You’ve heard the term more times than you can count. You probably see it daily while surfing Facebook, glancing at an ad in the paper, or catching up on emails.
It’s another marketing buzzword that you hear all the time, and yet…you may not know exactly what it is.
We’re talking about copywriting.
And if you run a business — big or small — a side hustle, or are thinking about investing in yourself, the odds are you need it.
It can be a huge driver of success for your business, whether coming from you, your team, or an outside marketing team.
But WHAT IS COPYWRITING!?
It’s our aim at Digital Marketing Tools to not only show you what copywriting is, but give you enough of the copywriting basics and a handful of important copywriting tips so, if you want to, you can start becoming a copywriter yourself.
Read on to discover…
The Power of Copywriting
I had been in marketing for years, and yet, people mentioned copywriting, and my face turned blank.
Sure, I had an idea what it was — but I also had no idea.
I had no idea the depth of copywriting, the importance, and I had no idea what the copywriting process was.
So I signed up for a class. I signed up for another. And I signed up for a third.
And what I found is that it’s incredibly impressive. It’s not just advertising.
It blends advertising with content marketing, and content marketing with psychology and persuasion.
And man, oh man, does it work.
I can see copywriting from a mile away, I can understand when it’s persuading me, and I know the copywriting tips and tricks, and though I know it’s happening in real-time, I STILL buy!
And that, my friend’s, is a testament to the power of copywriting.
“Your job is not to write copy. Your job is to know your visitors, customers and prospects so well, you understand the situation they’re in right now, where they’d like to be, and exactly how your solution can and will get them to their ideal self.”
Do you need copywriting?
If you own a business, make business decisions, or are starting a side hustle. Heck, if you’re having a yard sale, a garage sale, or selling some things on eBay, Copywriting can be one of the most excellent tools in your ever-expanding toolbox.
What is Copywriting NOT?
Copywriting isn’t any other type of writing.
It’s not content writing or content marketing.
Copywriting is not articles, blog posts, social media posts, or other pieces of content.
It’s not any of those things, yet it can be a part of all of those things.
No, copywriting has one goal…
What is Copywriting
“Copy is not written. Copy is assembled.”
Ok, so what is copywriting?
Copywriting is there to grab your attention, to persuade you to keep reading, and to drive you to take action with as few words as possible.
But those words are impactful and leave a sense of wonder, excitement, and wanting.
In short, it’s strategic writing and straight to the point.
And as we will touch on below, copywriting is used everywhere…
What does a Copywriter Do?
And that’s why a good copywriter gets paid his weight in gold for good copy.
A good copywriter isn’t merely a writer.
I’m merely a writer. (ouch).
A copywriter is a student of human psychology, of persuasion, of writing beautiful copy, short and sweet, with the sole purpose of guiding people to purchasing.
They write impactful words that make you feel, think, and respond in a certain way.
A good copywriter can help launch your product or service to thousands of people with a simple email or single sales page.
A good copywriter can take an existing email or a sales page, move some words around, change a few phrases, and increase your sales by 5x or 10x.
Who Needs Copywriting?
The question isn’t whether you need it, it’s how you’re going to get it.
You can take classes and try it yourself, purchase copywriting templates online and give that a go, hire someone using Fiverr, or go all out and hire an agency.
Copywriting is a fantastic skill to have, so if you are interested or have the ability, start seeing where you can use it today.
You can always go the route of hiring someone too. While that can get expensive, know this: the more you spend, the more you’re going to earn.
Great copywriters get paid, but they also get results.
I’ve always been the type of person who always wants to learn with a side of dabbling myself.
So whether you just want to understand copywriting better, or you want to dabble yourself, read on. There’s enough information here for everyone.
But first, lets touch on where you can use copywriting.
Where is Copywriting Used?
