Writing is easy. Also, not that easy. Alright, let’s just say it’s a bit tricky. Writing marketing copy, even more so. Everybody can write. But not everybody can create copy and content that can engage people beyond a few seconds.
Great copy is the backbone of any marketing campaign. It is the words people resonate with when they consume any marketing or advertising content. You could have the best creative, targeting, budget, etc. Without good copy, none of it will mean anything, and neither will it yield any measurable results. And what even is a marketing campaign that has no measurable results?
You know you’ve written compelling copy when it stops people endlessly scrolling through and pauses on your content. When people stop to take a second look at your poster, flyer, or billboard. Or makes them read your entire blog piece instead of just the header or the first few lines.
Copy that taps directly into your end user’s psychology and mindset will make an impact on them. When it makes them think, and connect with your content, it’s in the bag. This is bound to bring them back to your brand/product/service or whatever it is that you are selling. Maybe not immediately. Maybe not today. But it will.
What you need to understand about marketing copy
Writing good copy should be on every marketer’s list. But a good copy is not a spontaneous event. The art of writing good marketing copy takes an understanding of the customer, their pain points, and knowledge of how to address those pain points. It also takes a thorough grasp of how your offering works and directly contributes to making your customer’s life easier.
It is as much an art as it is science. It is not about a ‘cool’ copy. A copy will only seem cool because it is based on research on the customer.
Listen to what your customer is saying
Monitor your social feeds. Look at your reviews. Check your support tickets. Read through the complaints. And more. Do anything to gather insights on how your target audience feels about the industry you operate in and the product or service you provide.
More often than not, marketers assume they know all about their customers and do not bother with listening to them. Customer behavior changes, always and frequently. If you miss out on noticing that, then anything you write will be for a customer that was, not is right now. No point knocking on that door, is there?
Once you have this data, now you can perfectly define what your customer wants and doesn’t want. With that being as clear as day, it is far easier to write a copy that will appeal to them. Because you crafted it exactly how they like it. And having effective copy leads to better open rates for emails (26% for some cases), more time spent on blogs, and better conversion rates for ads.
Knowing your audience well is half the battle won.
Write like your customer talks
Whether you write for B2B or B2C, or any industry, sector, or vertical – always use your customer’s words. Your copy needs to talk TO the customer, not AT them. That means using the language they do – words, phrases, objections, needs.
When you throw jargon at your customers, very rarely will it elicit an enthusiastic response. For example, if a soda pop brand’s customers call the product ‘cola’ but the marketing campaigns refer to it as a ‘carbonated beverage’, they’ve already lost the point of the campaign.
On this landing page for freelancers, Copyhackers literally uses their customers’ words, in this case, “Dammit, that should be me”. This is something a freelancer is bound to have said at some point. When they read it, it instantly resonates with them simply because they can relate to having said that same thing.
Great marketing copy sounds like a conversation with each of your potential and current customers. Conversations drive engagement. Effective engagement leads to conversions.
The goal is to grab attention, instantly
People do not spend much time-consuming marketing content. Most people despise marketing content. The age of online marketing and advertising shoves content down people’s throats every day. While you might think your copy is unique, your customer might not necessarily share your belief.
Your copy not only competes with the copy of your competitors but also every other business out there trying to get their attention. Because your customer is not unique to you. There is always a huge overlap, irrespective of industry. In reality, you don’t get beyond a few milliseconds to be visible to your customer.
To be able to truly rise above the clutter and noise, your copy needs to instantly grab your customer’s attention. If it’s an article, the headline needs to draw them like a moth to a flame. If it’s an email, the subject line needs to be killer enough that they are intrigued enough to open it. If it’s a billboard, the hero copy needs to BE the hero. You get the drift.
Take a look at this billboard by fast-food chain Chipotle. In simple text and in three words, they’ve highlighted their value proposition. It’s just the three words that are important, the rest might as well be gibberish because people probably won’t be paying attention to it anyway.
This is because about 80% of readers will only read the headline and scroll past, be it any form of ad or marketing copy. If that’s the only thing they read, it better be the best thing they come across.
Make an instant impact. You won’t get any more time than that.
Define the problem. Then present the solution.
In all honesty, people don’t care what your offering can do, they only care about what it can do for them. If you write about how good your product is, that will barely register with your audience. If you write about how it can help them, you have an audience that takes an interest.
Start with the problem plaguing your customer. Talk about how that problem is making them miserable. Once you can showcase that, dive into how your offering can solve that problem most easily and conveniently for them.
If it’s the end of the world, then you are Noah’s Ark. If their house is on fire, then you are the big dark rain cloud that will put it out. Show them that they need a savior, then go ahead and be that savior.
Choppy copy works wonders
It might sound counterintuitive, but a copy that is short and easy to read works 100x better. The message you are conveying should be easily digestible and should not take too much effort to understand. You will only end up confusing them.
Get to the point. Get there fast. Get it there clearly. That’s it. People are too busy to care about your marketing message. If you want them to, then you have to make it snappy. And if it is easy to read, it’s easy to remember.
Writing marketing copy that delivers results is a skill that is developed over time, and with experience. Measure the impact of every piece of copy. Test it, tweak it, and make it work for you. Invest time in understanding customer behavior, and use your learning to draw them to your offering.
When it comes to good copy, the old adage of ‘KISS’ still holds true – keep it simple, silly.
About the Author
Ram Sharan is a Content & Marketing Strategist at Wishup with a penchant for all things copy and content. A writer at heart, he maintains interests in the areas of marketing, advertising, media, science, and technology. He actively works on using content to drive marketing efforts and has over 7.5 years of experience working for various exciting startups at different stages of their growth.