Copywriting and understanding the market – basics, tactics and formats
Do you dread writing content for your products and services?
Have you little or no experience and resort to quick descriptions that offer no value to your brand?
Then you are in the right place.
You may not know it yet, but strong writing and language can draw more customers to your brand.
So how do you use copywriting to improve your reach? Take a look down below to find out more.
What is copywriting?
To start, copywriting with a W is different from copyrighting with an R – which is defined as a legal action protecting someone’s original work or brand.
Copywriting, the focus of this blog, is defined as such: a common form of writing for the express purpose of advertising to customers. The ‘copy’, is written content ranging in style and format that aims to increase customer awareness of a brand, that, in turn, should persuade an individual or a group to take the action that the company wants them to take.
In simpler terms, a copywriter takes a salesman’s words and strategies and puts them into a written form, that can be sent across the globe reaching millions upon millions of people.
One major draw of copywriting is its versatility, it can be effective in both print and digital formats.
For instance, a sales letter for a product can be made physically to create a close connection between customer and brand, or digitally, a landing page using your copy can be created to reach a wide-ranging demographic online.
Understanding the market and the customer base
Apart from underestimating the copy, copywriters struggle with the market and their customer base the most – and this isn’t a good thing.
Your copy can not assume that the customer is fully aware of the jargon and details related to your product line or services.
When first starting in the business, your copy will be tailored to the masses, a wide demographic, but this is a poor understanding of the market at large.
Most companies are attempting to attract the largest scale of people in the quickest amount of time, but all this will do is alienate and eventually switch off the potential customer.
Before you start writing or typing, your goal should be to develop a conversation-like style that tells the customer what they want to hear, this will provide an incentive for the individual to reply or purchase a product because they see you as a personal brand, and not a faceless corporation.
When you write a copy, it is best to avoid prioritising your product over the interest of the audience.
Making use of frameworks
Frameworks are a valuable aspect of copywriting: every word, every paragraph, every page should be highly planned and controlled.
Marketing theory has several frameworks you can employ to mould your copy to a certain purpose, with some being used as far back as the 1890s.
For instance, problem/agitate/solution (PAS) aims to address the customer by highlighting a common problem, that is then agitated to feed emotion into the customer; with the hope that they will see the solution in the product or service, you are offering them.
Another popular framework is attention/interest/desire/action (AIDA). When producing your copy, an eye-catching layout or title is vital when trying to attract an individual to settle on your product/service and not a competitor.
A hook grabs someone but you need to keep them interested to build desire, this can be done a number of ways: through direct address, providing statistics/facts, or, more simply, by building a close rapport with the potential customer.
Make them feel included and desired, “I know how you feel”, “I understand”, “you aren’t the only one”.
The Rule of three
When using a framework, it can be useful to apply certain patterns that can improve your copy greatly.
The rule of three is a basic but effective pattern that gets used time and time again, some of the world’s most well-known slogans are simple 3-word declaratives, ‘Just Do it’ or ‘I’m Lovin’ it’, patterns are memorable when they are short.
Your copy should be going beyond what your competitors are doing, but the rule of three, despite its simplicity, is one to employ because of its marketing power.
Copy - long or short?
The length of your copy is important, too short and you risk it being underdeveloped, too long, you risk it being too boring to read, alienating the customer.
So what length is best?
Yet again, your copy should be tailored to your needs, there is no universally accepted length for a copy.
Industrial and technology-based products need higher levels of explanation, so a longer copy is valuable.
On the flip side, a local business may only need a short explanation of their products, so a succinct copy is preferable for them.
If you are debating what length copy to produce, remember, you can provide as much information as you see fit but it must have a purpose, waffling on can be more expensive and limited your audience.
Don’t underestimate the importance of copy length!
In closing, copywriting isn’t easy to do, it takes practice to finalise your skills.
When starting out, it is best to look at your competition and be open to changes, your copy is only final when it is posted or printed.
If you take the time to create an effective copy, then you can expect greater success, but remember, copywriting is all about the hook – and if you’ve read this far then I have been successful in hooking you in.