The term can seem a little intimidating at first glance. From an online business owner’s point of view, this might be because it’s an unfamiliar territory for someone who’s not a fan of writing or because it’s overwhelming for someone who doesn’t have the extra time for it.
Before the internet, copywriters wrote mostly for print. It wasn’t until 1995 when the U.S. National Science Foundation allowed Internet use to be more than just for research and nonprofit purposes. For the first time, the commercial enterprise was allowed space on the Internet and that’s how ecommerce started. Within that same year, several commercial websites were launched including Amazon and eBay. Google didn’t come until a year later.
With more and more entrepreneurs taking their businesses online, indexed web pages have skyrocketed to over 6 billion. That’s a crazy amount of copy! No wonder why copywriting would always be one of the most in-demand skills for digital marketing.
Copywriting is the art of using language to persuade an audience to take a specific action. In simpler terms, it is the art of writing to sell.
Here’s an easier way to understand it: Whenever you want to persuade your audience to purchase from your business, click a link, or subscribe to your newsletter, you persuade them through copy — a fancy word for text. This could be the messaging on your sales pages, emails, product descriptions, ad campaigns, and even your promotional videos.
Copywriting is the lifeblood of your marketing campaigns. Even if you have the best services out there, without effective copy, reaching out to your audience would be difficult. It’s no longer a matter of whether or not you need copywriting, but how you produce good copy.
So, how exactly do you write good copy and how can you optimize copywriting for your business?
There’s no better way to get good copy other than to write it yourself or have someone else do it.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the skill or time to create good copy, but you can always try to learn. Before you try to hop on any copywriting course program (or try to hire a copywriter), get to know the essentials or the ABCs of Copywriting.
In 2000, a study by Microsoft revealed that an average person’s attention span was only 12 seconds. In 2015, 15 years later, the same study was conducted and the results dropped to 8 seconds. With the oversaturation of media information, capturing your audience’s attention is the priority.
Does your message stand out?
Your copy should immediately hook your audience’s interest and the connection should hold long enough for them to take the next step towards your call to action. The hook may be a strong headline, email title, or opening line, depending on the platform where you’re sending your message. Remember that to make your audience want to read what you have to say, your hook needs to be interesting to them.
If applicable, create a sense of urgency to build up the desire for what you’re offering. The truth is, if you can’t grab your audience’s attention in the first few seconds, the chances of them reading your entire copy is low.
Let’s face it, your product doesn’t really matter to your audience. That’s why if it offers a solution to any of their needs, let them know about it!
Any normal consumer would look at an offer and decide to take action only when they know they can get something out of it. Always ask yourself, “What’s in it for them?”
To persuade your prospect into taking your offer, skip describing your product or service and tell them how it benefits them instead. They’re not interested in the features of your offer. They’re interested in the solution that it provides.
Pretend you’re looking for a coaching program. Between “Get your first five-digit sales in a week with this program” and “This coaching program includes access to a 10-page guide on branding” which appeals to you more?
If you chose the first one, that’s most likely because you know you’re getting something out of it!
To make sure your prospect chooses you, think about them, what they want, and what could be beneficial to them — make this the centerpoint of your copy. Tell them you’re brand is special because of what you can do for them that no one else can. Don’t show them what your product or service is. Show them why they should make the purchase.
Call to Action
Research shows that emails with a single call-to-action increased clicks 371% and sales 1617%. Your call to action can make or break a single transaction. Don’t let your initial efforts go to waste; let them know what they should do next! Your persuasive copy should lead them into doing something. This could be an invitation to subscribe to your newsletter, add a product to their cart, or click a link. A call to action guides them into taking the next step.
Remember that it’s still all about your customer. Use verbs that don’t come off as bossy or pushy. Remind them about what they can gain out of what you’re offering.
You don’t even need to have a fancy computer setup to get the right words! If you’re just starting out in digital marketing, make copywriting your priority because it’s your message that draws your audience in. It can be intimidating, but once you get the hang of copywriting, you’ll see the difference in your engagement. Check out our other other articles on How to Hire Your Own Copywriter and The Future of Copywriting.