Most writers are keen to get started and put pen to paper, but taking time to research and understand how to write and structure your copy will ensure the highest quality. The articles covers how to make your copy achieve its full potential. Here’s our seven tips for doing exactly that.
1. Don’t go in blind
Every piece of copy should have a purpose or goal. Whether it’s getting the reader to subscribe to a blog, visit a page or add an item to their shopping cart. Before you start writing, you should be clear on what your goal is and how you’re going to achieve it. It is essential to include a call-to-action, this could be as simple as “buy now” or “remember to subscribe here”, using an imperative statement encourages the reader to do exactly that.
Having a conversion focused strategy also helps to direct your writing – if your goal is to get people to click through to a certain page, you should make it as enticing as possible and build the content around said link.
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2. What does the reader want?
Writing copy without first researching the target demographic is a sure-fire way to fail, so to avoid this pitfall put together a profile of your target demographic.
Ask yourself questions such as “Where will my reader be when they read this? At home? Travelling?” or “What device will this be read on?”. This helps to create a broader sense of what the customer does in the day-to-day and how this might impact your use of headings, language and even the length of your copy. It’s simple really, the more information you can gather regarding your target demographic the more informed your decision making will be when it comes to writing your copy.
3. What have they got already?
Take a look at how Gymit understands their target market and their competition and can describe this in just two sentences of copy.
Not only do they obviously know what their customers want, they are also able to separate themselves from other gyms by demonstrating what they uniquely offer (or more accurately, what they don’t offer). The research into their competition and their customer base is clearly a focus of the campaign and this impelling piece of copywriting draws from that in a concise and effective way.
Knowing what your competition is allows you to focus on the unique strengths of your brand.
4. And why is mine better?
Part of understanding your reader is knowing why subscribing to a blog or buying a certain product would benefit them. You need to make it clear from the beginning what they’re getting out of the deal. Why do your readers need to click through to that page? What is it that they’re missing out on? This draws from your understanding of the reader and will influence the way you write the entire article.
Let’s say we’re writing copy for an insurance company and they want to target young drivers. Their goal is to get readers to click through to the “young drivers insurance” page. Our research shows that most young drivers are faced with high insurance costs and low income. Therefore, we might want to start the piece by discussing the problems faced by young drivers (demonstrating our understanding of the reader). We would then go on to show how this particular insurance service or product can solve the said problems.
It’s sounds simple, but knowing what the customer wants and communicating how you can give it to them is crucial.
5. Too long, didn’t read
Without a strong headline readers won’t start reading your copy, so we need something that grabs the readers attention. Taking “young drivers insurance” as an example again, a headline such as “6 cars that will give you cheap insurance” does two things. Firstly it demonstrates the value proposition of the article to the reader and secondly it appeals to the target demographic – older drivers with a higher budget are unlikely to open it.
Using a headline to both offer a value proposition and filter out readers from the wrong demographic is a tried and tested way to get the right people reading your copy and ensuring a higher conversion rate.
Once the reader has opened the copy, what happens next? Generally people will scan an article first to see if it’s something they want to read. This means sub-headings are as important as ever. If your copy is a wall of text the reader isn’t going to want to commit time to reading it. However a piece of copy that is concise and broken up into manageable chunks looks a lot more inviting.
6. Appropriate writing style
You’re writing for a business, and businesses often have succinct and distinctive voices to communicate with their customers. Matching their style of writing helps to create a theme consistent with the brand’s narrative, which in turn helps readers to identify pieces of copy and associate it with the business.
7. Consistent theme
All of the above points should come together with one overarching goal when it comes to effective copywriting — to achieve conversions. If you don’t have the resources to write great copy in-house, you can always consider contacting a professional copywriting agency to assist you.
Clearly demonstrating the value proposition is key here, but that isn’t possible without a strong background of research and an understanding of how you should write your copy within the brand’s guidelines. Everything should tie in with what you’re offering the reader or what problem you’re solving for them, and every decision should be made with that in mind.
Tom is a Content Strategist at WooContent, where he specialises in writing ecommerce, gaming and video content. WooContent is an international, multi-lingual copywriting agency with offices in Sydney, London, New York and Singapore.