Tell the truth, but make the truth fascinating. You know you can’t bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them into buying it.
David Ogilvy - Father of Advertising
Also known as the "Father of Advertising", David Ogilvy teaches us that marketing is fundamentally an art of persuasion—if you've got something to sell, you should make it interesting. And a huge part of this is good copywriting.
Words have more sway than one might think. There are many elements to good copy that, though seemingly insignificant, can influence a customer's impressions and actions, be it in a blog post, marketing message, sales copy or even in business writing.
For example, Unbounce was able to increase click-through rates by 94% with a simple change: from "Start your free 30-day trial" to "Start my free 30-day trial." The more experience you gain as a content writer, the easier it becomes to pick up on such nuances.
In this article, we cover the essentials to take your copywriting career to the next level. Whether your focus is on blog posts, product descriptions, or social media captions, here are 7 of the best copywriting tips.
7 Copywriting Tips & Techniques
Many falsely believe that great copy is just about flowery language.
In truth, copywriting is both an art and a science. Over the years, marketers and copywriters have developed many tried-and-true ways to craft effective copy.
1. Use Advertising Formulas
In the advertising world, there are techniques which have proven effective when it comes to creating persuasive content.
For example, the AIDA model (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) engages and builds on the customer's interest, while the PAS formula (Problem, Agitate, Solve) targets their pain points before presenting a solution.
These are great for drafting sentences when you're not sure how to start and help you structure your copy to effectively appeal to your audience.
2. Cover all the Bases
Whether it's long-form pieces or short-form copy, you should treat all components of your content with equal love and respect.
According to Rank Tracker, even meta titles and descriptions are important to encourage click-throughs as 94% of web traffic is generated through organic results.
Hence, make sure to work on your copy thoroughly from beginning to end. This includes an effective headline, hook, call to action, and everything in between.
3. Learn Basic SEO
You don't have to be an SEO expert to succeed as a copywriter. However, having a basic understanding of it would give you a definite advantage.
Skills such as keyword research and competitive analysis provide insights that will help you stay afloat in the turbulent sea of digital marketing.
To get started, there are plenty of easy SEO tools and tips that you can use to give your content a boost in search engine rankings.
4. Take it from the Experts
When writing copy, it is important to consider E-A-T. As delicious as it sounds, it refers to Expertise, Authority, and Trust—a key factor in Google's evaluation of page quality.
One way to up your E-A-T score is by using quotes and statistics to back up your content. After all:
"Statistics is the grammar of science." —Karl Pearson
This will not only improve your SEO rankings but being a trustworthy source also increases your chances of eventually converting leads into customers.
5. Inject a Little Personality
Make your style distinctive by having your personality shine through your work—this is what separates a good writer from a great one.
Using emotional words and finding the appropriate tone for your topic will help you write a compelling story for your business.
Chances are, there's another product or service out there similar to what you are offering. What will set you apart is having clear-defined values, a strong mission, and a unique brand voice.
6. Focus on the (Potential) Customer
Knowing your target audience is the heart of great copywriting. What do they want to know? What concerns may they have?
One way to find out is through Google Analytics. This lets you monitor your audience activity, giving you a sneak peek into their queries and interests.
When you put yourself in the customer's shoes, you can write your copy in a way that is easy for them to understand, while expertly providing the answers and solutions they are looking for.
7. Understand Your Purpose
As a copywriter, it is crucial to know not just who, but also what you are writing for. Is your copy for B2B or B2C marketing? Are you crafting a blog post, email campaign, or sales page on a website?
Furthermore, ask yourself what response you're hoping to receive from your readers. Do you wish simply to pique their interest, or to encourage a particular action?
Having a clear purpose will allow you to align your copy in such a way that is productive to your goals.
What are the basics of copywriting?
1. Error-free Copy
One of the basics of good copywriting is a basic of good writing itself: spelling, grammar, and punctuation. In a study on online habits, 59% of those polled said they would not use a company with obvious language errors in their content marketing material.
So make sure to proofread and polish your work before hitting publish, and you'll be golden.
2. Clear Delivery and Readability
In an age of shortened attention spans, it is not surprising that most people don't devote much time to reading content. In fact, 81% of readers skim through online content.
Writing text in short paragraphs, using the active rather than passive voice, and varying the length of your sentences can make your copy more engaging and scannable.
Especially with long-form content, you should keep it concise without all the fluff and jargon. Great copywriters will know how to make complex concepts clear without all the bells and whistles.
3. Talk about Benefits, not Features
Following the fundamental writing principle of "show, don't tell". Rather than just describing the features of a product or service, good copy helps the customer to paint a picture of how it would benefit them.
Essentially, your copy should not be about what the product can do. Instead, it should show the customer what they can do with the product.
4. Have a Strong Call to Action (CTA)
Regardless of the style or medium of your copy, it should have one goal: to elicit a response.
Personalised CTAs have been shown to lead to a 42% increase in conversions, effectively nudging a reader towards the desired action.
You can also use power words to appeal to a sense of necessity or urgency, which can help to increase your conversion rates.
However, don't overdo it—one clear prompt will be infinitely more effective than dozens forcefully stuffed into your copy.
How can I Teach myself Copywriting?
Here are a few tips to get better at copywriting as a beginner.
Firstly, study the theory
Analysing copywriting examples is a great practice to develop a clearer understanding of what works. Read aloud to hear how it 'sounds' to different readers, or hand-copy the text to familiarise yourself with different structures.
There are also many books you can read to learn copywriting tips from experts in the field.
Next: practice, practice, practice
The age-old copywriting tip: just write. As with any skill, consistency is key, and having a few words on the page is better than none.
Write ad samples or re-write copy that you come across: consider how you would improve on them, or put your own spin on it.
Also, don't shy away from asking for feedback when reviewing your own work. After all, you want to know how it would sound to the customer, and who better than other people to provide such perspectives?
Finally, develop a writing process
As wonderful as it would be to have the right words flow from your fingertips like magic, it's not always easy to start writing. Even the most experienced copywriters face the dreaded writer's block from time to time.
Copywriting can be tedious: from brainstorming, research, and writing the first draft, to multiple stages of the editing process. Experimenting with different methods and developing routines that work for you will help structure your writing sessions so that you can find your flow and keep your momentum going over time.
What are the most effective copywriting skills?
Aside from the obvious of having good writing skills, effective copywriting requires an understanding of how your message is conveyed to your readers.
This is where interpersonal communication skills come in handy. You need a clear understanding of not just what you're marketing, but also what would make it appeal to people.
It is also important to spend time researching your topic. This includes both key information to include in your content, as well as market research to understand what people are looking for.
These skills will allow you to speak your target audience's language and convince them of how your product or service will fulfil their needs and desires.
To advance further in copywriting, you should also pick up content marketing. It provides the big picture behind each copy and guides you on how to strategise your content.
For the cherry on top, creativity is essential if you want to write original copy that stands out from the crowd. So keep generating new ideas—for titles, outlines, and key points—and write them down. Creativity is innate, but constant training can help you maximise its potential.
Copywriting is just one of the many essential marketing strategies to boost your search engine rankings and conversion rates for a business owner with a website.
Aside from the tips in this article, Digitrio also provides copywriting services to power your business.
Contact us today to find the right words for your digital marketing need.