Are you able to convince your target audience through the strategic use of words? Can you delight and make your blog reader follow all the actions you indicate?
So you’ve probably mastered some of the skills needed to be an excellent copywriter.
It’s important to know that your content can make a difference in a company’s marketing strategy by increasing the number of conversions and your network of customers and potential customers.
Do you want to better understand what copywriting is and how it can be the missing piece for your brand to achieve success? Then, this definitive guide is for you!
What is copywriting?
Copywriting is a content production strategy focused on convincing the reader to take a specific action.
The copywriter must write the “copy” (the content) thinking about its persuasive character, using triggers to arouse interest in the reader, in order to generate conversions and sales.
But anyone who thinks that this concept is new is mistaken.
The rise of copywriting
No, copywriting is not a new term. The word copy was first defined in 1828 by Noah Webster and, unlike its literal transposition—”copy”, the term referred to “something original that must be imitated in writing and printing”.
This definition fell out of favor in literature but persisted among journalists and printers who, in the mid-1870s, began to define the copywriter as the professional who writes ads, to differentiate this activity from the traditional news writer.
The copywriters of the 20th century, therefore, were nothing more than copywriters, and the work of these professionals helped several brands to gain fame and millions of dollars at the time.
However, with the popularization of the internet and the rise of Digital Marketing, copywriting was reformulated and started to distance itself more and more from advertising.
What is Copywriting in Digital Marketing?
Copywriting is an essential part of your digital marketing strategy. It can capture the attention of your target audience, tap into their emotions, build curiosity, and excite them into taking action.
It can also increase brand awareness, generate higher-quality leads, and help you acquire new customers.
When used in digital marketing campaigns, copywriting can persuade your readers to take action immediately, and often is found in the following:
- PPC ads
- Social media ads
- Sales emails
- Product pages
- Landing pages
- Sales letters
- Press releases
The Difference Between Copywriting and Content Writing
Confusion often surrounds copywriting and content writing and many lump them into the same category. Yet, it is essential to note that there are distinct differences between the two.
The purpose for content writing is to inform, educate, or entertain your target audience. It is the slower approach, gaining the trust of your target audience to keep them coming back for more.
In contrast, while copywriting can be informative, educational, and entertaining, its true purpose is to serve as a persuasive and promotional mechanism, incorporating a strong push or call to action, and eliciting a response now vs. later.
With copywriting, the tone of voice differs and is deliberate. It is motivational, prompting readers to click on a link, accept a free trial, donate to your cause, make a purchase, or schedule a phone call or consultation.
What Does a Copywriter Do?
A copywriter usually has a plan before sitting down to write copy. Once they obtain a project overview, the next step is to research all possible sources, and this can include:
- Finding the facts supporting the product or service’s claims
- Locating interesting and unique details to include
- Looking for any past or present stories from your organization’s origins or customer experiences
- Searching for a different angle to surprise customers
Some of the questions a copywriter will seek to answer during this early stage include:
- What are consumers currently talking about in online forums and groups, customer reviews, and other sources?
- What keywords are most relevant?
- Are there any relatable interviews available?
The copywriter may even go so far as to acquire the product or service, examining and using it to find a way of presenting it in a new way.
Once the research is compiled, the next steps are to write and edit until it is concise enough and meets its purpose of persuasiveness.
Why is Copywriting So Valuable?
Copywriting may seem like something that fits neatly in the sales and marketing realm, yet much can be said about its particular value to your organization.
To start, good copywriting is valuable in strengthening your brand’s messaging and image, keeping you top of mind with your target audience.
It can also succinctly point out what makes your business special, your strengths, and what distinguishes you from your competitors. And finally, good copywriting can increase your overall conversion rates.
The difference between copywriting and advertisement writing
Paul Hollingshead, one of the founders of AWAI, one of the largest writer associations in the world, differentiates the two areas as follows:
“Copywriting brings a strong CTA, that is, a strong call to action, while advertising writing refers to a ‘soft selling ad’.”
From a more practical point of view, copywriting is more appropriate for attraction strategies, such as Inbound Marketing, in which the sales process extends over a long persuasive process. Advertising writing remains an instrument aimed at direct sales.
This does not mean that the two fields are perfectly distinct. Copywriting “was born” from advertising writing and a good portion of its tools were incorporated by renowned advertisers from the past.
The two types of writing, therefore, are complementary and their approaches are always mixed.
The main goal of copywriting
If the CTA is one of the main elements of a copy, it means that throughout the customer’s journey it will be necessary for the reader to take some action such as subscribing to a newsletter, downloading in-depth content, or just continuing on the blog and read another post, according to the strategy that was established.
It is from this technique that the copywriter is able to convince and capture the visitor’s attention to a website or blog and make them follow the instructions that are given.
This professional educates and trains the persona about a certain product or service to make it clear that their product is the best solution for their demands.
This is done through the production of rich, quality materials such as blog posts, infographics, e-books, whitepapers, webinars, and so on.
What is the relationship between content marketing and copywriting?
Like copywriting, Content Marketing is an old practice that has gained a new guise after the popularization of advertising strategies on the internet.
In the previous sections, when explaining the concept of copywriting, it was said that it focuses on conversion. Because of this, you must keep in mind that it will have great relevance in the adoption of Content Marketing by a business.
What is Content Marketing?
