:
Go on the defensive – by using your copywriting to discredit their claim if it is possible. Or divert attention and highlight the better things about you.
Go on the offensive – you could attack the other brand back by highlighting one of their negatives and shift the focus back onto them.
So, knowing your product is a must!
Also, be aware that you can be a target at any time and prepare ways to discredit any claims. Or, the other option is to simply embrace your shortcomings and then turn them into positives. So, it’s very important to develop the capacity to shift the perspectives into reasons why customers should buy your products.
Here’s what a good copy can do:
✔️Good copy can turn negatives into positives
✔️Good copy can defuse bad impressions
✔️Good copy doesn’t have to follow examples (you can focus on something else than your competitors)
- Perspective is key when you are writing copy. Ask yourself: what perspectives can you bring to your own products through the copy you write? Find the answer, and you’ll find the right way to your approach.
- Besides knowing your competition, it’s also important to know how to approach competitive copywriting.
- While there’s a risk in approaching competitive marketing, there’s also a positive side to it as well. Competition may prove to be a purposeful factor in the process of becoming better at what you do. 😀 But, be wise