Copy writing can be hugely underestimated in marketing, particularly in today’s digital marketing world. It’s so much more than a chunk of text, and the way it’s used can make or break the effectiveness of a web page, email, or social media post.
The power a piece of copy has on the reader is immense. The way it’s written means the difference between convincing and converting a buyer or not. A piece of copy writing can attract or deter. It can build trust and connection or blow it away.
Although you may not be a copywriter, you can still use some key tips on writing engaging copy for your business. By following these copy writing tips, you’ll notice a difference in the uptake of your web and social copy.
10 Copy Writing Tips To Keep Your Readers Stuck to Your Content
1. Create a magnetic headline
“A magnetic headline is one that catches the reader’s eye but doesn’t distract them from what’s important,” says Amanda Augustine, B2B copywriter for Lola Goldstein. She explains that a magnetic headline immediately grabs the reader’s attention while still being enticing.
Lola Goldston cites as an example the headline “The Benefits of Robots Replacing People in the Workplace.” The headline seems like it could apply to all jobs. However, focusing on robots as the solution keeps your audience focused on the headline rather than the advertorial section. A great way to incorporate magnets into your headlines is to select words and phrases that sound magnetic.
2. Know your audience & connect with their pain point
Getting an idea of your audience and knowing their pain points or struggles is a great starting point to determine your content strategy for your business. Understanding your target audience is also important to writing more personalized copy and can often go hand-in-hand with some of the most successful online marketing methods.
For example, suppose you’re a local brick-and-mortar store, and you’re looking to increase footfall. In that case, there are likely to be some obstacles standing in your way. Your audience may have questions like, “Is it available? Is it easy to get to? Are there enough parking spaces?” When your potential customers face these issues, a local store can be the perfect solution. However, you must position yourself as the solution to their problems within your copy.
3. Use the power of storytelling to captivate your reader.
All copy writing begins with good, engaging storytelling. We understand the concept of connecting with an audience because we all tell stories. Using the right words to weave a powerful story can speak to your readers on a deeper level.
Your copy should be supported by an interesting back-story, also known as a brand story. This story should resonate with your audience and portray your brand’s values. The story you choose to tell should show why your target audience should trust you. To create a good brand story, you need to feel like you’re in the shoes of your customer, and the two need to be tightly linked. One great example of a brand story is Bentley Motors.
4. The KISS Principle (Keep it simple stupid )
Putting every possible feature, you could think of in your piece of copy can get in the way of comprehension and the effective absorption of your content. So, take some time to think about your customer.
Don’t make your customers commit to every single point, as the more they commit to, the more they lose track of the points you want them to keep in mind. What are the main points you want them to remember or be able to recall? Then start with the essential points while remembering to promote the benefits, not the features, while avoiding complicated jargon.
5. Sell the benefits, not features.
It’s pretty common to see people plugging the benefits of a product or service. Doing so doesn’t emphasize how the product or service will benefit them, and they’ll soon leave your website not knowing how you can serve them. Once you’ve grasped the idea of writing about benefits vs. features, your audience is more likely to take the next step in the buying journey.
Copy writing is about knowing your customer’s pain points and addressing these in your copy writing. Let’s look at my favorite water bottle from S’well. One of the features is that it has a triple-walled, vacuum-insulated construction. Yeah, so what? Then they continue with the benefit, stating that this design keeps beverages cold for up to 24 hours or beverages hot for up to 12. This addresses a customer’s pain point of finding a water bottle for their high schooler that will stay cold all day in the hot Australian summer. Expand on the feature; think about how this feature will benefit the buyer.
6. Make it short and sweet.
It’s no secret that a long copy can be boring. Short and sweet copy is hugely popular. You want your copy to be engaging, but you also don’t want it to take up much of the reader’s time. With a long copy, it’s very easy to get lost, and this can lead to the reader just hitting the back button, moving on, or giving up altogether.
By putting your content through the ‘time focus detector,’ your copy is so short that it’s not a burden on the reader’s time at all. An interesting, enjoyable piece of content is effective. However, it will be a very poor read if it doesn’t make sense to someone reading. It’s all too easy to get lost in a web page that has a mass of information, with lots of little connections going on, not all of which make sense.
7. Use power words
Power words are what inspire people. They are emotionally evocative words that cause the reader to empathize with the writer, i.e., ‘genuine,’ ‘scorned,’ ‘resilient.’ We use these words all the time in day-to-day life, but not consciously. When we use them in a sentence, they positively impact our self-esteem and what we think about. Every piece of copy writing has the power to inspire people, but more importantly, to provoke a response. Think of your audience and use the words that resonate most with them.
8. Be conversational
When we read something, it’s like we’re having a conversation with someone in our head. But imagine if the copy you’re reading sounds like a robot, or it sounds like someone is constantly yelling at you. Copy writing is the most effective when it’s written just as though you’re having a conversation with someone in your target audience’s language. Make it a habit to read your copy aloud to feel how it sounds and make changes where needed.
9. Let your personality shine through.
With marketing being such a personal thing, it’s very easy to overshadow what’s going on in the bigger picture. Forget about what other people are doing or copying their style; that will increase the risk of falling into a dull, jargon-ridden strategy that loses sight of the actual message and the real personality behind your business. Don’t be afraid to be you.
Think about your business’s values. Write with them in mind to ensure your messaging appeals to your audience. When you let your personality shine through in your copy writing, it actively involves your business and reader and becomes authentic, relatable, and builds trust.
10. Make them want to keep reading.
We all want to be entertained, but sometimes the last thing we want to do is spend our time reading a lengthy document that doesn’t give us the answer we’re seeking. This is where copy writing plays a key role. To grab a reader’s attention, you need to do it first. Having one or two sentences at the start of the copy to pull the reader in and have them clicking through the document will greatly increase your conversion rate and overall traffic. The more clicks you receive, the more people you are talking to.
Copy writing is so much more than just writing. It understands the psychology of the reader. Keep this checklist on hand to refer to it each time you write a page of copy. Following these tips will ensure you’re getting the most from your efforts, your website, and even your social media profiles.