When Content Marketing is adopted in a company, the goal is to attract, captivate and educate the target audience through content that is relevant and rich for a specific audience.
By building a long-term relationship, it is possible to increase the network of customers and potential customers of the business, providing quality content that meets the interests of your audience.
In other words, Content Marketing leaves behind the old invasive advertisements to turn companies into real educators.
In addition, this strategy is very important to make a company a reference in its market, as it increases its authority and benefits the brand image, which, consequently, attracts new customers and favors business.
The role of copywriting in Content Marketing
As you can see, this “art of selling” cannot be summed up only in the act of marketing a final product, since the copywriter does not always aim to make a sale immediately.
The idea is to extend the consumer experience through a process — the sales funnel — and to lead your audience, step by step, through strategically prepared content to their final destination, which in this case is conversion.
If Content Marketing seeks to engage and attract the target audience through educational, quality content, copywriting will be the differential for the strategy to be effective, as it encourages the reader to take action.
The big secret, both for copywriting and Content Marketing, is to deeply understand who will consume the content. Thus, it is possible to bring the reader and their universe into the narrative and solve their doubts in the best possible way.
Knowing and understanding the characteristics of your readers will help you to develop better briefing, which is going to be useful when you need to outsource to other creators, such as ghostwriters.
Common strategies used by copywriters today include the following.
1. Emphasize Benefits not Features
Almost anyone can list out the technical details and features of your product or service. For successful copywriting, however, the focus is on emphasizing the benefits instead.
Since consumers want to know how something can benefit them directly, copywriting gives them what they want.
2. Target the Emotions
Emotions play a big role in decision-making, so determining how to evoke emotion is a copywriting strategy. While this may at first sound manipulative, it is actually meeting a specific need of a subset of consumers out there. Yes, it may narrow who your target audience becomes, but can truly speak to their mindset in a way that encourages action.
3. Customer-Focused Copy
While an organization may pride itself in how perfect its products are, the more you boast, the less likelihood you connect with the mindset of the customer. Instead, good copy shows how it is about them and solving a dilemma or problem they have. A copywriter will use this customer-focused strategy and replace words such as “we” and “our” with more “you” references.
4. Slide One Sentence into the Next
You want readers to continue reading, so you craft each sentence so it “slides” into the next. By creating compelling sentences that build excitement, there is a higher chance your reader will continue to the end of your copy. Begin with an attention-getting headline, and continue to draw the reader in with each sentence, propelling them to want to continue to the end.
5. Create Belonging or Exclusivity
Most everyone, at some point, seeks belonging to a group or community. Finding a brand or business they feel comfortable with can create this for them. For example, owners of Mitsubishi Miatas feel as if they are in a unique group, often meeting up in car enthusiast clubs across the country.
Another way to increase the feeling of belonging is with exclusivity. Word choice will be important and may include “be an insider” or receive “exclusive offers.” With this strategy, customers feel part of a special group with special privileges.
Types of Copywriting
While all copywriting, to some degree, is persuasive writing, there are different types or specialties.
The purpose of ad copywriting is to convince readers to take action while using as few words as possible. This means every word matters, and those words will need to target a specific issue or problem succinctly and show how a product or service is a solution. These ads can have a big impact on your conversion rates.
Emails are still one of the best online methods for reaching customers and can be highly persuasive. Email copywriting will include compelling subject lines and engaging text that builds up to a clear, irresistible call-to-action.
Social media copywriting
Social media copywriting involves creating posts with targeted messages that speak directly to your audience. Each post, however, will need tailoring to the specific social media platform and its standards.
Compelling copy that breaks something technical down into understandable steps, such as how-to articles for product set-up or use, is technical copywriting. While helpful, it is also encouraging to the reader to take action and make a purchase.
SEO copywriting incorporates specific tactics, such as inclusion of the most relevant keywords or title tags, with a dual purpose of persuading readers to take action and increasing search engine rankings.
How to Get Copywriting Experience
To gain experience and start building your career in copywriting, the best thing you can do is start networking.
Begin with any family or acquaintances who have a business and need copywriting services. Tell them what you can do and offer to write for free initially. Not only will this provide experience, but it will give you something to put in your portfolio to show potential customers going forward.
Next, advance your networking, such as on LinkedIn. Re-connect with old employers and co-workers wherever they are now, and let them know you now offer copywriting services.
Find local events to attend where you can meet entrepreneurs and businesses in your area and introduce your services. You can also reach out to local businesses directly. Leave a card, send a follow-up email, and check in every now and then without being bothersome.
Another strategy is to find a mentor to learn from and write for, at least initially. Learn all you can from them and apply that to your own practice.
Top 5 Tips for Writing Copy
Along with the various copywriting strategies, these five tips can take you a long way in writing successful copy.
1. Create showstopping leads
Grab the attention of readers right away with a showstopping lead. Make your headline impactful and intriguing.
2. Be specific
Be specific in what you write about. You only have so much time to pull the reader in and convince them to take action. Avoid generalities. Look for something specific about the subject of your copy and use that as the selling point.
3. Use succinct writing
Write succinctly and make every word count. Avoid long or difficult words and, instead write clearly and simply. Avoid hyperbole and jargon, and get to the point quickly.
4. Write conversationally
Write as if you are conversing with the reader. Avoid telling or preaching with your words, and instead, connect with readers using everyday language.
