Copywriting is a massively undervalued skill. It is as much about science as it is about being creative. Too many people spend ages working on design and then throw the words together at the last minute. But the words you use can be the difference between whether you engage with your audience or not. If you want to improve the words around your business, here are my top copywriting tips.
1. Where’s the value?
We all have busy lives, so to really get your audience’s attention you need to make sure that the words you use have value to them. Ask yourself, why would they care? Don’t tell them what you do, tell them how you’re going to make their lives better, easier, happier or anything else. Make them care about what you do by showing the value you offer.
2. Get to the point quickly
We rarely sit and read anything in full. We simply don’t have the time to consume all the media that surrounds us every day. We glance at things quickly and will only read on if it interests us. That means you can’t afford to beat about the bush. No one wants to know that you’re welcoming them to your blog, or you’re happy they’re here. They want to know, in as few words as possible, what this content is about and why they should read on. Say what matters most first and say it quickly. The added bonus of this is that your audience will not only be more inclined to read on, but even if they don’t they will still have absorbed the most important message.
3. Make your words count
Bombarding people with relentless messages is more likely to put them off you rather than interest them. You run the risk of eventually becoming white noise that no one listens to anymore. So instead of just putting yourself out there lots, why not think more strategically? Rather than having loads of content, why not make your message very special, aimed specifically at your key target market, using language that will immediately capture their attention. Then why don’t you just repeat this message to your audience until they can’t help but listen.
4. Know your brand
One of the best ways to get an audience to buy from you, or buy into you, is to build trust with them. Find the voice of your brand and then ensure that everything is written consistently in that voice. It will help to build personality. As people, we connect more easily with something we can understand or relate to, and brand personality really aids this. Once they connect with you, they’ll start to trust you.
5. Don’t ‘trip your readers up’
No matter what you’re writing, make sure that all of your sentences flow well. The second a reader ‘trips up’ over a clumsy sentence or bad grammar, they will lose their trail and stop processing what they’re reading. You want your readers to get lost in your words, but they will only be able to do this if the content flows well.
6. Proof read thoroughly
As above, mistakes in your work won’t only make you look unprofessional, but they’ll also disrupt how your audience absorbs your words. Take the time to proof read everything you do. If you’re not confident in your ability here, ask someone else to look over it for you.
7. Keep it simple
Every individual piece of content should only make one point. If there is too much to digest, people tend to take nothing from it at all. So don’t fall into the trap of trying to say too much. Decide on what this piece of content is about and why you’re telling your audience, and then convey it in the best possible way so your readers can’t help but take in your message.
8. Polish it up
Writing the words around your business can seem like a time consuming task, and it can be tempting to do it as quickly as possible to get it over with. But never ever just do one draft and publish that. You can’t possibly produce your best work by quickly putting it together. Look over what you’ve written and polish it up. I often write something and then step away for a few hours, meaning I have a fresher perspective when I edit it.
9. Copy and paste
I find that people often believe they need to keep writing something new. But this simply isn’t the case when it comes to marketing. Create some fantastic boilerplate copy and then just repeat it over and over. This will not only save you time, but people rarely take notice of something until they’ve seen it on multiple occasions, therefore repeating yourself is actually a good thing.
10. Human to human
When it comes to blogs or website content, people can sometimes fall into the trap of obsessing over keywords and SEO. However, if you focus your blog on getting it perfect for search engines, then it may mean that it doesn’t read very well for your audience. And that’s completely counter-productive. What’s the point in working hard to bring people to your site, only for the content to be poor when they arrive? That means write first for your audience, and then tweak it afterwards if needs be to ensure you’re not harming your SEO. Ultimately, just like your potential customers, Google wants to see good content. That’s the most important thing.
Lindsay Woodward is not only a highly qualified marketer, but she actually has a BA (Hons) in Writing & Media. This means we take our marketing content very seriously and we know how to put together words that massively boost a business. If your content isn’t working for you, then book in a call with us and we’ll share how we can help.