Copywriting 101: Our Guide to Writing Compelling Copy

Writing has the power to transform people’s minds about a product or service, to convince them to think differently about something, to propel them to perform a certain action and so much more. Companies harness the power of writing across their various marketing assets. Strong copy forms the backbone of nearly all branding efforts, from creating a website to advertising online.

For that reason, professionals in all industries should familiarize themselves with copywriting basics as part of growing their business. Here’s the complete beginner’s guide on how to write effective and compelling copy.

What is Copywriting?

Copywriting is the activity of writing texts for advertisements or other promotional material. A key component of content marketing, copywriting combines the art of the written word with the science of advertising.

Think about copywriting as a call-to-action but on a larger scale. The goal of copywriting is to evoke emotions in potential customers that compel them to buy or learn about your product or service.

Copywriting appears across a wide range of marketing and branding assets. This includes online ads (think website banners, pop-ups, and social media ads), website content, email newsletters, print ads, physical advertising spaces, and landing pages. It’s also the backbone of scripted, auditory marketing materials, such as promotional content on radio, TV, and podcasts.

A good copywriter demonstrates a deep understanding of a business’s target audience, delving into their psychology and learning how to persuade them with the written word.

6 Tips For Writing Copy That Sells

Given the crucial role copywriting plays in marketing and advertising, every business professional should have an understanding of the most important copywriting principles. These 10 proven methods will help you write original, persuasive copy for your product or service.

01. Craft a Compelling Headline

Your first order of business is to craft a headline that will grab your audience’s interest. Arguably, your headline is the most important part of your copy. Statistics have shown that about 80% of people read headline copy, but only 20% will read the rest.

To create the best possible headline, start with the four U’s:

Useful: Lead with a benefit that your audience won’t be able to ignore.

Urgent: Show your audience why they need to take advantage of your offer right away.

Unique: Tickle your reader’s curiosity by explaining why your solution is one-of-a-kind.

Ultra-specific: Use numbers in your title, as they build credibility and are proven to boost conversions.

02. Write From a Fresh Perspective

With so many marketing messages coming at us from every possible direction, consumers are accustomed to blocking them out. That’s why brilliant copy has to surprise the reader by using different approaches and angles that they didn’t see coming.

Readers tend to predominantly focus on the first two paragraphs they see and read in a horizontal movement. For that reason, an effective copy should include the most important points at the very beginning. Use the first few lines of your copy to jolt your audience with a fresh perspective, and infuse your content with emotion to show them why they should care.

03. Know your Target Audience

A copywriter can’t simply trust their gut instinct. They have to employ a data-oriented approach and have a thorough understanding of who their customer is and how the product solves their problems.

When dreaming up website content ideas, try to get into your customers’ minds and see from their perspective. One helpful way to do this is by creating buyer personas, or fictional representations of your ideal customers. Your buyer personas should include details such as demographic information, geographic location, and career. This will give you a better understanding of the kinds of people you’re targeting with your product, also known as your target audience.

Once you form a deep understanding of your audience, you’ll be better equipped to tap into their wants, passions, and dreams. That way, you’ll be able to create copy that directly speaks to their needs. This not only includes offering them solutions relevant to their interests and lifestyles but also using language and cultural references that are familiar to them.

04. Respect the Customer

While you should be direct, beware of coming across as pushy or aggressive. Well-crafted copy speaks to consumers as friends, which in turn makes the brand likeable and builds trust in the company.

Furthermore, good copywriting is strong enough on its own. It should be truthful rather than mislead customers. With that in mind, avoid over-exaggerating product benefits, using false or misleading testimonials, or talking down to your readers. If you wouldn’t send your copy to your loved ones, it shouldn’t be sent to strangers either.

05. Emphasize Your Value Proposition

A value proposition is a sentence that tells your visitors why they should buy a product or service from you, rather than from your competitors. Note that this is different from your slogan. Essentially, it’s a unique identifier that shows why your offering stands out.

Getting this message across is critical to writing copy that converts. Don’t overcomplicate matters - keep your value proposition short, clear, and direct. Examples of great value propositions include:

Slack: Be more productive at work with less effort.

Evernote: Keep your notes organized and effortless.

Zoom: Flawless video, clear audio, and instant sharing.

All your marketing materials should include your value proposition, as this helps persuade customers and is also a good practice for establishing your brand identity. The process wording of this proposition can vary, but you should include some form of it on crucial assets such as online and print ads, landing pages, and the homepage of your website.

06. Be Clear and Concise

One of the most important principles of good writing, the idea is to edit your work objectively, keeping it simple and direct.

Clarity and concision are the building blocks of powerful copy. Be ruthless with your edits: Avoid using industry terminology that your audience won’t necessarily understand or relate to, and rid your copy of excess descriptors, adverbs, and fluff.

Conclusion

Now that you have the tools to create compelling copy, it's time to action them. Consider the tips we have discussed in this blog when writing your next blog, social caption, or advertisement! 

Interested in hearing how Good Commerce can elevate your copywriting? Contact us to book a Brand Discovery session and let’s start achieving your business goals together.


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