Phlegm. Moist. Squirt.
Firstly, I apologise, but secondly, did that make you cringe, frown or even gag?
I’m assuming it did.
If not, you must be a psychopath because those are some of the most hated words in the English dictionary, but I’m assuming you’re not a psychopath, because here at LKO, we’re nice like that.
I didn’t just use those words to start your reading session off in an awful way, they are there to prove a point. Words are powerful. They have the ability to move, influence and even evoke a physical response.
The copy that you use when you are talking to your customers is CRUCIAL, and is often overlooked.
But the thing is, copywriting is not easy. It’s not every day you wake up feeling like Charles Dickens, ready to spark your creative flare. You can often spend hours looking at a blank screen. Typing and deleting. “Ughh that’s lame” “Urghh that sounds pushy” “Urghh that literally makes no sense whatsoever”. It’s tough, I get it.
That’s why we’ve created this copywriting guide for you – to make this overwhelming world of copywriting a little easier. This guide is curated by experienced digital marketers for you to use when you a) are having a mind blank and nothing is working or b) when you’ve written some copy and you want to make sure it meets winning criteria.
Know your audience & their pain points
Understanding your target market is one thing, but understanding your specific audience – the exact people that will be reading your copy (and their pain points) is the single most important part of crafting strong copy.
Don’t beat around the bush, hit the nail on the head. Draw out the most important pain points for your audience and address them directly. Empathise with their problem, give authority over how you can solve that problem, and provide them with a solution. Try creating a customer persona of your audience before you start writing, and have this person in mind for every word you write.
The average American reads three thousand words a day. Okay, that stat maybe from “Newsoptimist.com” so reliability is debatable, but the point is your audience reads a tonne of words a day, so if you want your copy to resonate with your reader and drive action, your copy needs to stand out.
Our attention spans are short and advertising is everywhere, so to do this successfully, you need to (sorry to be repetitive but…) deeply understand your audience. What makes them laugh? What slang do they use? Do they use emojis? What music do they listen to? Why have they clicked on your ad? What are their deepest fears? Understanding this personal side to your audience can help you craft unique copy that will truly resonate with them.
Use typographical emphasis
I simply cannot stress enough how IMPORTANT using typographical emphasis is. It truly is essential for strong copy. Make crucial words pop, and add tone to your language. IT’S ALSO IMPORTANT NOT TO OVERUSE IT, BECAUSE THAT’S REALLY ANNOYING.
Less is more
Quality over quantity. If you can take away words without taking away the impact, let them go. For example, your lead gen page could say “Here is what is included in the package deal”. This can be changed to “Here’s what you get”.
Give it time
Crafting strong copy is a creative process. Write a first draft and then step away from it for a few hours, even a few days. Your subconscious mind is constantly active and I guarantee a little break from the screen will revamp new ideas that wouldn’t have surfaced without some space. This does involve a little time management, so start your copy early and plan yourself some time to come back to it.
You know more than your audience knows
Sometimes we forget that we know our products and services like the back of our hand, and our copy reflects this mindset. Remember that your audience doesn’t know as much as you do, and sometimes we need to break down information that may seem silly to us. A good tip to make sure your copy is understandable and clear is to get a (non-marketer) friend to read it. Do they understand what the offer is? Is it clear? Do they have any tips from an audience perspective that would help break down your information?
Forget what you learnt in school (kind of)
Great copy isn’t about using fancy long words and being grammatically correct, in fact, a lot of the time, it’s the opposite. You want to write like you talk and use language that resonates with your prospect.
If copywriting really isn’t your thing, outsource it
The truth is, we’re probably really, really good at less than 5 things, really, really bad at over a 100 things and kind of average at everything between. It can sound a bit depressing, but that’s a huge part of what makes humans unique and special. So where does copywriting sit for you?
If you’re in the really good or average range at copywriting, practice, and expanding your knowledge using resources such as this can help you become a copywriting pro. But if you’re in the really, really bad segment, you can learn and practice, it’ll just require more time. If you don’t have the time and energy- there’s nothing wrong with outsourcing your copywriting, in fact, in can often be more efficient and generate more customer action.
LKO offers copywriting services, so check out our services page for information (after all, what’s a blog post without a cheeky plug?).
If you have ANY questions about copywriting, please leave them in the comments section below or get in touch with us directly and a member of the LKO team will get back to you. Good on you for taking the time to improve your copywriting skills and, happy writing!