April 11, 2017
Writing copy that converts is no easy task, as many companies have found out. We believe that good copy comes from careful planning and a deeper level of thinking when it comes to considering who you're writing for.
As content marketing is growing by the day, it can sometimes seem that there is a general churn of articles and blogs. More companies feel the need to put something out there ‘because everyone else is doing it’ with little regard for how the content is received.
Sometimes, it makes you wonder why you bother putting content out there.
However, the whole point of content marketing is to really speak to your audience, providing them with useful information that they can trust. Churning out any old thing can make people to switch off or worse - disregard your brand, which nobody wants.
We consistently put out content on our blog with the aim of helping our readers, and that in turn gets them linking back to us from their blogs which raises our search engine game.
Compelling copy causes your reader to act on that all important call to action (CTA), which is exactly what you want. So, without further ado, here’s a few tips to help you to write copy that converts.
Get to know the people who read your blog or buy your products. Think about what makes them tick and what their problems are.
Whether it’s teenage girls looking for the next best makeup trend or a first time marathon runner looking for some tips. You must get to know the people who are reading your content to make sure you strike a chord with them.
A great way of doing this is to create a buyer persona. Ask yourself a number of questions about your target audience; things like what their job role is likely to be, what hobbies they enjoy and what daily challenges they face.
This will really help you to get inside their mind and write copy that appeals to them. To get started, check out this handy template.
Using an obvious sales pitch doesn’t wash now that people have so much choice. Consumers don’t want to be told what to do, they want to do things off their own accord.
Reading copy that gets their attention and is meaningful will have far more impact than a shouty, age old pitch.
So, how can you do that?
Think about titles that have grabbed your attention in the past and led you to new blogs or websites. With the average attention span now ‘less than a goldfish’, the window of opportunity to hook people in is dropping.
Therefore, you need to think about your title carefully to make sure it stands out. Titles which intrigue people such as ‘10 things you didn’t know about SEO’ or ‘Things you wish you knew after college’ will naturally make people curious.
Simple titles that answer a question can also generate a good response. Our article 'what is SEO?' generated a huge amount of buzz because it simplified a question that people dance around.
If you’re really successful at this, it may lead to people sharing - the ultimate goal.
The feeling of being ‘hand-selected’ for something makes people feel important. If you’re told that you’re one of a group of people chosen for a free trial, chances are you’ll feel special and more likely to show an interest.
When Google launched Google+, they did just this by inviting a select number of people to sign up and create profiles. This feeling of exclusivity made them do just that and the exercise was a success.
Bear this in mind with your next offer or product launch and see if you can select an ‘exclusive group’ - it could really pay off.
This may seem like a weird one; grouping individuals under categories - who wants that? Well, surprisingly, in this day and age people actually like being labelled. Think about it - an email ‘For extreme runners only’ lands in your inbox. You’ve been labelled an ‘extreme runner’ - do you feel good? Of course you do!
By labelling people, you’ll make them feel like they’re part of something and are recognised for the thing they are good at or enjoy doing. Get this right, and they are far more likely to take action.
People love honesty. Admit your shortcomings and be real.
There’s no good in portraying a perfect image 100% of the time as it’s not believable. People want to see authenticity, whether you’re a blogger or a large enterprise. Showing your flaws makes you more human and easier to relate to.
Social psychologist, Fiona Lee, conducted a study to see if companies which admitted their faults were seen to be more credible. She found that those who admitted their strategic faults actually achieved higher stock prices the following year, showing that admitting to shortcomings made companies still seem in control despite their faults.
Be mindful, however, that you don’t over share on the shortcoming front. Simply admitting to things you’ve found difficult or have overcome will show you in a more authentic light.
We’ve all been there, right? That ‘early bird ticket’, the infamous Black Friday sales and the ‘limited edition dress.’
As a consumer, experiencing a sense of urgency can have a real impact. Now, you need to treat this one with care - make it too obvious that your ‘flash sale’ is just a recurring tactic and buyers will see straight through it.
If you can craft your words well to have your audience believe that you really have only four places left on your webinar then you’ll get their attention - and hopefully a positive action.
Another thing to remember with content marketing is that readers don’t want cold hard pitches anymore. They want useful information that will help solve their problems.
Keep the 90% rule in mind with this one. A common rule amongst marketers is that content should be 90% informative and related to solving the reader’s problem, keeping the pitching to a minimum.
If you’re in the makeup market, there’s no good in churning out new offers and product details. This gets boring and isn’t what will bring beauty enthusiasts to your site. Instead, writing articles on ‘achieving the perfect brow line’ or ‘how to get flawless skin’ will be much more useful and encourage people to buy into the solutions (or products) that you offer.
Gary Veynerchuck’s Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook offers some great strategies on how to stand out with great content and hook your audience in.
This is one of the most important parts of your copy as if your call to action is weak, then you’re not going to see those all important conversions.
Deciding upon call to actions is a key stage of our web design process.
Think about who you’re talking to and what action you’d like them to take. A simple ‘click here’ or ‘call now’ is ok, but you don’t want to go with this every time. Have a think on how you can expand on this, to really entice your reader to act.
‘Try it for free’ or ‘Download your free sample here’ are more likely to get a click as people feel like they are getting value. Remember that this is an essential factor give this the thought it deserves. To give you a hand, here’s a handy guide to different types of CTAs.
Although writing good copy does take time (we wish we could be the ones to tell you that it doesn't), it's one of the best investments you can make as it's ultimately the thing that gives your brand a voice.
Of course, we can take the hassle out of copywriting for you. We include conversion focused copywriting with our website design service, but also offer it as a standalone service. Just get in touch with us on 0115 971 8908 if you'd like to discuss what we can do for you.