Writing brilliant copy will enable you to build a better rapport with your audience, and since this is an essential part of encouraging a flow through the funnel to conversion, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting it just right.
1. Stuff your mind with research
We’ve all heard the phrase: ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’ well, this does not necessarily apply when creating good copy. Here’s why:
The more information you have to hand when writing, the more ideas you are able to explore, so take plenty of time to carry out research and learn as much as you possibly can about as many relevant topics as you can. To cite the ‘Father of Advertising’, David Ogilvy;
“Stuff your conscious mind with information so you always have plenty of material to work with.”
Digging deep into valuable sources of information will enable you to confidently state key facts, form stronger opinions, and offer better solutions in your writing. What is everyone else saying about a particular subject? How do they present these ideas? Do you agree? Or disagree? Is there another hook of the story to tackle? Let it allllll out in your writing.
2. Write for your reader(s)
As simple as it may seem, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to really get to know your audience and involve them in your copy. Who are the people that use your website, products, and services? What matters (or not) to them? Why do these people use your brand? What are their bugbears? Think how they would think, and write how they would write.
I’m going to toot Browser Media’s trumpet here (and rather proudly, too), but our about page is doing just this – check out the copy we’ve used in this introductory sentence, for example:
“We exist to help you attract more targeted traffic to your website and to make that website work harder to meet your business objectives.”
Now compare to a generic snoozefest alternative:
“We help brands attract more targeted traffic to their websites and make those websites work harder to meet business objectives.”
…You see what we did there?
3. Do write by you
In order to stand out from the sea of competition, you’ll need to demonstrate heaps of personality in your writing, so express those dazzling ideas of yours in a way that is as unique as your brand is.
Calling upon a variety of writers is a good way to add plenty of flavour to the mix – so long as everyone is working in a style that fits to your company values and meets your audience’s needs.
4. Break up long chunks of copy
Most of your readers aren’t actually reading – according to a study from the Nielsen Norman group, 79% are simply skimming the content on a page, and as few as 16% will actually read every word (you’re the best, guys).
Today, attention spans are shorter than ever, and creating engaging copy requires you to make that copy bite-sized and scannable so your audience can instantly get the gist of what’s being said.
Here’s how to grab the attention of those skimmers:
- Use bulleted or numbered lists
- Indent quotes and key action points
- Include headings and subheadings
- Vary the styling where necessary with bold, italic, underline
- Keep paragraphs and sentences short ‘n’ sweet
It’s no easy feat to write truly compelling copy, but there are huge rewards in getting it right. So make it controversial, throw in some visuals, and really seek to push the buttons of your audience.
5. Give your content a purpose
Don’t go creating content for the sake of content. Those days are well and truly over. Yes – it’s helpful to have a huge library of content for your audience to browse through, but each and every piece of that content should be written with a purpose, and slot into the wider content marketing plan.
Before hitting publish on any copy, double and triple check that it functions to fit this bill:
- Engages your audience
- Builds some trust
- Encourages movement toward conversion
Failure to meet these three basic requirements puts you at risk of creating a shed load of mediocre content. And that will do nothing to help achieve your long term goals.
6. Make the headlines
Recent studies have revealed that around 60% of links are shared on social media without ever being clicked (hands up – who’s guilty?!). Of course, we do want people to click our content, and read it, and share it, but stats like these really highlight the significant role played by the headline alone – it’s got to sell your story.
This theory goes way back to days before the flurry of online content and social media. Copywriting legends actually dedicated chapters – books even – to the art of writing the perfect headline. To reference Ogilvy once more;
“Five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
Over the top, clickbait-y style headlines have their time and place, but this tactic will do very little to help achieve long term goals. If you’re stuck for a good headline, then work backwards – write all of your content first, and then use this to develop the final title. Hence why this is the penultimate tip.
7. Point all of this toward a call to action
There’s little point in spending hours writing and sharing all of this amazing content, if it just leaves your readers in the lurch.
Rounding up with a nice call to action (CTA) is integral to the success of your copywriting, but that’s not a cue to start slamming a big ‘buy now’ button at the end of everything you publish, so take a look at our ultimate CTA guide if you’d like some handy tips.