5. Incorporate testimonials
If possible, find and incorporate relevant customer testimonials to build credibility with readers. These testimonials elicit more trust and believability in the brand, product, or service and make readers feel more comfortable taking the next step.
What to Look for in a Copywriter
At some point, you may be looking for someone to write copy for you. If so, here are the basic things to look for in a copywriter.
- Experience writing copy, or at least an enthusiasm that assures you of their abilities.
- Research skills, including knowledge of reputable sources.
- Familiarity with your field or industry, whether it be financial, technology, health-related, or other.
- Understands or is willing to study your brand voice, messaging, and the benefits of your products or services.
Examples of Copywriting
To help you envision what copywriting is, here are three examples of successful copy by different brands.
Buffer emphasizes the benefits of its app, not just its features. Here they share how the app is a smarter way to share, saves you time, and is a way to work smarter instead of harder.
Headspace, the meditation app, reaches customers on its homepage by being action-oriented and specific. It speaks to the benefits of using the app, such as to “find more joy,” “get more goodnights,” and “make every day happier.”
Death Wish Coffee
Death Wish Coffee creates product descriptions that stand out. For example, for its Gingerdead Coffee, they capture attention with headlines, including “Sleigh the Season with Gingerdead,” and also lets readers in on the process of how it is made.
How to create a copywriting strategy?
Writing well is essential, but not enough if you intend to turn your reader into a customer.
There are 3 basic commandments that must be respected in the production of any content for Digital Marketing (be it a text, a micro text, a video, a podcast, or an e-mail):
- inspire the reader;
- create a relationship with the brand;
- motivate readers to take action on the service or product.
In addition to these principles, when planning a copywriting strategy, some other elements must also be considered so that your content is beneficial to both you and your reader. Check out the most important ones below!
A blog does not become a reference on a particular subject by accident. It will only achieve success if the content is incredible and really satisfies all the audience’s needs.
Therefore, it takes a lot of research and dedication, in order to produce the best possible content, that is, a piece that is really relevant to the persona, and capable of entertaining and educating them.
Do not think that the publication of posts should happen indiscriminately. Try to establish goals and a path for the customer within the sales funnel.
To assist you in this journey, a widely adopted practice is the editorial calendar. With it, you will be able to strategically publish content and launch campaigns, including the use of holidays and anniversaries.
Remember that this data will also be important if your company hires a marketing automation service.
It is useless to produce more of the same. If your website or blog delivers only the same basic content that is easily found at other addresses in the segment in which you operate, it will never attract the attention of your persona.
To stand out and gain the trust of your reader, one of the essential elements of copywriting is exclusivity.
Be creative, invest in research and ensure that your content is unique, with new and relevant information for your persona.
You will understand later the relationship between copywriting and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
For now, it is ideal that you already have in mind that SEO is very important to ensure that your website has a good position in Google search rankings—or any other search engine—and is found by users.
Just as the relationship with the customer does not end when a sale is closed, your work does not end when the post is published.
Follow the metrics closely, see if the content is working well, check which tactics should be leveraged, and identify those that need to be avoided.
By analyzing your results, you will be more informed to make decisions and make the success of your website or blog possible.
What are the 14 main copywriting techniques?
Some techniques must be adopted to ensure that copywriting is a successful strategy. Below, we list the most important ones.
1. Know who your target audience is
Again: you must know who you are writing for or you will not have as many hits as you would like.
First, define your persona. This is a semi-fictional character who represents your ideal client from real data.
It is important to define age, sex, occupation, interests, hobbies, and any other type of information that is relevant to understanding the profile and behavior of these people.
In this way, it will be possible to create content oriented to your potential customers, with a style and approach that come close to their reality, increasing the possibility of conversions.
2. Set the right tone and language
Speaking of approach, it is essential to establish the tone and language that will be adopted in your content.
After defining the persona, you will have made this task a lot easier.
3. Create killer titles
The title is the first contact your reader has with your content and is also one of the most relevant elements for search engines.
There are several title formats: it can start with numbers, suggest a question, present the topic and then make a call, make a provocation, among many other ways.
The important thing is that it is straightforward—that is, the subject is very clear about what the content addresses, or what solution it delivers—, contains the keyword, and does not exceed 55 characters, to ensure that it appears complete on the search results page.
4. Create a connection with the reader
To establish a relationship of trust between you and your potential customer, you need to create a connection with them.
Thus, when planning a particular piece of content, list the strategies that should be adopted to make the reader feel that it was written with them in mind.
You will not simply sell your content or service, but show your blog visitor that you offer exactly what he needs through educational and rich content.
5. Use action verbs
How does one provoke a sense of urgency in the reader? Or the feeling that if they don’t follow your lead, they are likely to miss an unparalleled opportunity?
Remember that the main goal of copywriting is to make the visitor to your blog or website follow the action defined by you.
In order for the reader to understand the message and know what must be done, it is recommended that you use verbs in the imperative, mainly in the title, in the subheadings, and in the CTA.
Check out some examples:
- title: Understand the importance of proper social media management;
- subheading: Evaluate the metrics;
- CTA: Now that you have learned how to manage social media optimally, download our ebook and clear all your doubts about how to gain more followers!
