In today’s world of short attention spans, it pays for marketers to think beyond the click.
Clicking and reading are, after all, two different things. Data shows that 55% of all page views receive less than 15 seconds of attention. Just like time, attention is finite. As a metric, it correlates with creating quality content.
That’s why it isn’t enough to get a person to click. Capturing attention shouldn’t be the end goal; rather, keeping that attention is. And if your content is good enough to engage your readers, keep them on the page, and encourage them to take action, then you’re doing something right.
The secret all boils down to effective online copywriting. Crafting compelling copy is the key to a sustainable business model for delivering valuable, high-quality content. And this makes it a true measure of marketing success.
What is Online Copywriting?
By definition, copy is writing that sells. That’s why it makes sense for it to be compelling.
Copywriting involves creating high-value content with the goal of pitching your brand. It is writing for the sake of promotional advertising or marketing. The objective is to sell an idea or your brand in a way that warrants immediate audience attention. And since copywriting is meant for branding, it tells your audience why your brand matters.
But how is copywriting different from content writing?
While it’s easy to interchange the two terms, the great distinction between copywriting and content writing lies in its purpose.
Unlike copywriting that zeroes in on creating content that sells, content writing involves creating content that markets well. So content writers should create blogs and articles that attract potential customers and educate them about their products and services. This is why content writing is designed for inbound marketing.
In a nutshell: copywriting involves content writing, but it goes one step ahead by selling a brand’s real worth, including its products and services.
By creating compelling copy, you can appeal to your target audience and drive them to pull the trigger on a call to action (CTA). And killer copy captures audience attention, addresses their pain points, and presents a valuable solution.
Creating High-Value, Promotional Content
Crafting and distributing content with the end goal of driving profitable customer action is now more important than ever. But producing good content is also harder than it ever was before.
Marketing experts call it “content shock” or the Vesuvius eruption of online content. They theorize that this eruption of content has led to a saturation point of content marketing. Some liken it to an “information overload” that will soon render content ineffective.
But it isn’t over for content just yet. The field of copywriting may have broadened, but it has deepened, too. And if this tells us anything, it’s that content marketing and branding are far from over. Rather, staying relevant in today’s content-saturated world involves creating narrow, niche content than popular, general-appeal content.
And writing powerful copy involves knowing how to frame your message to inspire profitable action.
The Art of Crafting Compelling Copy
You’ll read a lot of tips online on how to write compelling copy. If you’ve browsed enough articles, you’ll notice two qualities quickly rise to the top: your copy has to be clear and concise. Both are useful because they help ensure that your message is digestible enough for your readers to understand.
But here’s the thing: even the clearest, most concise copy can still fall short if it fails to compel readers to take action.
At the end of the day, that’s the whole point of writing sales copy. So how do you frame your message to achieve the best response?
Create Buyer Personas
In the modern world’s so-called content-fatigued, craving-a-personal touch marketplace, creating a buyer persona is the first step to connecting with your target audience.
You won’t hook audiences if you’re segmenting them into vague, demographic attributes.
Rather, painting a clear picture of a specific buyer makes it easier for you to determine their wants and needs. If you know who you are marketing to, you can tailor your content to fit those behaviors and needs.
Creating buyer personas—or fictional representations of your ideal customers—drive greater customer acquisition and retention. It helps you internalize the ideal customer you’re selling to so you know where to reach them and how.
For example, you can segment your buyer personas and personalize your message to align with different personas, instead of sending the same lead nurturing emails to everyone in your database.
Hook Reader Emotions
Keep in mind that most purchases are not logical decisions. Writing about product features or the technical details of the service you offer won’t get you far. This is because product features only appeal to the logical side of your brain. And most purchases are not driven by logic; people often buy products based on how they feel.
Hook your audience by touching on the human condition. Play on memories that conjure poignant images. Write with emotion and focus on the beauty of the mundane. Add meaning to the prosaic with memorable copy.
An example of successful emotive copy is the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty launched by Unilever in 2004. The campaign sparked conversations about beauty and helped educate and inspire women by rethinking standards of beauty. And the campaign resonated well because it was built on customer emotions.
Make Your Point Clear
People have short attention spans. If you don’t make your point within seconds, you’ll lose your audience.
The last thing your readers want is to sift through your entire article to find what they’re looking for. And this is why you should refrain from adding filler copy or unactionable writing will make them tune out or lose interest.
Apple’s website is a shining example of short yet powerful copy. The headline for the MacBook Air product page reads, “Lightness strikes again.” From one glance, browsers immediately know its two product benefits: it’s lightweight, and technically superior than the previous MacBook model.
The product page also shows you that sequencing plays a role in writing effective copy. It starts with a paragraph that explains the features and benefits of the MacBook Air. The copy is written in a concise, easy-to-understand format that encourages browsers to scroll further and dig deeper for more info.
