A copywriter is someone who produces writing (or copy) for advertising and marketing purposes. It's a specialist form of writing that has developed over time and along with industry transformations. It is a genre that requires unique skills quite distinct from other writing styles. Copywriting is an essential piece of the marketing plan and works across the whole marketing mix.
Done well, copy adopts the role of a virtual sales person – it gets attention, fuels interest, incites desire and moves to action.
As a small business owner, you may want to write copy for yourself. After all, you write well, right? Bear in mind that we're not just talking about having a good handle on English here. We're talking about producing compelling, quality wordsmithing that does the job of persuading the reader to do something: to sign up to a newsletter, to purchase something, to download a free eBook, comment, and more.
Professional copywriters know how to combine some specific elements to ensure the writing does the job it's supposed to, and that's sell. I've highlighted the most important points to consider. If you take these on board, you'll see a significant improvement in your commercial copy.
Aim To Generate Sales
The more information you can provide about a product or service, the more likely you are to make a deal. Customers tend to qualify themselves in this digital age. They seek as much information as possible and look to satisfy their objections. So your content needs to address all possible objections ahead of time – you're in effect handling objections in advance. Well, thought out copy can build your brand, engage customers, and increases sales.
You want to persuade your reader to do what you want them to do. We're not talking about manipulation here where you coerce people to act. No, persuasion is the skill of tapping into your readers' emotional drives and using these emotions to initiate a response.
The six primary emotions are happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust and surprise. Write copy with these in mind. Think about how your reader feels now about the problem and craft your copy to address how you want them to feel after they finish reading.
When we talk about a product or service, we typically consider the features first and ignore the benefits. For example, "A pencil with an eraser on the end of it". The feature is the inbuilt eraser. So what's the benefit? Simply ask the question, "What does that do for the customer?" The answer provides the benefit. And in this case, the eraser allows mistakes to be dealt with immediately, and that saves time. There are probably others you can think of, but you get the idea right?
Write about the benefits to the customer rather than outlining features.
Optimise Your Online Copy For Search Engines (SEO)
The digital landscape forces us to write with search engines mechanics in mind. If you want people to find you, you must use the words and phrases that people search on when looking for your kind of product or offering. By weaving these keywords and phrases into your web content, you make it easier for search engines, and thus, potential customers, to find you.
Try these online SEO resources:
To identify keywords, use the free online planner tool by Google: https://adwords.google.co.uk/KeywordPlanner
To test your site for SEO effectiveness visit:
Keep your content in the style and voice that expresses your brand's personality and be consistent with your messaging. If you're the sole writer, this should be easy. If you use professional copywriters, make sure you brief them well on the essence of your brand and check that all deliverables portray the nature thereof.
"Write The Way You Talk. Naturally" (David Ogilvy)
Counsel from David Ogilvy. Write as if you were talking to a customer that's sat right in front of you. It will serve you well and will influence simple, and clear writing that is appropriate for your audience.
It helps if you can envisage your perfect customer as you write. In this case, think about creating a persona. You can find out more about Personas and pick up a free template at Hubspot. Personas are generalised representation of your perfect customer. If you direct your writing to this model, you'll find you naturally cover the needs and wants of your general target audience.