As a business owner of any size, someone who sells on eBay, or an individual just trying to make a name in the industry of copywriting, fully grasping the concept of writing copy that is focused on sales is vital for paving the road to success. Copywriting is a core cog in the mechanics of any business’ marketing, big or small. Keeping that in mind, copywriting can mean the difference between an investment into gain or throwing money into a fire that drives a steam engine off a cliff.
There are many writers who fail to full understand the difficulty of copywriting. They believe it is just an extension of their current writing abilities of articles or academic, however, they are very wrong. It takes a certain type of natural-born skill to be able to grasp the fundamentals surrounding copy.
You can see the difference between a good copywriter and a bad one on almost every business’ web page or news article. Even the emails sitting in your junk mail folder can be held as representation of the differences. Some are so over-the-top that gives a reputation to skilled copywriters as nothing more than linguistic children trying to hype up a stick.
Instead of flash, well written copy should be able to stand on its own. You shouldn’t be holding on to the hope that bold face and capitalization will capture the reader, you must have the heart of the message be able to jump onto the reader’s eyeball and say ‘Pay Attention’. With that being said, 10 simple steps can be taken to increase your aptitude for copywriting.
1. Copywriting Flaunts the Product’s Strengths
The basic of the basics with copywriting is to make sure the good is told up front. If you are marketing for a new type of umbrella, for example, express how its supports are easily retracted and extended without extra effort.
Make sure to exploit the information of this umbrella’s benefits, such as its stronger supporting anchors so that a strong gust won’t ruin it for life by bending the bars. Inform the reader that it comes with the option to have a picture of your loved ones on the top or that the material will increase the flow of light through it while still keeping it shaded and cool.
Knowing this, it is imperative that you know your product so you can make sure you pass your knowledge on to the reader. Explain why your umbrella is better than the competitors’ umbrellas.
2. Compare to your Competitor’s Faults
To make sure your point is getting across, example in the faults of other businesses umbrellas. Make sure you mention that other umbrellas allow too much rain in to be considered convenient. Their umbrellas are bulky and unconventional on traveling and carrying for a break in an oncoming storm.
The material they use is easily torn, or absorbs water and you still get wet or leave wet marks, whereas your product offers full protection. Inform your audience of the weaknesses that your product’s competitors hide. Make sure your comparisons are compelling and explain the superiority of your product to theirs.
You can stay dry in the heaviest storms with this umbrella, whereas your friends find themselves becoming soaked because the umbrella itself is retaining too much water.
3. Knowing your Readers
This is where you need to really use your head. You aren’t going to advertise your umbrella in a desert, well you may, depending on the umbrella. However, you have to know the readers you are wanting to see this. You would want the residence of Tallahassee, FL to see this before someone in Dallas, TX. It is the job of the marketer to find the best placement for this umbrella’s advertisement.
The whole point of successful copywriting is to make money, not to spend more in bad advertising. In cities with heavier rain, you would have more chances of someone paying attention to your umbrella than you would in a relatively dry warm play. Everything might be bigger in Texas, but the rainfall isn’t.
There are many ways to ensure that your audience is actually viewing your product, research. Research is a recurring course of action for anything you do in copywriting. Make sure you know who would be most interested and likely to buy your umbrella, from there identify the best place to advertise.
Building a demographic profile is ideal in this situation. A majority of businesses recognize that 80% of their sales come from 20% of their customers. Knowing that, you can easily take a demographic profile and pinpoint an area that best matches it to gain your 80/20 prospects. There isn’t any need to develop a high tech personal profile for every individual that gets hit upside the head with a drop of rain in the middle of a spring shower, but making sure you can identify your audience is a vital part of copywriting.
4. What’s in It for Me?
This is a multi-targeted question, meaning that it doesn’t just ask you as the copywriter what you want from the copy, but you want to make sure your readers know what it is they are getting out of what you are offering. For you, it could just be another assignment to make some dinner dollars, it could mean bringing in business to your company.
What you get out of your copy will determine the effort you put into your copy. For the reader, they are looking to see how your product benefits them, if it is worth investing or passing. Providing special offers, information, or even raise awareness of the faults of commonly used products that your product has improved from.
Communicate how your product will help them improve life, save money, feel better, make things more convenient, etc. You have built your demographic profile, you know their areas, and you know that your umbrella does more than just keep them dry. It prevents them from having to change their blouse before a meeting, or fixing their makeup before a date.
They will no longer have to keep their cellphones in plastic bags so they don’t get wet, and they can easily store it away in their pocket without feeling encumbered or over burdened by caring around a make shift cane that pops open smacking small children in a restaurant.
The question on the reader’s mind that must be answered for a reader to become a customer, “What is in it for me?”. This is the million-dollar question, almost literally, and the answer is only for your knowledge acting as the most important constant in copywriting. The ability your product can satisfy your customer’s needs is far superior to the product or service itself.
