Saturday, 22 March 2014

7 things you need to know about copywriting

7 Things You Need to Know About Copywriting

Thinking of overhauling your web site? Writing a new web site? Or just trying to make you marketing work harder? Then you need to know more about content and copywriting.
Web copy and content are two different things and serve two very different purposes, even though they seem to be used interchangeably by most marketeers. Copy is the salesman of the piece. The writing that makes people want to open their wallets and buy. Content is … everything else. It attracts your audience, engages their sustained attention, demonstrates your unique ability to solve their problems, and paves the way for a purchase. 

Content marketing has become the buzz word in advertising, but it has really been in the background for all time, just unnoticed and often ignored due to cost of production. With the advent of the digital age, content marketing is now relatively cheap and beginning to compliment copy writing to its fullest potential. Smart content and copywriters successfully infuse the two and are producing web copy that can make a difference. 

Here are 7 things you need to know about copywriting to make it successful


Sex! Violence! Marketing! That got your attention, didn’t it?
Everything written needs a great headline. Even if you have an established audience you’ll still need to entice them to read that particular item and convince them of what it can do for them. The headline needs to be clear and concise, teasing the reader to want to know more. Headlines are no place for waffle, obscurity or extreme intelligence. Grab their attention – then back it up with GREAT content.

PLAY DUMB (or at least a little dumber)

Copy and content writing is a great place for information, education and persuasion, but you can’t chose who’s going to read it. Being overly clever in copy can lead to confusion for your audience because if this is their first exposure to your company or they know little about the industry, they won’t get the ‘in’ jokes and nuances however funny they are. Being zealously intelligent about your product will also narrow your interaction field down to about 3% of your audience in comprehension – and concentration span. 

A dash of wit and cleverness here and there will spice things up nicely, but like making a ham sandwich, you don’t want to taste all mustard. 


All your content and copy needs to develop an idea. Each component needs to blend with the other writing elements and build on something that moves buyers to where you want them to be. Uninteresting facts and dry information do not tend to build a bigger picture so much as bore your audience to death, so engaging copy and content needs to educate whilst drawing them in to something big. Have a goal to your copy, and point every word in that direction. 


All the best copy and content comes from completely understanding the product then mixing it with a boat load of creativity, giving it time to ruminate and become a force au natural. If you are writing your own content and copy be sure you balance your product enthusiasm with skillful manipulation of words to create something that is informative and engaging. If you hire a writer, make sure they are very familiar with your product or service and then give them the time to write exactly what you need. 

“The best copywriters are the most tenacious researchers. Like miners, they dig, drill, dynamite, and chip until they have carloads of valuable ore. John Caples advised me once to gather seven times more interesting information than I could possibly use”  Gary Bencivenga.

That’s about right…


The one common denominator in every piece of unstoppable copy writing is the aspect of finding a unique advantage and combining it with persuasive content that is fed to a hungry demographic. In any industry there is competition so you need to have an edge. Find it, or create it, then use it as leverage to draw your audience in. 

Go out and find the people that need your product and give them they what they want. 


There is one way to ensure your content and copy will fail – write it with the ‘Let’s see what happens’ goal as your map. You should always have a goal and a call to action. Use your piece to get an email subscription, educate, sell, gain audience, promote your brand – anything you want, but let it lead to a purpose. If you write to persuade your reader to engage in a specific behaviour all your words center around that goal. There will be no ‘boring bits’ or ‘pointless words’, and it will build your integrity and credibility as a provider. If you can’ achieve those goals – you need to employ someone who can. In marketing you’re either going forwards, or going backwards – there is no room in the crowd to stay still.


OK, so maybe not laugh all the time, but you need to stay as far away from boring as you can get, without wandering into a parody. People don’t buy a product because it bores them to death; they buy it because they are attracted to it. Make your product attractive by using words to entertain, educate and impress by using your personality, creative imagery, humour – maybe even controversy, but make it attractive and stick to your big goal. 

Whether it’s a brochure, postcard or complete web site, use the power of the copy and content marketing to further your market share. Words have power. Be sure your tack them into the right harness to be remembered – or you’ll be like the famous luxury pen company that had a marketing campaign around the saying, ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ – except at launch they forgot the space between the words ‘Pen’ and ‘Is’…

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