Keep in mind that concise copy also respects a reader’s imagination. It leaves them to fill the gaps for themselves and associate their own images and memories with a brand.
Follow Best Practices for SEO
One of the biggest challenges to copywriting is creating content that’s optimized for search engines but also resonates with your target audience.
Optimizing your content for Google means creating useful, compelling, and valuable content that people would love to share on their social media networks. When your audience shares your content, it increases the authority and relevance of your copy and boosts your ranking on the search results.
Start by crafting a headline that prompts people to click further. Then write content that focuses on a specific problem that your target audience is struggling with. Pay attention to keywords and determine whether search users are looking for informational or commercial content. Push your readers into action by highlighting the key points of your content.
Most importantly, keep your website updated because search engines feed on fresh SEO content.
Develop a Unique Selling Point
Every business needs a unique selling point (USP). A USP is a tool used by salespeople to help their brand stand out from competitors. In a nutshell, it summarizes what a brand stands for.
A lot of businesses make the mistake of attempting to stand for everything when they get started, however. Some brands, for instance, want to be known for the best food and at the lowest price. But making your brand stand for everything is the quickest way to make people forget you exist.
If you truly want your copy to make an impact, your USP should help achieve the following objectives:
- Communicate the benefits of choosing your brand
- Establish trust and credibility among your target audience
- Highlight your competence, skill, and experience
- Entice customers to take profitable action
A good USP is unique and rich with hyperbole. And if your USP fails to make your audience smile, laugh, or ask a question, then you’ll need to come up with a better USP to truly hook your audience.
Simplify Your Message
Having groundbreaking ideas is half the battle. If you fail to communicate these clearly to your audience, then your opinion carries little weight.
In other words: Confusion kills engagement. Clear writing is good writing.
Your content should educate and inspire audiences to go further down the sales funnel and prompt a conversion. So if you want your message to resonate with your audience, your writing should be crystal clear.
Just like brevity, clarity prolongs attention. Your copy should be easy to understand, so your readers won’t have to reread any sentences. Follow these rules when writing sales copy:
- Keep it simple – Use start instead of commence.
- Be specific – Instead of video communication tool, say Skype.
- Use the active voice – Sentences written in the active voice are easier to read.
- Use transitional phrases – Use words like although, while, because to connect your ideas and thoughts.
Build a Sense of Urgency
Being in a comfortable position—plopped down on a La-Z-Boy with your feet up while watching a great movie—would make anyone less eager to move. And this same logic applies to people with a comfortable state of mind.
If your copy leaves readers with the impression that your offer will always be available, you aren’t maximizing the potential of your copy or CTA to convert.
Don’t give your readers the chance to talk themselves out of what you have to offer. The last thing you want to do is patiently wait for them to pull the trigger. Instead, create a sense of urgency by using time-sensitive language in your sales copy. Use phrases like “last chance” and “limited seats available.”
The point is for you to make your customers feel uneasy about waiting. The ugly truth: uncomfortable people feel more compelled to act.
Use Literary Devices
Effective sales copy is driven by substance. But make sure you aren’t skimping on readability when you’re crafting high-value, informational content. Your copy shouldn’t sound rigid; rather, it should roll off the tongue.
As a marketer, it is your job to identify the value in what you’re selling and communicate this using clear and compelling words.
Writing with style and using literary devices like analogies and metaphors can help make your copy flow more freely. Some metaphorical taglines include “Your Ray of Sunshine” from Tropicana, “It’s What Comfort Tastes Like” from Werther’s Original Popcorn, and “Connecting People” from Nokia.
Using literary devices breaks away from the traditional approach of marketing features and benefits. By creating juxtapositions, you can connect with your audience on a deeper, visceral level and help them experience what you offer in a fresh, descriptive way.
Write an Enticing CTA
Marketing has changed a lot in the past years, but one thing has remained the same: driving readers to take action.
A CTA could be one of the most compelling elements of your copy as long as it’s executed properly.
If you’re looking for a quick lift in conversions on a landing page, improving your CTA is one of the best ways to do so. If you are able to successfully convey value and relevance in your CTA, you are more likely to receive more conversions.
And because viewers searching for information are looking for text, not pictures, your CTA should be clear, specific, and action-oriented. Include a clear directive that encourages immediate action.
Strive to make your CTAs creative yet forthright. For instance, if you are targeting an experimental SaaS audience, for instance, opt for a “Start your free trial now” CTA. Meanwhile, if you’re trying to win over a curious and discovery-oriented audience, variate your CTA a bit and say, “See how it works today.”
Build a Strategic Content Plan Today
Succeeding in the online marketplace entails creating a persuasive and compelling narrative that inspires trust in your brand. With a well-oiled content strategy, you can connect with your target audience and guide them through every stage of the sales funnel.
Start growing a loyal customer presence and boosting your search engine rankings. Let Growth Rocket help you build a strategic content plan to bring you one step closer to achieving your business goals.
Reach out to us today.