How do you make your copywriting work? How does copywriting generate results? Excellent questions!
Business has always been about outcomes and achieving a return on investment, however with the rise of digital marketing, assessing the success of our campaigns is easier than ever.
Every advert, promotional campaign or social media strategy can be tracked, measured and improved. But what about the copywriting element? Copy makes up a significant part of every marketing initiative, from your content marketing to website pages.
But how do we make sure our words are pulling their weight?
Prefer to listen, rather than read? Here’s the Podcast summary!
Copywriting is in all of your marketing.
At Melotti Media, we define copywriting as the marketing practise of using words to make a big impact by engaging audiences, inspiring action and achieving results (while making you look amazing!).
“Copy” is the name given to these words across all of your marketing executions, used to connect with customers through compelling stories that earn their precious attention and make your brand relevant. Copywriting permeates all of your core messaging, imbues all of your communications and infuses your public-facing presence with absorbing statements, sentences and paragraphs.
Word choice really does make or
break a brand, which is why you don’t
ever want average copywriting.
Those businesses get ignored or overlooked.
While everyone can write, copywriting is a different thing.
The faster we establish the difference, the better your copywriting will become. It’s all about your mindset. How you write emails or memos is very different from how you need to write advertising copy or packaging content.
For example, regular writing may describe expensive coffee beans as:
These beans are grown in Italy and have been ground to make a delicious cup of coffee you’ll enjoy.
Whereas a copywriter would write more along the lines of:
Wake up to a delicious and aromatic Italian coffee experience every morning from the second you open the jar and breathe in, to the minute you feel it touch your lips. Start your day well with Angelo’s café blend.
See the difference?
That’s what a professional copywriter does.
Sure – it’s easy to read that now and think, “I could’ve written that.” But that’s the illusion, you see! As a customer, you READ well-written copy all of the time. You’re accustomed to READING this level and taking it for granted (you’re not alone, don’t worry!).
But when you’re staring at a blank page and asked to describe your product in a way that impresses customers and makes them want to part with their money in exchange, suddenly, it becomes pretty hard! That’s why professional copywriting is a skill and a specialty just like any other.
There is a common copywriting
misconception that just because you’re
used to reading quality copy as a customer,
that you can also write it.
Why is quality copywriting more important than ever?
Your customer has a very finite attention span and they’re bombarded literally every minute of the day.
If you want to get a piece of that attention and state your case, you need excellent copy that offers value – that is, entertainment and information. Your customer wants to read copy that is exciting, interesting and absorbing, otherwise they move on, whether that’s in the shopping aisle or online. This means, just like choosing the right branding and visuals, you need the right words to get traction and inspire action.
What does that involve?
Well, you want copywriting that works
Every business invests in marketing to get results.
Your messaging, sentences and words are not exempt from this.
However, copywriting can be subjective. It’s hard to determine what’s going to resonate with the target audience and attract the right emotion until you launch. However, you can minimise the guesswork and set your copywriting up for success using my 6 copywriting steps:
How to set your copy up for success
1. Identify your audience
Marketing 101. Who are you targeting? It sounds so obvious but so many businesses make this mistake. They say: “I want to target women” or “everyone.” This doesn’t work as it’s so wide and doesn’t give you enough to grip onto. Instead, define exactly who you need to talk to. For instance, women executives with young children who are balancing a busy professional career with a busy personal life and are looking to get fit at a gym with a PT who works around their schedule. See, now you have created some strong targets and boundaries to play off.
Every brand wants to target “everyone”, but it’s never the case today. Mass marketing stopped in the 90ies. Even mainstream Coca-Cola has a customer persona it’s targeting. Stop trying to talk to everyone. Speak to someone and you’re going to produce sharper, more effective copy.
For more, see How to know your customer.
2. Determine their challenges
Now you know who they are, what makes them tick? What challenge or burden is weighing on their mind? What do they want or need? This is Marketing 202! Once you know who, now you need to determine the biggest problem that they’re looking for a solution for.
It could be that they’re time poor and need delicious, ready-to-eat meals that will make them feel like they’re making the healthy choice without the burden of cooking. Perhaps they feel unprofessional in meetings with their pad and pen, but they hate tapping away on a computer, and are looking for the ideal, slick tablet.
The better you define their problem, the more successful you’ll be in the next step.
3. Position your brand their solution
Right. You know what they need. Now, make your brand, product or service the hero! How can you explain that your frozen meals or ultimate smart tablet is the best choice?
This is where copywriting has power: in explaining why you have the solution and how you make everything perfect in their world.
Want more? Read How to correctly address your customers’ pain points.
4. Write within your brand
No one likes bland copywriting with no personality. That’s what Wikipedia is for. Instead, insert your brand’s personality into your written content so it sounds like you and positions your brand so that people can learn to identify you easily.
5. Back it up
People don’t just take your word for it (no pun intended). They want proof! So, evolve your copywriting to not just tell, but show. This can be social proof, case studies, data, statistics, testimonials or demonstrating your solution in action.
6. Give them direction
Call to action! Never leave them stranded or confused as to where to go next. It’s important to direct them to the next step – whether that’s to buy, book a meeting, read something else, download a brochure or register their interest. This ensures your copywriting completes the process.