6. Make comparisons
Humanity has used analogies and metaphors since ancient times to clarify ideas, and there are some reasons why this strategy works so well.
First, people are more receptive to familiar information. After all, the effort used to understand a totally new concept is much greater than necessary to understand something that is already known or implied.
In addition, our brain builds new memories from others, establishing connections between them. Therefore, if you can bring up a concept that is familiar to the reader and associate that information with the idea that you are transmitting, the chances of solidifying the content in their mind become much greater.
However, it is important to avoid direct comparisons with the competition, especially if your lines reduce other companies’ products or services. In addition to not being ethical conduct, this type of attitude arouses suspicion.
7. Use numbers and surveys
If you use numbers in the title, whoever is reading will already have a sense of how many tips will be given throughout the article. For example: “Learn about 9 important metrics for a call center”.
If your intention is to prove the information that is being given, to give even more credibility to what you are saying, quote data and research—without forgetting to link the URL from which you obtained the information.
We will talk about some common mistakes in the next sections, but we can already say that expressions like “according to researchers…” give the feeling that the message is not true.
8. Anticipate objections
One of the main goals of copywriting is to break objections, that is, those doubts that your follower or prospect has about your company or product.
These objections must be identified in advance during the research and persona creation, but they can be improved and updated according to the behavior of your audience and, also, of your competitors.
Like a good salesperson, the copywriter needs to be ready to handle any questions from the reader.
9. Work on your persuasiveness
As persuasion is at the heart of a good copywriting strategy, it is essential to know about some psychological principles to increase your convincing power.
Robert Cialdini, in his bestseller “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, clarifies that human behavior is guided by some fundamental laws. See each of them below:
- reciprocity: by nature, human beings tend to respond to an action with another equivalent action, so if you want a consumer to do something for you, you will need to deliver something of value to them first;
- social proof: since people are influenced by others, testimonials and success stories are powerful ways to increase your content’s credibility;
- affection: since we tend to connect more easily and deeply with people who look like us, we tend to give more attention and respect to the salesperson who lives or has experienced a problem similar to ours;
- authority: this principle suggests that people are more likely to respect those they judge as “superior”, not in the literal sense of the word, but in a particular subject, for example;
- coherence: when people publicly commit to something, they feel psychologically pressured to behave and deliver the announced result;
- scarcity: this trigger activates when we realize the possibility of losing something and sharpen our desire in order to get rid of the feeling of loss.
You probably have already come across many articles and ads that explore these principles and it is good to start using them on your content too, but sparingly.
Once the indiscriminate use of these triggers has been identified, the effect is simply the opposite. Therefore, use this knowledge only as a basis for your arguments, never explicitly presenting them.
10. Tell stories
One of the most interesting and effective ways to attract attention and engage an audience is to tell a compelling story. This strategy is known as Storytelling and its main objective is to create a strong connection with your audience.
Stories are one of the premises of communication. Because they are deeper and more sensitive, they evoke emotions and memories, in addition to showing empathy by making people experience the information they receive.
Just be careful not to overdo it. After all, a persuasive story does not require the details and nuances of a literary work. In fact, Storytelling is just a tool to enrich your conversation with the reader and make this interaction more human, since there is nothing more human than storytelling, right?
11. Ask questions that will get positive answers
“In an advertising text, I’m going to throw a question here and there, but I’m often going to put it as a statement—you know, one of those statements that make readers nod their heads in agreement.” (Parris Lampropoulos)
When asking a question, structure it so that it is also a statement. Thus, the reader will feel that by agreeing with what you are saying, you will be reinforcing an indisputable truth.
12. Write how you speak
Think carefully, if you write in a way similar to the one you speak, an interesting phenomenon happens: the text is much more natural, allows you to get closer to the reader, helps to tell stories, and even makes reading easier.
Oh! Another important point is that, naturally, it doesn’t look like you are about to announce a sale, but rather that you are recommending something, like a friend yourself.
And this is a much more effective approach, don’t you think?
13. Emphasize the main topic of the content
“Get the subject right once. Then go back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time, with a ‘tremendous blow’.” (Richard Perry)
Sports metaphors aside, what this phrase means is that every text has an introduction, the development of ideas, and a conclusion. Therefore, reinforcing the main subject in all its content is very important.
Let’s say you need to talk about the health benefits of green tea. In this case, the ideal is that you introduce green tea in the introduction, develop throughout the text what are its health benefits of it and reinforce the importance of the product in the conclusion.
14. Sell the benefits and experience
More important than talking about the characteristics is to explain the benefits and the experience that the customer is about to acquire.
Remember the sales rules we talked about right after we defined the concept of copywriting? We don’t like the idea of being convinced to buy something, and when we do, it’s for emotional, not rational reasons.
By listing the characteristics of your product or content, you appeal only to the rational side.
However, focusing on describing the benefits and experience, the connection is emotional and the next step becomes something more natural.
Is it possible to create perfect copy?
One of the most prestigious copywriting jobs goes back to the time when the term was still restricted to American advertising copywriters.
In 1957, David Ogilvy, considered by some authors as the father of modern advertising, created the famous Rolls-Royce car campaign with a text of just 607 words and a breathtaking title chosen by half a dozen editors from his agency among 26 options created by them.
The ad entitled “At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock” raised the brand’s status and doubled the vehicle’s sales the following year.