In short, everywhere:
- Direct mail brochures
- Sales videos
- Podcast scripts
- Emails for new customers
- Emails for existing customers
- Public speeches
- Internal training videos
- Phone sales scripts
- Educational videos
- Facebook, Instagram, Google ads
- And on, and on
You see copywriting everywhere.
The Copywriting Process & How to Start Copywriting
So, are you looking to start copywriting? Thinking of getting out there to give it a go yourself?
Well below is a great overview of the copywriting process to keep in mind when you do.
Even if you’re not, it’s good to understand for yourself what the copywriting process looks like.
Copywriting Headlines – Yes, It Needs Them Too
Like the headline of a blog or social media post, the headline is an essential piece of the copywriting process; either you get people interested enough to click or open, or you don’t, and they move on. Crafting an excellent headline that’s attention-grabbing is always crucial.
In fact, studies say you should spend 70% of your time on your headline.
When creating a good headline, a good rule of thumb is The 4 U’s:
Offer a Unique Benefit or Promise
This is the same as your unique selling proposition (do you know yours?)
All copywriting should offer a unique benefit or promise to the reader.
Know Your Customer Better Than They Know Themselves
You should have an excellent grasp of everything about your ideal customer, and that’s no different for copywriting.
In fact, it becomes even more critical. To ideally use copywriting, you have to know your audience so well you become them.
You know what pains keep them up at night, and what dreams take them away from it all for a little while.
What fears make their palms sweaty and what anxiety eats at them throughout the day.
You could create the best copy in the world, yet it wouldn’t matter if you don’t know your ideal customer inside and out.
But when you know these things, a magical door opens up in your copy.
Promise to Solve Their Problems
When you know your customer that well, you know their problems, and you know that your product or service can solve those problems.
Any good copywriter will not only understand the exact audience, but will also know the product inside and out, so they can explain, in detail, the problems and how this will solve it for them.
Have a Compelling Call to Action
Seal the deal with your call to action. What is it you want your audience to do? Tell them, and drive them where you want them to go.
To your website? A sales page? Wherever it is, tell them, link them, and remind them why they HAVE to do this or miss out on solving their problems forever.
Copywriting Services – What are the Types of Copywriting
There are many types of copywriting. Depending on what you’re looking for right this moment, you could go one of many directions.
Below is a short snippet of each from Radix Communications.
“With Google now actively punishing sites that are crammed with low-quality, keyword-stuffed copy, SEO copywriters have had to up their game considerably. Today’s SEO Copywriter is more likely to be a Marketing Copywriter, Explainer Copywriter or Brand Journalist, creating original, intelligent, engaging and helpful content that guides customers to a buying decision.”
“Creative copywriters have the magical gift of being able to communicate an idea in a short, pithy, punchy, snappy, memorable phrase. Their main habitat is consumer ad-land, where they’re paid vast sums to come up with things like “Simples” and “Should have gone to Specsavers.”
“Digital copywriters are responsible for all the largely-unsung microcopy that gets website visitors and app users to click on the right things and enter the right information.”
“Part writer, part psychologist, the marketing copywriter knows not just how to get the attention of the target buyer, but how to make them feel that your widget is the one true thing their lives are desperately missing. A good marketing copywriter will immerse him or herself in buyer personas until they understand the target audience better than they understand themselves”
“The Explainer Copywriter is someone who knows how to present the logical and rational case for investment in a product or technology, in a way that’s clear, digestible and easy to read.”
“In a noisy world, the brands that stand out are the ones that tell engaging stories – about their customers, about their products, about their ethos; about anything that’s going to capture interest and attention. The brand journalist is emerging as a new style of copywriter who can uncover and tell those stories”
“The technical writer is a rare and valuable species: a hybrid of techie and writer, they not only know which bit plugs into what (and why you really don’t want to plug that bit in there), but they can explain it clearly and simply to the end-user.”
Don’t just hire the first copywriter you can find, do the research, and understand precisely what you need.
“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.”
Copywriting can be overwhelming, but it can also be fun.