Ticking all of these six boxes means that what you’re writing is on the right track for earning results. But it’s not over! There’s more you need to know.
For more, read: Is a copywriter who you need?
Using copywriting to create content
Words for the sake of words won’t get you far. You need them to create something tangible, and in the marketing world, that is content.
Content marketing is a very effective and popular form of marketing today – why? Because it works. It connects with customers in a way adverts and pushy sales just can’t.
For more information on content marketing, see: 9 things to include in your content marketing strategy.
A majority of content marketing (if not all) starts with words, and this is where copywriting has the most to contribute. For example:
- Blogs and articles are a longer form of copywriting like this one. These pieces explain concepts and attract SEO because of their length. They’re not meant to be snapshots, but educational content that people can read to find quality answers.
- Videos – everyone loves video for entertainment, to explainers. Video script copywriting is behind the scripts that establish the message and flow when you press play.
- Podcasts – speaking of scripts, Podcasts are a very popular form of content marketing where people can listen on the go. Podcast copywriting goes into this too before it becomes a finished product.
- Landing pages are a great way to convert people at the moment they’re keen to make a decision. These require a sharp message flow and a smart way of progressing people from interest to sale fast.
- Advert copy – adverts like those featured on physical and digital banners always have a visual and readable element. Your advert copy here needs to be punchy and straight to the point to be understood at a glance. This takes skill.
- Social media copywriting is also very common and provides supporting captions that offer context to each post.
Professional marketing copywriting is used to create content clusters using an omnichannel approach to marketing across the whole customer journey. In other words, your ideal customer has something to read, wherever and whenever they’re looking.
To understand what I mean, read: What are the 8 stages of the customer content journey?
This explains how customers progress through a journey from stranger to advocate, and how your content needs to be there, every step of the way, if you want to earn results that last longer than just one transaction.
How to test the strength of your copywriting
Now you know HOW and WHAT to write to create successful copywriting results, there are a series of ways you can help judge how good your copywriting is.
1. Review your work three times
For me, I believe that it takes a draft and two rounds of reviews to produce your best work. The first is your “get everything onto a page” round. The second time gives you a chance to clean it up and make it appealing. That final round gives you the opportunity to add “magic”, cut the excess and publish something you will be proud of.
2. Peer review
Get many other people to read your copywriting and pretend to be the ideal customer target; some who are in marketing and some who have nothing to do with the current project. Make sure you ask them to give you their honest opinion. Did they understand it? Did they want to read it? Did it compel them and pique their interest?
3. Remove copy that adds no value
This is a tough one and requires you to rise above your ego. It also requires you to be more objective and think: does this sentence add to the narrative? Or is it just boring, confusing or superfluous? Anything that can be cut, should be – as people don’t have the patience for fluff any more.
4. Copy to Call To Action ratio
Every business writes to trigger a response, as we discussed above. But it’s important to find the perfect balance of set-up before offering people the next step. There is no strict rule with this, but as a rule of thumb, it comes down to balancing between how motivated they are and the level of commitment required. For instance, if they are super motivated to act, then less copy is required. However, if the level of commitment seems higher, such as booking a meeting, then it may take a lot more explanation to convince them.
5. Try an A/B split test
A way to improve copywriting effectiveness is to test with two (or more) alternatives and seeing what works. This involves creating two different versions and field-testing them. The one that gets the best response is the one you roll out.
6. Quality AND quantity
I know this is an unpopular approach and I understand why. If I hadn’t had experienced such excellent results from content quality AND quantity, I would be against it too. But I’ve seen it literally work so well for my own business.
This approach is that, while EVERY piece needs to be of a high standard, personally checked by me, it’s about being everywhere. A lot. I’ve found that people trust brands that are consistent, and they see them whenever they’re looking. It gives the impression that his brand is very serious and to be trusted.
Let me just say – there are a lot of ways brands can fail this double approach. However, when done effectively, I can vouch personally that it works.
Finally, look at the numbers
After you launch your copywriting into the market, in whatever form, it’s time to let your real audience be the judge.
Look at the metrics and see what works.
But don’t just sit and wait. Make adjustments based on whatever eventuates. If you see that your headline isn’t working well, then it’s time to adapt it. Try a different one and see how you go. If your copywriting is working well, then learn what key elements caused this and do more.
I personally like dwell-time stats and website heat map software as they show where people are spending time reading and where they are scrolling to. If they remain on a page and scroll down, it means that they’re finding the narrative and flow interesting. If they’re leaving your site quickly, it needs work to ensure the copy is offering the best content experience.
How can Melotti Media help you with your copywriting?
To engage your customer and achieve ongoing business success today, you need a powerful message, quality copywriting and consistent content. However, this is easier said than done.
Perhaps you’re time poor and spread thin, or writing may not be your expertise.
So, let us take care of your message marketing, copywriting and content marketing needs!
For more information or to speak to a quality marketing copywriter to get the results your business deserves, contact me now at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Message Marketing services can sharpen your words to achieve your goals, today.
Melotti Media | Copywriting & Message Marketing Bureau