Of course, Ogilvy’s proposal at the time was very different from the way corporate communication is handled these days, but the story helps to illustrate the importance of certain elements in an article, in this case, the title, and the power that a well-written text represents.
If you are thinking about becoming a copywriter, below we list some skills that you should have or improve.
Stimulate your creativity
To become a copywriter, there is no other way: you need to be very creative. Keeping up to date on trends and news are ways to surprise the reader and always keep your production in line with what they expect.
Keep in mind that plagiarism is a crime and can have serious consequences. In addition, search engine robots, such as Google’s, are always visiting pages and checking whether the material provided is really original.
If they find any irregularities, you can be sure that your blog or website will be punished.
We have already talked about the importance of doing in-depth research and producing original and quality content, as these are essential factors to make you an expert on a topic.
In addition, they will be relevant to maintaining your authority and making you a reference in your niche.
Do not publish anything on your blog if you have doubts about the veracity of the information. It is also recommended that you always make a thorough analysis of your sources, in order to avoid spreading data or information that, because they are false, will affect your image.
It is not enough to be creative and have the authority to talk about a subject. To get someone to actually follow what you are talking about, using persuasion is an attribute.
By improving this skill, you will be better able to convince and encourage visitors to visit your blog or website through your content alone.
Have no doubts: if you go around and go around talking about a subject, the reader will certainly look for another blog that can deliver what they are looking for more clearly and objectively.
Consider that each content has a different role to play and that 100-word texts will not have the same development and complexity as 3000 words. But in all cases, make sure that what you are talking about is really relevant to the reader.
The 11 most important elements and triggers in copywriting
It is not necessary that all of them are present in the text. To make this clear, let’s see how each of them works within the copy.
It is common for people to procrastinate a decision unless it has to be made urgently. Therefore, a piece of content must not only attract the visitor’s attention and involve them until the end but also make them adopt an attitude of speed that generates the conversion.
For that, some words and terms that cause the feeling of urgency may work. Here are some examples:
- Want to find out how to put together a marketing strategy? Check out the post we wrote on the subject now.
- Do you want to become a successful freelancer today? Click here to learn more!
- Until today, nobody had shared this secret of how to increase sales. Read the post and find out!
Some readers may feel distant from content producers, so using connection elements makes the two sides closer and this is essential in conversion-oriented copywriting.
In this way, the reader stops seeing you as someone who is trying to sell an idea or product to them and starts to see an ally for their success.
Some examples that show how the connection can be applied in the text are:
- You will discover in this post how to make amazing texts!
- See how ordinary people became successful freelancers!
- Check out this step-by-step to have a successful blog, even if you have never had one.
Another element of copywriting aimed at conversion is specificity. That is, it is necessary that the text defines the deadline or the next steps that the visitor must take to execute the action. Some examples:
- Learn the 7 tips for you to write the perfect content!
- Discover the 13 techniques for SEO text optimization!
- Learn more about the course that teaches you how to do copywriting in up to 2 weeks!
What brought you to this article is your interest in knowing more about copywriting and how to write texts that convert, right? The same is true of all people; when someone consumes content, they expect something to change after reading.
Therefore, the text needs to make it clear from the title that it will cause a transformation in the life of those who read it. Here are some examples:
- Discover now how to become the most desired marketer in the field!
- Learn how to create a successful blog from scratch!
- 9 steps to change your freelance life right now.
One thing is for sure: the web is full of content! Whatever the subject, it is not difficult to find blogs and social networks that talk about it, bringing lots of information and tips.
Because of that, hardly anyone would like to read content that is “more of the same”, right? Therefore, your content must have exclusivity.
Let’s, as an example, show titles for articles that talk about Instagram and that have nothing unique:
- What is Instagram? Find out now.
- How to create an Instagram account.
- What is the image format on Instagram?
Dull, isn’t it? Now see how the examples below draw much more attention and deliver exclusivity:
- What is Instagram? Find out the opinion of the greatest experts of this social network!
- 7 steps on how to create an Instagram account and have lots of followers!
- What is the image format on Instagram used by successful influencers? Find out now!
Much better, right?
According to Robert Cialdini, author of the book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, human beings behave according to six psychological principles that lead them to make a decision almost automatically, which are the next elements.
This principle points out that the human being has a natural tendency to respond to positive actions with other positive actions.
Provide your reader with valuable and relevant information to cultivate an interest in looking for you in the future—as a willingly provided favor.
For this reason, several companies have released manuals, free ebooks, and instructional blog posts. Whether or not it relates to the product or service provided by you, the tendency is to be useful first, to earn the public’s trust, and, only then, to sell.
7. Social approval
This trigger points out that we are influenced by others in our decision-making, so the greater the number of people who approve of something, the more people are tempted to do the same.
Therefore, it is common to use testimonials and comments from buyers.
8. Affection or affinity
This principle shows that people tend to connect with those who are similar to them, either emotionally, historically, or by characteristics and abilities.
The human being, for the sake of respect, has the tendency to obey whom he considers superior. To convey credibility in the text, try to specialize in the topic and select quality references in your writing.
10. Commitment and consistency
When someone commits to something, they will feel the pressure to behave in order to fulfill that commitment.
In the text, the principle of commitment and coherence is fundamental to gaining the confidence of the reader, because nobody likes fallacious texts.
