What is copywriting? Many people confuse copywriting with content writing. The simplest way to tell the difference is this: content writing sells ideas, copywriting sells products. Although these tips can help with both, in this article we focus on copywriting.
Copywriting is the act of writing persuasive text (copy) for the purpose of marketing, advertising, or promoting. The goal of copywriting is to motivate the reader to take action. That action could be to buy something, make a donation, sign up for an email list, call now, or simply click a link. Examples of copywriting can be found on websites, email promotions, advertisements, and commercials.
If you want to instantly improve your copywriting skills, follow these 5 simple tips.
This tip is first because it is the most important and should be the foundation for all of your future copywriting. After all, you are writing for your audience; it only makes sense that you focus on them. Write to one and talk as if the person is standing in front of you. You can achieve this by using first and second-person pronouns such as “me, we, you, and your.” This will make your copy feel more personable and friendly to the reader.
Don’t focus your wording on what you provide. Focus on how your customer is going to benefit. Consumers don’t care what you offer as much as the why and how. Why should they go with you over the competition? How is it going to improve their life?
In order to focus on your audience, you have to figure out who they are. This will entail good research and listening skills. If you are unable to reach out to your target audience directly, you can go online and check out what they’re saying across various social media platforms. Reddit threads are a great place to start. There are subreddits for almost every demographic and you can learn a lot through simply observing and taking notes. Figure out what platforms your audience is on and see what they’re saying.
There is an unimaginable amount of marketing copy out there and you want yours to stand out. Grabbing the attention of your audience is essential for getting people to even consider whatever it is you’re trying to promote. A great way to do this is by using eye-catching titles or targeting specific words and phrases for your viewers.
Grabbing your audience’s attention is the first step in the AIDA method. If you haven’t heard of this method before, you’ve at least seen it used probably thousands of times and that’s because it tends to work. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. In order to get your readers to eventually take action, you must first earn it by grabbing their attention.
When copywriting, you want to keep sentences and paragraphs short as often as possible. When people see a lengthy ad or email promotion, they tend to skim the copy rather than read every single word. Make it easy for your readers by keeping things simple from the start. When you go to proofread and edit your copy, focus on what you can take away rather than add.
Another way to keep it simple is to be clear and specific about what action you want your audience to take. Don’t make them think more than they have to. It’s been proven that when people are given too many options, they often won’t make a decision at all. Give your customers one clear call to action and they’ll be more likely to do it.
How do you create value? The first step brings us back to tip number 1: Focus On Your Audience. If you don’t know what your potential customers value, how will you persuade them to take action? Find out what is important to your audience and give it to them. Value is often the driver of action.
“What the scarcity principle says is that people are more attracted to those options or opportunities that are rare, unique or dwindling in availability.” - Dr. Cialdini.
Once you know what your audience wants, you can generate even more value by creating scarcity. If your offer or promotion is only available for a limited time, or a limited number of people, it’s automatically perceived as being more valuable. This in turn will make your audience more likely to take action and feel good about doing so.
One of the best ways to write better copy is to be honest and consistent. Being consistent means keeping your word every time. Do what you say and say what you do. This builds trust. When people trust you, they’re more likely to do business with you.
A surefire way to lose trust is to use clickbait tactics. Yes, eye-catching titles are important but they’re useless if they’re lies. No one likes to click on an interesting link only to find nothing about it in the copy itself. People are tired of being sold false promises. If you can’t follow through with something, it shouldn’t be in the copy.
Believe it or not, your audience is smart. They can tell if you’re being genuine or not. Even if you are able to pull a fast one on a few people, it isn’t ethical. Everyone deserves respect, especially if you’re expecting them to give you some of their time, money, or attention. Build trust and you build value.
“Trust is the scarcest resource we’ve got left.” - Seth Godin.
These 5 tips are a great way to instantly improve your copywriting skills. Focus on your audience, grab their attention, keep it simple, create value, and build trust. Keep these customer-centered tips in mind and your copywriting is bound to be successful.