Copywriting is an essential part of content marketing – and for it to be truly effective, the writer needs to follow a few simple ground rules.
UNDERSTAND THE CLIENT
It’s important to understand what it is that makes the client tick, what they have to offer and what they wish to achieve. Pick up on the subtleties, the things that make this client different from their competitors. Ultimately, you need to put yourself in the mindset of the client in order to ‘sell’ their proposition to the target audience.
UNDERSTAND THE MARKETPLACE
For whom is the product and/or service designed? Literally, ask yourself this question. If you can’t provide a satisfying answer, your copy will fail to have any impact.
WRITE CLICKABLE HEADLINES
When presented with marketing content, it’s estimated that only 20% of readers bother to proceed beyond the headlines. If you’re unable to attract eyeballs at this point, there’s little point bothering to put time and effort into the ensuing copy.
CREATE COMPELLING CONTENT
Now it’s the job of the body text to retain reader attention. This is where you should choose your words carefully, deploying them in such a way that they paint a picture. You can do this with the judicious use of power words which serve to excite and stimulate the reader. Words such as ‘new’, ‘free’, ‘proven’, ‘more’ and ‘grow’ have positive connotations. They promote a feeling of confidence while suggesting value, and their inclusion is more likely to inspire the reader to take action.
PROVIDE SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS
One of the best ways to paint a picture is by identifying a problem – to which the product or service in question provides the solution. All good stories resonate, they possess drama, and where appropriate, yours should too. This is where empathy is important because it allows you to identify the target audience’s pain points (causes of frustration or uncertainty, for example). Invariably, customers require a service that they hope will solve a particular set of problems – and if it can do so in a cost-effective manner, even better.
EMPHASISE THE ADVANTAGES
Engage the reader by highlighting the benefits a product or service can offer, and which therefore make them more likely to positively respond. Ultimately, you’re hired to sell a product and the best way to do this is by accentuating the positives – without resorting to any underhandedness, of course…
Genuineness and honesty are valuable marketing assets and your copy should reflect this. It’s never a good strategy to overpromise, and certainly not a good idea to say that a product can do something which it manifestly cannot.
SIMPLICITY AND DIRECTNESS
With copywriting, ‘telling a story’ isn’t an excuse to write a novel, and ‘writing engaging content’ doesn’t mean you have licence to bust out your best purple prose. Everything you write should be in service of the client’s aims. Write well, of course, but keep the results pithy and relevant – and consider the structure: beginning, middle and end. Speaking of the latter…
STIR THE READER INTO ACTION
A sense of urgency goes a long way, both in the body copy and in the call to action.
Let’s assume your headline has fulfilled its function, prompting the potential customer to read on – and the ensuing copy has done its job too. Now it’s time to stick the landing with a killer call to action. At this point, the reader should be left wishing to respond positively – and in no doubt about what to do next.
PROVIDE EXAMPLES OF SOCIAL PROOF
Customer reviews, testimonials and/or case studies bring validity to content marketing. It’s all very well talking the talk, but does your writing walk the walk? If you can provide demonstrable evidence of a client’s worth, you’ll soon be able to provoke a sense of trust, and make the customer feel more inclined to take positive action.
HERE COMES THE SCIENCE BIT…
Creativity is a key component of copywriting, but in and of itself, it’s not enough. There are other things to consider, such as search engine optimisation (SEO) and the use of keywords. Maximising click-through rates (CTRs) is also essential because it creates greater visibility and generates higher conversion rates.
Copywriting is an iterative process so don’t be afraid to experiment with A/B testing, for example. Creativity in copywriting doesn’t just apply to the written word, it also applies to trial and error, which requires data collection and the analysis of the subsequent results to measure the effectiveness of subtly differing or markedly contrasting approaches.
The team of copywriting experts at Minerva Creative will be able to provide you with the support and advice you require to generate effective content for your business. Simply liaise with us today to discuss your requirements and see how we can help you achieve new levels of success through content marketing.