So don’t do promises that you can’t keep, like absurd solutions. Being consistent in persuasive writing means producing content with logical sequences of ideas and connections between paragraphs.
We have a terrible inclination to value what we have lost or are about to lose. In order to explore this instinct, scarcity can also be put into practice in the text.
What are the 10 most common copywriting mistakes?
Making copywriting mistakes is more common than you think. To prevent you from going through any kind of negative situation, we will list the main misconceptions. Check them out below!
1. Failing to review content
Having a command of the English language and writing cohesive and coherent content are the obligations of a copywriter. You may even consider yourself a trained professional and immune to errors, but make no mistake: even the greatest specialists have some flaws, however small they may be.
The content review serves to check if there were no errors in punctuation, typing, agreement, or repetition of words, among many others.
One tip is to wait about half an hour to make this reading more critical, as our eyes get used to the material and may miss a mistake. To contribute to your review, invest in online tools and spellcheckers to complement your work.
2. Creating very technical content
Another frequent mistake is to believe that good content should always have formal and technical text, typical of traditional corporate communication.
Quite the opposite!
Everything will depend on your audience’s characteristics and the scenario in which they exist. There are cases in which more cultured and formalized communication is necessary. However, in recent years, companies have been betting on a more human language in almost all areas.
As a rule, jargon should be avoided, but it is essential to explain technical terms and clarify complicated concepts, making reading as easy as possible.
So, if your company communicates with executives from traditional educational institutions or a very formal company, for example, probably a more technical language will add authority and reliability to your brand.
On the other hand, if your company sells entertainment products to these same executives, lighter and more spontaneous language will bring much more results.
3. Focusing on your product and nothing else
Especially if you are combining Content Marketing and copywriting strategies, remember that explicit and wide-open advertising of your product or service should not be made. When the time is right, it will be presented in a natural way.
Also, note that people are not really interested in your product or service. What they are really looking for is a solution or a transformation, and that is what your content should focus on.
Throughout the client’s journey, your content must be able to win, retain and convert visitors to your blog, gradually bringing them closer to the ideal solution they are looking for, and that your company offers.
4. Not captivating the reader
To understand what really inspires and captivates the reader, always analyze your results and perform tests. Note which strategies are working, as well as the types of content that reach the most people or generate the most shares and conversions.
The goal is to not settle down and think that the chosen tactic will work forever. Just as trends are renewed over time, your reader changes and presents other demands, also changing the way they are attracted to the content.
5. Betting on clichés only
Copywriting is not a new subject, especially when it comes to mental triggers and resources of persuasion. Several strategies have become known and have been explored to exhaustion.
This means that the public clearly understands that ideas such as scarcity, urgency, and exclusivity are sales pitches.
So, instead of working as persuasive writing, the effect turns out to be the opposite and keeps the reader away.
6. Exaggerating the benefits
Talk about the benefits without hesitating, but also without overdoing it. And never promise anything that will not be delivered, or you will compromise all of your good work.
That is, do not promise to turn the reader into a millionaire or radically change their life if the product is unable to do so. In the end, after the purchase comes the time to satisfy the customer rationally, right?
Furthermore, betting on exaggerated promises is not copywriting. It is just misleading advertising.
7. Making assumptions about the audience
Avoid making and relying on assumptions about your audience. While understanding your buyer persona will be essential to writing any sales copy, also keep in mind that not all those in your audience will fit that mold exactly.
To get the most out of your copy, then, and reach the highest number of readers, find a way to reach your buyer persona without alienating the rest of your audience.
One way to approach this is to incorporate specific words, such as “if” or “maybe,” into your copywriting.
For example, instead of writing the following:
When your computer slows, and you’re unsure of the cause, try our analyzing tool.
Replace it with:
If your computer slows and you’re unsure of the cause, try our analyzing tool.
Another example utilizes the word “maybe.”
Maybe your computer is too slow, and you don’t know why. Our analyzing tool can help determine the reason behind that slowdown in less time.
8. Using too much slang
Every word you use in your copy needs to be beneficial in some way.
While slang, those informal words, and phrases, can connect you with your audience, only use them sparingly, if at all.
The reason for this is that you always need to keep in mind that you are representing your brand. You want to ensure your readers see you as professional, respectable, and trustworthy. The usage of slang can do the opposite of this.
Readers will judge you, in one way or another, by the words you use.
9. Making noticeable grammar and spelling mistakes
While readers today may be less strict or appalled when it comes to grammar or spelling mistakes, if you have too many in your copy, you risk appearing unprofessional and unreliable.
They may even think you are negligent in your presentation, not caring to take the time to prepare the best content for your customers or potential customers.
Always proofread your copy, or hire a freelancer to do so. Ask them to look out for any misspellings and grammar mistakes.
These mistakes may include the wrong word usage, such as “effect” when you really mean “affect,” or the omission of commas, semi-colons, and more.
Such mistakes can cause readers to stumble when reading, and you may not be able to get their full attention back, no matter how spectacular your following words may be.
10. Not knowing how to offer credibility
Content is just content unless you can back it up with credibility. Your audience wants assurance you know your stuff and that they can trust you.
Avoid generic sentences or paragraphs, and instead, immerse credibility into your copywriting. Speak with authority and confidence.
Back up any claims with proof, such as by adding satisfied customer testimonials or linking to scientific research studies.
