Trying to understand copywriting? Looking for that missing element that will make your copy sparkle, shine and convert? Copywriting isn’t something you can just do at the drop of a hat, but there are tricks you can learn to do it well. In fact, there's really only one secret, and I’ll even give it away up front. Ready?
It’s all about the audience.
Copywriting is so much more than just perfecting each sentence with proper spelling and grammar. Copywriting is persuasive writing at its best, meant to encourage consumers to purchase whatever it is you’re selling and to trust a brand they’re unfamiliar with. Here are 5 copywriting tips to help you create copy that is all about the audience.
1. Tell Them How Much Better Life Will Be.
Features are appreciated, but they are always secondary to benefits. For example, let’s say you’re writing copy about a great new app that helps entrepreneurs manage their time. The features of the app — such as how to set reminders and the fact that it syncs up with XYZ — are much less important than the fact that it will help the professional earn more money and work more efficiently. Grab their attention and interest with the benefits, then win them over with the details.
2. Always Be Building Relationships.
You have to get the consumer to trust you; since you can only use written words, you must rely on your tone of voice and other persuasive techniques to create a connection.
In order to write copy that presents the benefits of your product or service effectively, you must first get to know your audience - who they are, what they like to do in their free time, what would make their life easier, what they’re lacking. Your copy is the all-important first of several steps you must take in order to build a relationship with your customer base:
- Find the aspect of your product or service that will mean the most to the reader and appeal to them on that level.
- Follow through on your promises and deliver high quality products and services.
- Be responsive to customer complaints, praise, requests and social media interactions.
- Make it easy for your customers to talk you up by publishing valuable social media content.
3. You Don’t Need a Ton of Text to Convince People to Buy.
As a copywriter, one of the biggest misconceptions I come across is the notion that a website page must contain hundreds of words to be effective. No. If you can sell your product in 95 cleverly written words, why bore (and lose) your readers with a thousand? Say what you need to say clearly and succinctly. Present the vital info, address the main objections, attend to your keywords and SEO, then stop.
4. Assume That Readers Will Scan Your Copy.
Rather than presenting a “wall of text” that your readers will gloss over, break up the copy so that it’s easy for readers to skim and take in the important information very quickly. How?
- Split long paragraphs into two or more short ones.
- Use bullet points and numbered lists.
- Bold important text or sentences.
- Separate paragraphs or blurbs with interesting images.
If readers find it easy to take in the information, they’re more likely to continue reading.
5. Make It About Them, Not About You. Always.
The key to success is to make your audience feel like your entire copy is about them and their needs, not about you or the money you hope they’ll spend.
In interpersonal relationships you can ask questions to show someone you are interested in them. With copywriting, though, there is no two-way conversation happening, but you still have to show a genuine interest in your potential customer. How do you do that? By writing copy that’s conversational, that tells an interesting story, and that resonates with the reader.
As long as you have done your homework and learned about your audience (which we discussed earlier), you can naturally touch on topics and points that are important to them. While they may not be able to chime in with their own thoughts and experiences, they will still feel like you’re writing specifically for them and that you’re catering to their needs. This will foster trust, help build that relationship you’re looking for, and most importantly entice them to pull out their wallets and give you a try.
Copywriting really is all about the art of persuasion. Understanding what your audience wants is the vital first step. Presenting it to them in the best possible light is the key to getting them to buy.
For more information about copywriting, check out this Writtent blog post on finding epic copywriters, and this post on the essential elements of copy that converts. Check out this post with 61 SEO Copywriting Tips, Strategies & Techniques.