January 19, 2024

How To Use Specificity In Marketing

By Charles Miller

"Specificity sells"

I've been writing that phrase in my posts for years. Probably almost half a decade at this point.

I do it because specificity is extremely important in marketing. People hate ambiguity and generalities. They don't like to be uncertain, and it makes them distrust you. Specificity fixes that.

But what exactly does it mean? And how do you use it?

Here are a few applications of it...

Specificity In Audience

Who are you creating for and selling to?

There's a guy on Instagram with the @ "bootyking".

He's a personal trainer, but rather than sell his products to everyone with any goal, he focuses on one thing: glutes.

I had a personal trainer friend who did the same, except he only worked with the elderly.

When a person is in a certain audience, and you only serve that audience, they're more likely to choose you over a generalist.

Specificity In Positioning

How are you presenting yourself to your market?

I recently hired someone to do basic SEO stuff on my site.

Looking through the applicants, I immediately disqualified everyone who did more than just SEO.

One did SEO, graphic design, and paid ads.

Now, that person might've been awesome at SEO, but when I saw that they did everything, I assumed they were mediocre at everything, same as when you go to a restaurant and they've got 100 dishes on the menu.

Pick a specific position in the market.

Specificity In Offers

What are you offering to your audience?

An old client of mine ran a $2 million a year email marketing agency.

When he started it, he'd do any email-related services.

Then he cut his offer down to just one: full takeovers of eCommerce companies' email marketing.

With this specific offer, he could get on the phone with prospects and give a simple pitch with no other options.

At that point, the prospect would decide yes or no.

No ambiguity or complication.

Specificity In Terms

What are the terms of your offer?

Don't mention offhand that "we'll refund your order if you're not happy". Tell them exactly how many days they have before the refund guarantee, and tell them how to claim a refund.

Be clear and specific about your terms.

Specificity In Descriptions

How are you describing your offer?

I used to write for wristwatch companies. The best of them would always describe exactly what comes in each package: watch, box, cleaning cloth, etc.

The same principle applies to info products: how many hours of video, how many PDF pages, the exact topics covered, etc.

Tell people what they're going to get.

Specificity In Metrics

Do you have precise numbers to back up your claims?

"Many happy customers" is weak.

"4.93-start average rating on 8,012 reviews" is stronger.

Be specific when citing metrics.

Specificity In Hooks

Can you be more detailed in your hooks?

About 18 months ago, there was this cringe-inducing era on Twitter where people would add random numbers to their hooks even if there was no basis for those numbers.

You'd see posts like "How to increase your focus by 94%:" followed by generic tips.

I don't recommend shoehorning fake numbers into your hooks just to have them there.

But I do recommend using specific numbers if they're real.

You can also add specificity by saying who the content is for and what exact outcome it delivers.

Specificity In Content

We'll go back to the Booty King for this (I never thought I'd reference him twice in one email 😂).

He creates content about growing glutes.

That means it's all glute exercises, the science of building glutes, nutrition for building glutes, etc.

Create content that helps your specific audience get a specific outcome.

When To Not Use It

There are two times to not use specificity:

  1. If it's a lie, don't do it. That includes little lies like writing "increase your focus by 94%" even though you don't have any data to back that up. It also includes big lies, like pretending you have customer reviews when you really don't.
  2. If specificity will hold you back, don't do it. That email marketing guy I talked about is any example. His system worked for any kind of eCommerce company. He A/B tested positioning himself as a health/wellness marketer vs doing all kinds of eCommerce stores and found that the more general positioning worked better. If being less specific might help you, try it.

That's pretty much it.

In general, tend toward specificity and away from generality.

Last Thoughts

If you want to win as a marketer, be more specific.

That includes in your audience, positioning, offers, terms, metrics, hooks, and content.

When in doubt, go deeper.

P.S. Whenever you're ready, I can help you in 3 ways:

1. Copyblogger Academy - This is my content marketing community. It comes with 9 full-length courses, Q&A, and a lot more. Join 1300+ members inside.

2. Collaborations - I have LinkedIn growth services ranging from $300 to $4500 per month. Fill out my form to see if we're a good fit.

3. Consultations - If you want to talk 1:1, I do 4 consultations per month. Check my calendar to see if I still have availability.