Frustrated by inferior copy? Read PW Copy’s blog on successful copywriting made simple
Substandard or even mediocre copy will do not your company any favours. In fact it could prove detrimental to your business’ reputation. Good copy can make or break any marketing or communications strategy, no matter how brilliant the rest of a business is. At its core, copywriting is another device for marketing a product or a service. But copywriting is more than just hard sell and well-crafted copy doesn’t need to beat a person over the head.
Here are five steps to make the copywriting process a logical and painless operation.
Good copy needs good information.. You need to lay a solid foundation by cataloguing your product’s benefits and features. You definitely have to know your clientele. One easy way to better understand what appeals to your target audience involves conducting a simple Q&A. The more you understand about prospective customers the more compelling copy you will write. For good copy you need to exploit your products benefits and exploit your competition’s weaknesses.
Organise the information you have gathered by writing the essential points. These are just notes and it is tempting to take shortcuts but the organising of the research is an important part of the copywriting process.
Divide your copy up. First the headline – it is crucial to write attention grabbing headlines. The headline alone can make or break an ad. It sets the tone for the rest of the copy. Your headline should be at least one or two of the following – unique, ultra-specific, convey a sense of urgency or useful.
This is followed by your subheads. You write the body of your copy by expanding on each subhead.
Never risk losing the attention of your audience by providing too much detail in your copy. Keep it simple. The copy is there to share information and raise awareness of a business or product.
Also keep the language simple and make sure you write in an active voice rather than a passive one.
Write conversationally – you are talking to your customer. And you need to write compelling sentences so that the reader will want to read the next one and so on.
Have a call to action – create a sense of urgency around a message and provide instructions on what to do next. Communicate a special offer.
The copy shouldn’t be business-centric but instead customer-centric. A simple way to check yourself is to see if you’re always writing ‘we’ instead of ‘you’.
As you write your copy be aware that each different medium requires a different tone or style.
You must be ruthless with your writing as it is essential to get clear, clean results and every word must add to the message.
One of the quickest ways to lose credibility in advertising is to allow grammatical or spelling errors to appear in your copy. But you can go one step further when proofreading and list all the negatives about your copy or even consider a different way of writing the ad. This final finessing will help your copy, and therefore your product or service, standout from the crowd.
So yes, copywriting can be, with the right research and prep, as easy as ABC.