— March 12, 2018
For many small businesses, writing your own marketing copy becomes the sensible, practical move. Maybe it’s what makes sense for the budget, or maybe there’s someone within the business who has the previous experience to be able to pull this off.
It’s important to understand what is necessary to create the type of marketing copy that will allow your website to work while you are asleep.
8 Keys to Successful Marketing Copy
It has a Sales Edge – Writing the copy for your website isn’t like that time that you wrote a popular essay in high school, or your short story was selected for a magazine. It’s not enough for people to just like you’re writing. They need to be persuaded to take action.
Successful marketing copy is about selling. It’s one thing for them to like what you wrote. It’s quite another for them to click the “buy now” button. Your reader has a problem and they are in search of a solution. Your writing needs to convince your audience you understand their problem, and offer the best solution.
Write with a Specific Goal in Mind – Are you writing an informative blog post, or a landing page? The two will likely look very different. The blog post may have valuable information that the reader can use to help navigate your industry or solve their problem. The landing page will likely be more geared toward selling a specific product or service.
If you stray from the specific goal you could end up with a piece that falls flat. A landing page that isn’t written with a sales message likely won’t be effective. Alternately, a blog post that comes off too salesy will drive readers away. Every time you write you should ask yourself what the goal of the piece is, and gear your efforts accordingly.
Identify with the Reader – You probably know more about your product or service than your reader does. But if you’re not addressing the problem in a way that resonates, your message could likely just fall flat.
It’s important to know who your target customer is. You’re not just unloading stale product features and talking points. You’re showing empathy for the situation that brought them your way, and positioning yourself as the solution to the problem.
Test Results – Write two different versions and test each for a month. Find out what headlines do better and what kinds of calls to action do better. When you have a piece of copy that is a success, take note and see what can be repeated. You may be able to determine the formula and learn how to repeat your success.
Be Diverse – The more aspects of pop culture and everyday life you can tie your business into, the better. Is there a way that your industry is currently relevant in the news? You can write blog posts about it.
If there is a show that touches on your industry, you can write about that, too. All of this leads to engaging copy that will help distinguish your business.
Understand what You Do Different – There’s the scary job interview question that all perspective employees hate to answer. “Why should we hire you?” What the employer is doing is asking you to distinguish yourself from the other interviewees. They want to know why they shouldn’t just hire the last guy to sit in your chair, and be done with it.
Well, a perspective customer has a similar question in mind. They want to know why they shouldn’t just buy from the last company and be done with it. The marketing copy is the place to tell them what makes you different. It’s the place to tell them what makes you, you.
Maybe you have a different background than the competition. Maybe your product fixes the problem with a more wholistic approach. Think about this and come up with a genuine answer.
Write Conversationally – In order for your customer to buy from you, they have to like you. One of the best ways to establish that kind of rapport is to write conversationally. Picture yourself sitting across the table at Starbucks from your reader. Have an authentic conversation in your writing the same way you would with them in front of you.
There are a lot of ways to accomplish this. Here are just a few:
- Stop using industry lingo and acronyms. If they’re crucial to what you’re writing, then define them.
- Use contractions. This is a key part of writing how you talk. It helps to keep people engaged with your piece and reading one sentence to the next.
- Use the word “you.” It helps forge a more direct connection.
- Keep your sentences short. Marketing copy is much easier to read that way.
- Don’t use $ 10 vocabulary words. There’s no need to prove you’re smart. If they don’t know what you mean they’ll leave.
Use Emotion – People don’t buy based on logic or facts. They buy because of how your product or service will make them feel. If they feel safer, happier, or more productive with your solution then they will happily pay.
If you can write with emotion and evoke feeling in your marketing copy, you’ll see better results.
Are you capable of writing copy that accomplishes these things? If the answer is no, you may want to hire a marketing copywriter. If you’re looking to save some time and get back to other, more foundational aspects of running your business, it may help to outsource as well.