What is a copy?
What does it mean when a person emails me to offer their copywriting services? Is it like writing a novel or an essay? Did I learn how to write copy at school? These are the questions that most often pop up when referring to ‘copy’. A Copy is any piece of content written by you or your team that attracts customers to your business. That’s it. In today’s landscape with much competition, potential customers will glance through your copy and if it does not click, they move on. You may retarget your ads to them as much as you want, but if you do not change that copy or polish that copy that pushed them away, they will not engage now.
Even before your potential lead thinks about clicking the see more link on your Facebook ad or clicking your call to action that leads them to your landing page, what’s the first impression they make of your ad, comes from your Headline!
With that in mind, let us look at 5 rules or changes that you can incorporate right away when writing your copy.
# Rule 1: Address the Reader
Provide that emotional connection by focusing on your reader. When they read your copy, they should feel it’s all about them. Make use of “You” and “Yours”. If you’re writing promotional content, point to the reader as to how much they would benefit from it.
# Rule 2: Do not write solely based on algorithms
With all the focus on SEO and algorithmic-based writings focused on getting your websites and blogs top of the pile in search rankings, the first thing that comes to mind is getting backlinks and driving your content towards a robotic flow. It’s good to use keywords that are less competitive in the market today but do not base your copy solely from an algorithmic perspective. Always remember quality presides quantity. You can write a lot of poor content with all your links and keywords or you could focus on what your customers want and still add in those keywords and links.
# Rule 3: No Sarcasm
A little bit of laughter can seem cool right? Not really. As we mentioned earlier, the pace in which data is flowing now, focus on the content directly and what you want to communicate, causing confusion is no way to go. Sarcasm often has a cultural view but if you’re selling globally, it is best to refrain from using any in your writing.
# Rule 4: Turn your readers NEED into a WANT
Hey Alvin, what can you offer me? Hi Kim, I am a digital marketing specialist and have been running campaigns for clients for 3 years now. So what? replies Alvin.
If you answer the “so what?” question, your game. Tell your readers why they should purchase your services not merely describing your service. An example would be, Hi Kim, I am a digital marketing specialist and have generated over 3000 high ticket conversions in the past 3 years generating over $300,000 in revenue every year for my clients.
# Rule 5: Be Direct
Just be direct. There is no time to beat around the bush especially with the competition today. Get straight to the point and provide value.
A copy is not complete if it does not come along with a compelling headline. Now most people out there focus on the headline and tell you that a headline is the first impression your reader makes of your content. Partly true. However, if you are a copywriter, do not let the headline distract you. It’s your copy that drives your headline not the other way around. Your headline doesn’t have to be pinpoint perfect.
Let’s look at a few simple rules to follow and a few formulae to craft your engaging headline, notice we didn’t say perfect!
# Rule 1: Do not add mystery to your Headlines
The headline should be clear about your offering. It’s not a good idea to instill an element of mystery. Keep it simple.
# Rule 2: Do not instill fear
“Follow our guide or no one will ever buy your products”. Such a headline may invoke a click to your article, but it also has added a sense of fear and anger and could be detrimental for your brand’s image. Lay it out straight and change it to perhaps, “Follow our guide and see your conversions double”.
# Rule 3: Use predefined formulas
There are many headline formulas out there. Here are a few you could use:
What Everyone is Saying about ______________
How _________ turned _________ into __________ with [Your Product/Service]
After _________, You’ll never see ________ the same way again
[Number] reasons that _________ is worth it!
You’ll save __________
Do not compromise on __________
# Rule 4: Remember, your headline is not a caption
Your headline is the first-ever pitch to your readers about your product or service. It is not a caption. Unless you want to add a descriptive tone for the image you just posted, you can use captions. But if you are writing the copy for your landing page that is describing your product or service, it is best to stick to a headline that explains your content, not your image or video.
Well, I hope this helps you get started with writing your marketing content. There are tons of different styles and rules on writing copy and you may choose to adopt any style you prefer or have been working for you. These are the rules we follow when writing our copy at Traction Haven.