For example, start with the following:
We stop fleas from taking over your pet and the entire household.
Now, add to it something like this:
Find out the results experienced by our clients, and click here to find out how to achieve the same or similar results.
How to optimize your pages with copywriting and SEO?
Content will only be successful if it is able to please both people and searchers. We have already given you some interesting tips on what should be done to ensure the quality of what you write in order to win over your audience.
Now, let’s share some lessons to optimize your pages and make them more attractive to search engine bots—which contributes to a good ranking.
As mentioned, the CTA is one of the stars of copywriting. It appears at the end of the text and indicates to the reader the next action they must take, such as filling out a form, downloading some material, reading other content, or subscribing to a newsletter.
This is very important and should be thought out in a strategic way, in order to keep the visitor on your blog for longer and thus interact more with your content.
User experience (UX)
Ensuring that the User Experience is positive is one of the biggest needs today. Otherwise, your reader will certainly look for another website or blog that will suit their wishes in a more pleasant way.
For this, it is very important to observe, for example, the formatting of your text, the chosen font size, and the visual aspects, such as images and the page design, in order to ensure that the user can read and understand everything that is comfortably present on the page, regardless of the platform used—mobile, tablet or desktop.
It is by analyzing the keywords that search engines understand the subject that your post addresses, making it possible for your audience to find you.
For this strategy to work properly, ideally, the keyword should appear at least 3 times—not counting the title—in the following locations:
- one of the subheadings, whenever possible;
Readability is the technique that makes it possible to scan a post and dynamically read the text, accelerating the understanding of what will be covered in it.
Since we have less and less time for our activities, any strategy that aims to facilitate the life of the reader is welcome, in addition to being considered positive for search engines.
By doing link-building, you will make your content even richer and more complete. You can invest in:
- internal links: they keep the reader on the blog for longer, facilitating access to other content and optimizing the blog’s performance with search engines;
- external links: they are very useful for verifying information and research, thus increasing the credibility of the content you produce and publish;
- guest posts: make your authority on search engines grow significantly so that partnerships between companies that open the doors of your blog to the authors of the partner brand to write are very common.
Is copywriting “manipulation”?
Copywriting has already been the target of criticism, especially in the last decades, in which its methodologies have been improved with the introduction of concepts from behavioral psychology and neuroscience.
Some experts and influencers wonder what the limit would be between a good practice of persuasion and an attempt at manipulation itself. After all, we are “leading people to a specific action”, right?
This questioning haunts several areas of marketing since its beginnings as a field of study, but when we look at the subject in detail, it is clear that there is much more misinformation about the field than “manipulation”, in fact.
What it is to be persuasive
We are always trying to convince others to accept our opinions, and other people do exactly the same to us, from a job interview to a discussion of politics at a bar table, from a relationship proposal to choosing a dish at dinner.
What psychologists, neuroscientists, publicists, and copywriters have done in recent years was just to unravel this process and adapt it to the communication of companies.
It is also important to note that people have never been more attentive and informed. Companies and professionals who take abusive actions are not only frequently criticized, but also quickly denounced.
The “limits” of a good copy
There is no official manual that explains the good and bad practices of copywriting. However, as we are dealing with corporate communication, all the rules on misleading advertising described by government bodies also apply to the production of copywriting content.
In general, what a copywriter should never do is present false information or promises and use devices that “disarm” the consumer, that is, take away their power of choice or their right to complain.
Copywriting content is always about persuasion techniques, mental triggers, and other communication tools, but don’t forget that, first of all, the purpose of good copy is to have a frank conversation with your audience.
How to become a copywriter?
In our last topic in this definitive guide on copywriting, we will share some tips on materials, websites, and interesting content for you, who intends to invest in the career of a copywriter.
- Gabay’s Copywriting Compendium – Jonathan Gabay;
- The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells – Robert W. Bly;
- Epic Content Marketing – Joe Pulizzi;
- So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing – Julia McCoy;
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini;
- Confessions of an Advertising Man – David Ogilvy.
Courses and learning platforms:
Use this guide whenever you have questions about copywriting and adopt these tips to make your strategy a success!
Now that you have solved all your doubts about copywriting, try our interactive Marketing Planning Bundle to craft a great plan for your entire year!
How Is the Scenario Changing, and Why Should Your Company Care About Good Copy?
The digital marketing industry is changing all the time. Your business needs to learn how to connect with your customers among those changes to stay ahead of the curve and stay viable.
Digital marketing has many tactics that you need to know in 2023. They include things such as:
- Pay-per-click advertising
- Affiliate marketing
- Social media marketing
When you start looking closer, it can be truly overwhelming to see how much you have to do to promote your brand and stay relevant in a space where content is key.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution to the overwhelming amount of content your company needs: Hiring copywriters. Copywriters produce your company’s content for social media, press releases, newsletters for email marketing, blogs, and even your ads. Good copywriters can meet your SEO requirements and help your website rank well among competitors, which helps you reach more customers.
Creating content regularly and en masse is one of the best techniques to get your brand known. That’s a challenge when you have only a single person running your business or have no writers in-house. Fortunately, there are hundreds of copywriters working in the industry today who can help with your content. Whether you need to keep a blog updated, want to focus on social media marketing, want help with optimizing your current content, or are creating marketing content for affiliate marketing, professional copywriters can get your content on track and give you an opportunity to get your brand seen and supported.
