When it comes to getting your message across to your target audience in a way that inspires and motivates them to act, never underestimate the power of strong, well-written copy.
After all, why would you want to just inform your readers when you could fuel their passion and ignite their curiosity?
Effective marketing copy, whatever the medium or purpose relies upon varying degrees of strategy and creativity. But, let’s face it. Not all of us have both in our bag of strengths. Strategists aren’t always good writers and writers aren’t necessarily strategists. (right vs left brain perhaps?).
However, it is only when these two skill sets combine that truly great marketing copy can be created. One should never be excluded at the expense of the other.
Sound complicated? Well, guess what. It really doesn’t need to be. By following these 7 simple tips, you can soon be writing strategic and creative copy that is both more engaging and effective.
1. Really know your target audience
The more you know exactly what your target audience is thinking, the better off you will be.
You cannot write copy unless you know:
- Who you are writing it for
- How that person thinks
- What that person need
If you haven’t done your research, then you’re simply faking it. Assuming you know is only going to get you into trouble. Never confuse yourself with your target audience. To write great copy, you need to understand your audience to the letter, so that you know how you can best connect with them. Nothing else will do. So, take your time and do your research.
2. Know your objective
What is the number one thing that you want to achieve with this piece of copy? Knowing this up front will keep you on task and avoid any unnecessary waffle.
3. Identify and solve the reader’s problem
A lot of content out there follows the traditional “tell them everything about your business” route, and they wonder why they’re missing the mark. Engaging content is all about the reader. Make your customer the hero of the story. Identify a potential problem that they may have (this is where that previous research comes into play) and then persuade them how your business/product/service can solve this problem. At the end of the day, a customer is bound to be far more engaged with something that is all about them, and not just another brand shouting from the rooftops.
4. Be clear and concise
When you are struggling to convey a business message, it is easy to fall back on business jargon and slip into sales pitch mode. The key to good copywriting is speaking to the reader in a direct and engaging way. You can still discuss industry relevant matters but do it using language that is accessible to everyone, including those among your audience who aren’t experts.
5. Never talk down to your readers
As great as your product or service may be, speaking down to your audience is going to turn them away, and as much as you’d love them to be infatuated with your charming pitch, understand that, at the end of the day, they simply want to solve a problem. Treat your customer with respect and dignity. Remember that you are on equal footing, or perhaps a bit lower, considering you are the one who needs their business. Reflect that position in your copy.
6. The Headline is 80% plus
Back in the heyday of printed ads, they used to say that five times as many people would read the headline as opposed to the body copy. Nowadays, not only do we want the customer to read on, more often than not we want them to take action and click through. So, creating a clickable headline is imperative. A strong headline has one key purpose – make the reader want to read on. Keep it short and simple, and make sure that once they click through, the destination matches what the headline promised. A lot of credibility can quickly be lost by a headline that might be considered click bait. Don’t rush it. It is worth taking the time to get it right.
7. Your copy is important. Treat it that way.
All too often, businesses treat their marketing copy like an afterthought. They scribble down a few notes, have someone check it to make sure it’s grammatically correct, and send it out. Then they wonder why it doesn’t get results.
The truth is, writing great copy takes time and energy. Some of the best copywriters will spend weeks just crafting the headline, and they might take months to write the body copy. It’s not because they’re slow. It’s because they know the importance of getting it right.
Are you committed to that type of excellence? If not, you should be.