If you’re thinking of giving it a go, below are some copywriting tips to keep in mind as you go forward.
Have a conversation with your reader
Write naturally, like you’re having coffee with your reader. Avoid over-complex words and jargon. Write conversationally.
Speak to your reader
Use you more than I. It’s powerful because you’re speaking directly to your reader.
Use an Outline
Find a copywriting outline, or even sketch one out.
I can’t tell you how much time outlines save me in anything I write, so get one out there, make sure it makes sense, and start writing.
Even if you’re not a good writer, you can fix a lot with editing. Write your first draft, go back and read it aloud (yes, it helps) and edit relentlessly.
Don’t Overdue It
Simplicity is the name of the game. Copywriting is about writing in as few words as possible, but still getting the point across.
Show empathy in your writing. Don’t just speak to your reader directly; show them you understand their problems and that you can solve those problems.
Test and Change Strategy
No matter the type of marketing, you should always test and adjust as you see what’s working and what’s not. Whether its A/B testing or seeing which headlines get more clicks.
And copywriting is no different. It’s incredible what a simple word change can do for your click rates.
So always test, always analyze your results, and never be afraid to alter your strategy based on what you find.
The Future of Copywriting
So where does that leave the future of copywriting?
Is it here to stay?
Will all of our copywriting be taken over by artificial intelligence?
Don’t fear the AI
We know AI is taking over the world; at the very least, it seems to be everywhere in the marketing industry, doesn’t it?
And copywriting is no different – Alibaba, China’s biggest online e-commerce company, launched an AI-based copywriting tool in 2018. It uses deep learning and natural language processing technology to create copy for any product, and word on the street is that it does a pretty good job.
What does this mean for copywriting?
To us, it means there’s a great tool out there for the repetitive and mundane copywriting tasks that will be both cheaper and more efficient for a business to consider. But what AI possesses in speed and efficiency, it lacks in the emotion and empathy.
For any entrepreneur or business owner, this equation equals win/win.
Copywriting is Here to Stay
Copywriting is crucial to the business and marketing world, and it isn’t going anywhere.
Whichever sandbox you or your business may be playing in, be it Facebook, email marketing, or print ads, you’re going to need copywriting.
Focus on Connection
Marketing has changed recently. It’s all about connecting with your audience. Instead of focusing strictly on the sale with copy; we should start focusing on using copy to connect with our audience, whichever platform you’re on.
Rather than focusing on what you want (sales) focus on what your clients want, which is great content (for free) and also to be entertained.
Copywriting should be used in conjunction with your content marketing strategy, not as a separate revenue path.
Show Them the Personality
One of the best ways to connect with an audience is to tell personal stories and show them your personality and, at times, vulnerability.
Do you want to build a bond with your audience? Maybe even a lasting relationship that will lead to sales and an everlasting bond? A bond that can lead to creating brand advocates for you and your business.
Give Your Customer what They Want
People want to be recognized as individuals. No more do they want the same copy that their someone else receives.
We now have the ability to segment our email subscribers and allow them to decide what they want, meaning you have to take advantage of that.
As it becomes more mainstream, it’s also becoming more expected, so if you’re not taking the opportunity to ask your subscribers a few questions to better serve them, you’re probably losing out on sales.
Copywriting is Your Ultimate Tool
Now that you know, you’re going to start noticing copywriting everywhere.
And I mean everywhere.
But that’s not a bad thing.
Now that you better understand it read through it and study the stuff that makes you want to keep reading and act.
And keep the good stuff, because that’s precisely how you want someone to feel when they’re reading about your product or service, and what it can do for them.
Knowing copywriting is an advantage, whether creating it, writing it, reading it, or just running a business.
Read through this article and keep it handy; it will help you give it a go yourself if you want or recognize areas where it can significantly impact your business.
As a bonus, of sorts, you’ll begin to notice everywhere it’s being used on you – not that it will change the outcome :).
We appreciate you reading our copywriting article, and if you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below.