The demand for quality content is at an all-time high. As marketers struggle to keep up with the ever-increasing need for potent copywriting, the digital landscape gets muddled with a lot of ineffective and cringe-worthy copy. To help you elevate your copy above the rest, here are six foolproof do’s and don’t’s to keep in mind as you put together your next piece.
1. DON’T Use “Us” or “We”
Using “us” or “we” in your copy is a fast way to get your audience to check out. Your customer is engaging with you to find out how you can help them. Using “we” assumes their interest in your product.
Change “us” or “we” to “you.” Focus on your customer’s problems, wants, and needs. It’s up to you to show your readers what they will benefit from you.
2. DON’T Write One Generic Headline
The majority of people do not read the body of your work. As a copywriter, that statement is dismaying. You put in the time and effort to write a brilliant piece, and hardly anyone gets past the headline.
Write multiple headlines that are short and engaging. When you’re planning out your strategy, make a list of goals that you are trying to achieve and where you intend to post your content. Use this list to craft a headline for each channel and track their progress. A caption for a Facebook post will not be as effective as a headline for search. It’s essential to keep track of what works and what doesn’t.
3. DON’T be Verbose
We’ve already established that the majority of your audience won’t get past the headline. Your audience is even less likely to make it to the bottom of your copy, especially if you’re needlessly long-winded.
Write short sentences. Audit your copy for needless words. Find the longer sentences in your copy and break them into two sentences. Bloated, run-on sentences create confusing content fluff, and you are going to lose your audience before you finish making your point.
4. DON’T Write a Sales Pitch
Have you ever heard of someone sitting through a timeshare sales pitch to get a free vacation? They can do that because it’s easy for a person to tune that kind of language out. It focuses on the product, not the customer, and people quickly lose interest.
Create a story that is told in the same voice you would use in casual conversation. The use of a conversational tone fosters a feeling of being included rather than being lectured. Outline a problem your customer may face and introduce a solution that solves that problem. Use the “you” focused language mentioned earlier and keep in light.
5. DON’T Assume Your Audience
If you’re making assumptions about your audience, then your writing is going to be generic. This approach causes your audience to feel overlooked. When this happens, they lose interest, and that costs you time and money.
Research your audience. What do they already know? What do they need/want? In what ways are they engaging with similar content? What are their comments? Answer the questions that they are actually asking rather than providing them with a general idea.
6. DON’T Ignore Your Audience’s Emotions
Many marketers will rely on facts and figures to do the legwork of selling for them. Relying only on hard facts disengages your audience. People are more likely to respond to an appeal to their deepest emotions than their lust for logic.
Incorporate emotions into your copy and craft an experience for your audience. A few of the most compelling emotions that engage an audience are fear, anger, exclusivity, and salvation. Instead of using facts like “reusing plastic containers is environmentally friendly,” appeal to their anger by saying “Don’t let single-use plastics ruin the environment!” and see how much better your response is.
You can rely on the inattentiveness of your audience. You’re not likely to get more than a few seconds of their time, so it’s critical to use that time productively. Good copywriting takes time to nail down, but it is a crucial component in getting your audience to convert. Using these tips, you’ll be well on your way to being a copywriting pro.