Effective copywriting is the most important aspect of any marketing campaign, but why is this exactly?
Copywriting consists of the words, either written or spoken, marketers use to try to get people to take an action after reading or hearing them. Whether it be through a blog post like this one, a sales page promoting your latest product, or simply a landing page asking for someone’s email address. Effective copywriting is the determining factor is the success or failure of any product or service promotion, period.
You can have the greatest product in the world, but if you can’t persuade people to get on board with WHY it’s the best, nothing else in your business will work. Great copy engages and educates, never failing to make consistent sales and conversion percentages. In this post, i’m going to take you through 6 key features of great copy that will not only have you smashing your sales targets out of the water, but creating raving fans as you go.
6 Features of Effective Copywriting
Sometimes, all a message needs to break through is a slight shift in angle. We’re exposed to so many marketing messages day in and day out, that our brains tune out the BS and only focus on the truly important stuff. To really get through to your prospective customers, you have to break that guard or barrier, if you will. Every story has countless angles you can use, you just have to find the ones that resonates with your ideal customers.
If you can put people in the position of someone who is struggling with whatever problem you are addressing, they will empathise with this and listen to what you are saying. It is incredibly hard to differentiate yourself from the rest of the marketing herd out there, but tilting a persons perspective is a great place to start.
2. It finds a connection
Many marketers when they begin a new campaign, start with the features and benefits of their product or service. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with doing this, but there could be a better way. I say could because it all depends on exactly WHAT you are promoting and how you want to go about doing things. But right now I want you to think about this –
Is it better to talk about how your now protein powder will help you gain muscle quicker and how it is the purest quality protein you’ll find anywhere?
Or, is it better to talk about how it’s going to give guys or gal’s more confidence in talking to the other sex because of the sexy new muscles they carved out using this product?
These might be quite basic and unattractive examples, but it does demonstrate a point. When you go after the emotions and experience that the product can invoke, you are making a far stronger connection with your audience. But as I mentioned earlier, it depends on a few things, including your ideal customer. If your ideal customer is more stats and numbers driven, it may be that they want the nitty gritty details to make a decision, but more the most part people buy through their emotions, they merely justify their decision with facts.
3. A Great Lead
The “lead” part of any copy piece, is the leading sentence or headline that takes you into the main body of the content your using to influence your audience. Here’s a great example of a lead which has been used time and time again since the year of its creation in 2011:
“Stem cell research reveals a secret to looking up to 15 years younger than your age!”
I love this example myself, I mean if you were interested in looking youthful, you’d literally have to keep reading wouldn’t you? It sparks curiosity and it “leads” people onto the hook and the main body of the content beautifully.
Joe Sugarman, possibly one of the greatest copywriters to have lived quoted, “the purpose of the first line is to get you to read the next”. If you don’t nail your readers interest with your lead, everything else you write will be utterly pointless. This is the starting point of effective copywriting.
4. It listens to it’s audience
Effective copywriting will always speak directly to it’s intended audience. You can’t target more than one person at a time with your marketing, it needs to speak to and resonate directly with one person, otherwise people will filter your message out as irrelevant. Take this advert by Porsche:
Now this is a very simple short copy ad, but it has a very clever message which speaks directly to their audience. The idea behind owning a Porsche is that you’re going to experience the fun side of driving, or at least that’s what they are trying to convey (I know nothing about cars, only copy and that’s what they’re trying to get across!).
Porsche are speaking to the fun loving people who want to really enjoy their driving experience, this advert conveys this nicely and doesn’t try to get across multiple messages. Simple, but effective.
As a business owner, i’m sure you already know exactly who you can help and how. If you don’t have a solid grip on who your ideal customer is, that’s something you have to sit down and figure out right now, otherwise you’ll never be able to refine your messaging enough for people to take notice.
5. It doesn’t contain jargon or “buzz”
In a nutshell, don’t be too corporate.
I get it, some companies will need to use industry words, but on the whole, the more jargon you use in your copy the more you’re going to confuse and irritate people. Then you can kiss their business goodbye.
When people struggle to convey what is truly special about their company, product/service, they sometimes fall back on jargon or hyperbole to highlight their point. The truth is great copy doesn’t need tarting up or over-complication, ti just needs to speak to people in “human” terms. Sometimes it’s better to let your current customers do the explaining by utilising reviews and testimonials. You do have to be cautious with this though, as you don’t want to overdo it with hyped up testimonials, remember, you’re trying to showcase and explain your company, so the reviews should be detailed and cover the different aspects of what you’re offering.
6. The fat’s been trimmed
Effective copywriting gets to the point – and that means cutting out unnecessary words and phrases which act as nothing but filler for your marketing. A lot of this requires practice, knowing where to cut and what to cut, but here are some easy tips to follow when you’re trying to trim some of the fat off your copy:
- Reduce verb phrases: For instance, turn “The results are suggestive of the fact that” to “The results suggest.”
- Reduce wordy phrases to single words: You can change “in order to” into “to.” Another example: Turn “Due to the fact that” into “because.”
- Avoid vague nouns: Phrases formed around general nouns like “in the area of” or “on the topic of” clutter sentences.
So, in the interest of keeping things brief, i’ll sign off with a short takeaway from this post. Each time you write a piece of content or copy, you have the opportunity to reach people that matter to your business. Start looking to implement this features in your marketing campaigns and I promise you’ll see a significant jump in your conversions and even sales.
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