Learn How to Win More Leads With Good Content
One of the best ways to get good leads (and to get more of them) is to use excellent content to market your brand. Generating qualified leads with solid content (as well as content promotion) can help set your business apart and get you on track to have a better year with a higher ROI.
What is good content, though? Well, that depends on your audience. It needs to be straightforward, have a hook, and be informational or entertaining. Some of the options you can use include video content, copywriting on a blog or website, and search engine optimization to help it all get seen.
Get Seen With Video Content
The first kind of content to look into is video content.
People love watching videos, as you can see evidenced on platforms like TikTok and Instagram (reels).
Video content with a strong message and solid hook can be an excellent way to reach thousands (or millions) of viewers and to bring in leads by the bunch. On many platforms, you can set your videos up to forward people to your storefront or website. You can also set up playlists or groups of videos to keep them scrolling through your content, which makes them more familiar with your brand.
You can hire a copywriter to put together a script for you, too, which could help you produce better content over time without the slowdown of ideation.
Boost Your Blog With Solid Copywriting
Whether you have a landing page or you run a busy blog, good copywriting is a fantastic way to get more leads and to see a real difference in your company’s ROI. As we mentioned, posting regularly makes a difference and can quickly build your audience.
Knowing that you need copy to make your brand stand apart, you have to ask the question, “What makes a good piece of copy?”
The answer is simple:
- The content speaks to the audience to give it information or answer a question it has.
- The content is persuasive.
- The piece meets Google’s preferred SEO guidelines, making it easy to find the content online.
- The piece has a hook or call-to-action phrasing that encourages the audience to take the next step, like calling your business or signing up for a service.
- The content has solid research, so it’s accurate and timely. Evergreen content, which is content that is applicable every time of year, is beneficial when updated and refreshed on occassion.
These are some of the key points that help a piece of copy stand apart. Your marketing team needs to have a specific message in mind for your audience that the copywriter can focus on, and then, when they do, you’ll find that your audience is willing to listen to you as an expert in your field.
Hiring a single copywriter or, if you have the budget, a team of copywriters can help keep your content updated and interesting. Check out the writers at Writer Access to find writers at all price points willing to work with you to help build your brand.
Finally, don’t forget that you should develop SEO-balanced content. While people often think about optimizing their content with keywords, one thing you don’t want to do is make your content poor by stuffing it with keywords. Think about the keywords that actually apply to your industry or topic, and do the research to find the four or five main keywords that apply to this piece of content.
Mix up your keywords. For example, if you sell honeycrisp apples and run an orchard, try short-form keywords like “apples” and “honeycrisp.” Add in longer-form keywords like “honeycrisp apple recipes,” or “honeycrisp apple orchard.” You can also have long-tail keywords like “Find a honeycrisp apple store near me.” You will want the keywords you choose to be reasonable. The writer should be able to put them into the content fluidly, so the keywords don’t make it harder to read.
How Can Your Company Hire the Best Copywriters?
Now that you know how to create good content and what that content will look like, think about how you’re going to get that content built out.
In our opinion, the best option is to turn to a company like Writer Access to hire copywriters. Why? When you hire copywriters, you:
- Give yourself more time to work on other tasks, like developing your brand or interacting with feedback
- Receive strategic content marketing tips. For example, good copywriters will have suggestions on content that works at this time of year or can help develop the content to work toward a goal (like getting prospects to make a purchase through the marketing funnel).
- Get clear copy every time. These are professionals. As professionals, they know what works. They can tell you what kind of content is doing well and how it should be laid out. You get the final say, but hiring a copywriter can take jumbled thoughts and turn them into content others understand easily.
Before you try to hire copywriters, remember that your company need to define its goals. You will need to put together a brief to go over what you’re looking for and to clarify your needs. Some things you should start doing now include:
- Determining your budget
- Deciding what kinds of projects you need help with
- Deciding if you have to use someone in your industry or if anyone with writing skills could produce the content (the cost can vary accordingly)
- Determining your target audience
- Putting a strategy in place, so you use the content you purchase effectively.
After you decide to hire copywriters, it is time to find them. This search can take a little time, and content takes time to develop, so start early.
Where Can Your Company Find Qualified Copywriters?
If you’re looking for copywriters who are highly qualified to speak on your industry or to work on your content, you’ll love browsing the writer profiles at Writer Access. When you sign up, you’ll get a free two-week trial that lets you see who responds to your casting call.
Why is that important? Not only will you save yourself money and avoid spending it during the search phase of your content project, you’ll also get to read and learn about those who are professionals in the field of copywriting. Plan to send out test articles to one or two of your favorites to see who hits the mark best, or set up a team of writers to help you knock out content quickly and easily.
There is no better place to start if you want the process to be quick and easy. So, whether it’s for a content refresh or a completely new landing page, the writers at Writer Access are there to help.
Use Copywriting to Boost Your Conversion Rates
When it comes to your business, your goal is to not only help meet a need of consumers, but to also increase your bottom line. Copywriting can help you achieve both of these and even be fun in the process. You don’t have to figure out how all by yourself, however.
WriterAccess provides you with access to hundreds of copywriters to help you move your business forward. Get started by signing up for our 2-week trial today!