Where Do You Start With Copy Writing?
Even though you know your business inside out and have a clear idea in your head what you are trying to say, writing compelling copy for your website or advertising promotions can be difficult.
What’s more, with concepts like “inbound” and “content” marketing being promoted by marketers as the best ways to entice your customers, it can seem overwhelming and be difficult to know how or where to begin. Here are my tips for making a start on writing great content for your business.
Remember Your Audience
Who are you trying to speak to? Start by creating a customer persona, that is the ideal customer to whom your content is designed to appeal. This not only sets the tone of the conversation, but it should also help drive the detail. It may sound strange, but giving your customer a name, and a lifestyle based around your product or service will help you define their problem and the solution you are providing.
What Problem Are You Solving?
Remember the What, How and Why of marketing. It’s important to be clear on what your product is, and how it differentiates you from the competition, but readers will be more concerned with WHY this is of interest to them.
Take the example of team sports. For parents, these may be an opportunity to entertain or spend time with their children during the school holidays. For others, such as single people, it’s a chance to get out and meet new friends.
Similarly, as well as the practical features, focus on the emotional pull and benefits to your product or service offering. For example, the sports activity offers the feature of physically playing the game, but also offers the benefits of feeling good about learning a new skill.
Remember Your Goal
What is the goal of your content? Depending on your audience, the purpose may be to generate enquiries, to provide useful information or advice or simply to entertain. As well as advertising your product or services, an effective content marketing strategy is also about using relevant and useful content to engage and inform your target market. Blog posts and how to guides can be used to build trust and empathy.
Have A Clear Headline
Begin with a compelling headline. A concise header with explanatory subheading often works well.
Structure Your Layout
Use a bold statement for the introduction and conclusion. Summarise the theme in the first sentence and expand the text using subheadings and paragraphs in the body of content. Used organised sections and always avoid being too formal in writing.
This will also make your text easier to read.
Love it or hate it, an important way to get website visits is having fresh and relevant content. Google crawlers also check websites for relevance and new content to decide where to rank them on their search engine. Whilst this is a whole other subject for discussion, including long-tail keywords, appropriately named headings, “alt” tags on images and external and internal links within the content, all help to provide credibility and signposts for search optimisation.
Remember Your Branding
Effective marketing communication is about being consistent across all channels. This may also seem like overkill, if you are just writing a short piece, say a social media post. However – as well as having the right logo, colours and font – it’s also about keeping a consistent brand identity and tone of voice that is recognised by your audience.
Include Your Call To Action
What do you want your audience to do now? If appropriate remember to include a clear prompt, for example to visit your website for more information. Make sure that the next steps (such as a button or web address) are visible and in the right place to maximise their benefit.
Still Stuck For Words?
That’s totally ok! Copy writing takes time and practice. With so many businesses finding it difficult to find the time to focus on their marketing activities, according to the Content Marketing Institute 42% of UK businesses outsource their content creation.
What do you find most easy or hard about copy writing? Whether you are thinking of outsourcing your content writing, or just want some more tips on how to begin, I’d love to help. Why not contact me for an informal chat about creating compelling content for your target audience.