With this question being double-edged as well, you are most likely paying for ad space and graphic design possibly. An ineffective copy or advertising placement is a waste of money. You have to tell your customer what is in it for them by explaining what your miracle, glow in the dark umbrella can do to keep them dry and safe in a night rain storm as they walk to what could be their biggest moment in their life. Why are they spending low prices for a quality art piece that can allow them to stand out among the crowd as a trend setter.
5. ‘You’ not ‘We’
Simply put, you are writing to individuals, not writing for your business. Make sure you are talking to the reader and not speaking on behalf of the profit. Most ads out there focus on their businesses when they have their copy written, whereas you should be writing to an audience by addressing them as individuals. Examples:
“Our new and improved umbrella makes the deals we are selling them at incomparable.”
“You can stay dry in the rain, and cool in the sun with your new umbrella designed to allow you to stay fashionable and business ready with pockets to keep your valuables dry!”
See how the second one seems more inviting, it is speaking to you by increasing the possibilities in your mind of what it can offer to you. The first copy focused on salesman jargon with no content that personalized the product for the demographic. The second copy actually provides many different reasons as to how it is superior and helpful to the user’s needs. Just reminisce of your grade school days and stick to the second person when copywriting.
By writing in second person you are doing a lot more than just using words like ‘You’, ‘Your’, and ‘Yours’. It is creating a quick connection with your audience, making it less about you and more about ‘you’ (them). With this in mind, copywriting so it is audience focused is more beneficial in the long run than making your copy generalized about what your business is doing for them. That is why you have a mission statement.
6. Know Your Advertisement Place
Basically, there are several different types of copy depending on your advertisement placements. Targeted, generalized, and personalized. Knowing the difference of these types is key to ideally copywriting on your advertisement placements;
Targeted: Advertising in a targeting environment like a specific event, teen’s magazine, fundraisers, and other events that target age groups or personality types require a bit of targeted copy. Make your umbrella be the new fashion statement of high school students by showing them that their peers would be jealous for not having an umbrella that acts as a blue tooth radio.
Generalized: Newspapers, billboards, and other advertisement places that are viewed by many different demographics, require a more targeted copywriting approach to reach the viewers placement. As a kid I would look through the sears catalog, they didn’t just target the buyers with their adverts, they made sure that kids like would find interest in the product so that we would put it on our wish list.
Personalized: Not too different from targeted, but here you are looking at a more personalized approach that will strike more relativity with your copy for specific readers. Personalizing your copy for your advertisement placement in an outdoor magazine to express how your umbrella is a vital tool for survival with its GPS locator in case you are lost in the amazon is a great way to personalize your ad to fit its placement in its location.
Ultimately, different mediums require different styles and tones. There are many ways to use copy to promote your product and business other than just sticking a picture and copy in a paper. Use other creative advertisements when able.
7. There is Such Thing as Too Much
Don’t over sell your product. Too much information is a very real concept that can break your product before it is ever used. We can say that you can get more uses for your new umbrella than just rain protection with a dimming material that offers shade and protects from UV rays.
However, by adding too much information we’re telling about how the umbrella can also protect you from projectiles that may fall from the sky and has many different features, like the ability to attach a small mirror so you can watch your back while you fix your make-up and hair, also it doubles as a shield against dragon’s fire because dragons aren’t real and it is also made of titanium steel compounds that was developed by scientists in the Netherlands, exactly.
We went from having the world’s greatest umbrella to something that is now just text with no traditional value outside wasted time to the reader. Keep is simple when it comes to copywriting for a product or service. Key points, comparisons, right tone, right style, and proper placement. Don’t oversell yourself because the attention of the audience is what transforms them into valued customers.
8. C.T.A (Call to Action)
When copywriting, most ads and companies need you to create a call to action. What’s a call to action? A call to action is when you add in content that compels the audience to sign-up, purchase, go to a site or store, draws them in and causes them to take action towards gaining the benefit of the state of the art fireproof umbrella.
9. Protect Yourself
Some of the bigger companies invest in a legal review of the copy that they advertise. However, for some of the smaller companies that can’t afford such a protective step, so it is up to you to protect yourself from using certain words that could cause legal issues to backfire onto you.
Mainly, make sure everything you say about the product is true. Do not add in offers that you can’t guarantee, and avoid key phrases like free, guaranteed, risk-free, and promise. Never falsify anything when you are copywriting. With that being said, the umbrella that has been repeatedly referred to throughout this blog does not exist. We don’t have one, or do we?
10. Review Your Work
Always look over your own work to make sure that it meets the requirements set forth before you. It must achieve the set goals of the company or business, and if you follow these steps, you should have your copy successfully written. These 10 tips to successfully copywriting will help any business owner, fresh writer, or writer breaking into copywriting excel above some of the do-it-yourselfer that over extend the sales pitch without the copy that creates the sale. Don’t over think the copy, let the copy make your think.
If you’re still not satisfied with your copywriting skills, just contact us and we’ll get your content where it should be.