3.3: Buyer Journey & Information Hierarchy

How much does your audience already know about you? About your offer?

Imagine being asked to select the right set of tools/equipment for installing an elevator. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t even know where to start. It’s because we don’t have much context or information about elevator installation (because we’re marketers… duh).

Knowing and understanding your audience is key to crafting the right copy and the right amount of copy. Once you know who you’re talking to, it’s easy to write copy that makes sense to the reader.

Knowing your audience well enough to determine how much they need to know about your product or service before converting can make the difference between a page that converts and a page that doesn’t.

Page length – or how much copy and content you include on a page – is dictated by the level of awareness your prospect has when they arrive on your landing page.

There are five stages of awareness, as described by many copywriting legends (like Gene Schwartz, Brian Clark and Joanne Weibe):

  1. Most Aware: Visitors know and trust your brand
  2. Product Aware: Visitors know you offer solutions they may need but they have yet to choose your product
  3. Solution Aware: Visitors know solutions exist for their pain but don’t know about yours
  4. Pain Aware: Visitors are aware of their problem but not of any solutions
  5. Unaware: People who are not necessarily in need at this point

Understanding how aware your visitors are when they arrive to your landing page can help you better understand how much information they need in order to convert.

When you’re drafting copy for those who are Most Aware, you’ll likely need to write less than for those who are only Pain Aware. Unaware, Pain Aware and Solution Aware visitors will require a lot more information (and education) from you in order to trust and move forward with the landing page offer.

Before you ask prospects at any level of awareness to convert, you need to explain what your offer is.

Heck, before you even begin to talk about yourself, it’s vital to show prospects that you understand their anxieties — and you must address their objections as they arise, telling them exactly what they need to hear when they need to hear it. This includes omitting unnecessary information that doesn’t address an actual question in your prospect’s mind.

If that sounds like a tall order, we’ve got a simple solution:

Information hierarchy: the practice of laying out your information so that it answers all your prospects’ questions in a logical order.

And once you get a hang of it, you’ll be telling a story on your landing page that has your prospects nodding “yaass.”

According to Corey Dilley (from the Unbounce marketing team), there’s a pretty simple framework for defining your landing page’s information hierarchy. Here’s Corey’s take on how to design a conversion focused page by using a strong information hierarchy.

“Information hierarchy is so important that it’s the first thing I consider when creating any marketing asset, from an ad to a blog post to a website.

But I’ve also designed many-a-landing-page, and for that I have a go-to hierarchy. In Google Docs, I start by:

  • Stating how the offer relieves a specific pain for the reader
  • Explaining what the offer will allow that person to do (the benefit)
  • Explaining why I am uniquely positioned to provide the offer (why I have the best solution)
  • Addressing the most common objections that people often have before they’re willing to accept my offer
  • Telling people how they can get the offer (the call to action)
  • Providing social proof from people just like the reader, or from people they know and admire

Information Hierarchy

Only when I have that foundational information in place do I start writing copy and designing the page.

Often, I can dedicate a page section to each one of those topics, keep it in that order and call it a day.

However, depending on the complexity of the offer, the assets I have at my disposal (like a sweet image or explainer video) or the objections I know the audience will hold, I may choose to rearrange the order or use a different format than text.

The above hierarchy is great as a jumping off point, but depending on your unique audience, mileage may vary. So don’t forget to test.”