Copywriting is becoming ever more important and in demand. The long-held practice of companies ‘making do in-house’, and the apprehension of hiring full-time writers or even a full-fledged copywriting service has been done away with, as the need for quality writing is as vital as ever to stand out from the rest of the competition.
Copywriting isn’t just about having good grammar and sentence structure for your company or product description. Relying solely on good syntax won’t make the cut if the goal is to convert, sell, and build loyalty among customers.
Gone as well are the days when displaying photographs of mighty factories exhibited power, capability, and superiority. Peter Nivio Zarlenga, well-known American author and businessman succinctly put the shift it as: “In our factory, we make lipstick. In our advertising, we sell hope.”
Why should you make it about hope? Because it’s about people and their emotions. Emotions are the driving force of action—and they can be appealed to via words and copy.
With the continued rise of digital marketing comes the greater demand for quality content. 90% of B2C businesses identify social media as the most popular content marketing tool. And with over 50 million small businesses using Facebook to connect with their customers, how do you set yourself apart?
Aside from having a great product, you of course, need to have great copy.
As David Ogilvy, ‘The Father of Advertising’ once said: “The consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything.”
How not to insult your audience and create great copy
Aside from being able to incite emotion that fuels the act of purchasing or availing of your company’s service, how else do you create great copy?
Keep in mind that thanks to technology, human attention span has already plunged to its lowest and is further seeing an 88 percent decrease per year.
With this going against you, make sure you catch your audience by surprise. Take the road less traveled when pitching your product, and use your headline to hook your audience. Avoid jargon, run on sentences, and unnecessary word embellishments. When all else fails, stick to the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid or keep it short and simple) principle.
While knowing how to create terrific copy is essential, more crucial is the continuous development of the copywriter to set yourself apart from the pack.
We’re here to help you become the stellar copywriter you can be. There are many strategies to becoming a great copywriter, but here are five traits all the best copywriters in the game share.
#1. Perfection Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
The best copywriters know that perfection is impossible. When they write, they know that their pieces could always be better, but they acknowledge that they have neither the time nor the need to be perfect.
Time is money, and this holds true for copywriting. Efficient copywriters won’t waste time trying to recreate the Mona Lisa while writing. They will do their job to the best of their abilities and within the time they have for the specific task.
A piece you write might not seem all that good to you, but it may be perfect for your client and the product. At the end of the day, that is all that matters. The best copywriters understand that their focus should be on producing the best product or service copy possible… not perfection.
#2. ‘Inside Out’: Copywriter Edition
Just like in the famous Disney movie ‘Inside Out’, which has been praised by psychologists for its highly-nuanced psychological understanding of emotions, a great copywriter can create and manage the emotional connections between their work and their readers.
They can do this by relating to the readers, empathizing with them, and expressing the feelings they will feel when using the product. They are also able to highlight its benefits to the target market and their loved ones, and how others may feel during an experience the service may be of support to.
It is important for you to be genuine; readers know when you’re just saying things to sell. Create relatable stories with real emotions, and your readers will turn into costumers.
#3. Humanity Is The Key To Business
While a business may be a cold harsh place, where net profits and the bottom line is all that matters, your copywriting doesn’t have to reflect that. Great copywriters can translate the strategic marketing objectives of their work into a humane interaction between two mutually interested (and benefiting) parties.
Readers don’t want to feel like targets or just another sale waiting to be made. Copywriters make sure that their readers feel important, part of the conversation, and that what is being offered is genuinely beneficial to them.
Nobody likes talking to an inanimate object. Your client will thank you for your humanity. And for Westin Hotels & Resorts, their ad for a weekend stay did just that. With the copywriter speaking directly to those who dread the beginning of work weeks, highlighting why a weekend stay in their beds will make Mondays less bad generated good conversation.
#4. Empathy Makes Or Breaks Your Work
To become a great copywriter, make sure to put yourself in the shoes of the reader and consider what would entice you to buy and what would turn you away.
Understanding the desires, needs, and worries of your readers will make you a better copywriter. Naturally, as a copywriter you cover a wide variety of subjects and it will be difficult empathizing with every single customer segment you write about. But having a general understanding of what their tendencies are will go a long way.
Take this ad from Nike, for example.
The ad could’ve easily featured a photo of one of the many running shoes Nike offers, but the copy focused on stirring up the emotions that came with running.
By going inside of the runner’s head as he starts to pick up pace—worrying about bills, work, relationships and then ending with the steady pace of ‘run, run, run’—the ad was able to resonate more with its audience. It identified that running was about calm and serenity in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life and its worries.
#5. The ‘Call A Friend’ Option Is Not A Bad Thing
It may be natural for writers to hold a high perception of themselves, but not even the best believe they have all the answers. On the contrary, the best copywriters have a strong support system that readily provides feedback and a fresh set of eyes.
Also, it is important to establish good communication channels with your clients to avoid misunderstandings. If you have questions about an assignment, ask. It is in both your and your client’s benefit (think time, resources, and effort saved) to be on the same page.
Star copywriters always keep their eyes open for material that can help them improve their writing in general. Reading the work of your peers and being humble enough to learn from them can help you hone your abilities more.
These five traits are important to your development as a copywriter, but at the end of the day, it is also important that you develop your own style and tone. In addition, keep yourself informed and learned of the topics you will be writing about.
If you’re able to combine all these, you will be on your way to becoming one of the best copywriters in the industry.