Copywriting for Business Success

Write right: Effective content development takes some finesse.

When you think of engaging writers, Ernest Hemingway or Mark Twain might come to mind. But you probably wouldn’t think about the writer behind Rally’s “Cha-Ching” commercials or the author of McDonald’s, “I’m lovin’ it” spots (who were they anyway?). Immediately after Old Spice released their famous “The Man your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, Twitter and Facebook blew up with likes, shares and follows as the message went viral. It just goes to show that you don’t need a Hemingway to create moving content.

However, creating far-reaching value messages or effective advertising and marketing content can be difficult for many businesses – and not because you don’t know your business inside and out. Your knowledge and hard work means nothing if you can’t communicate to your audience properly. So to better relate the true value of your offering, consider the following four steps to effective copywriting.

  1. Understand your Audience: Investing in market research is an imperative first step for understanding your prospective buyers. As a general rule of thumb, eighty percent of your sales come from twenty percent of your buyers – so understand that twenty percent intimately. Know their needs, habits, and preferences through and through. How old are they? Where do they live? What are their interests? Once you understand those targets, use their language. Integrate words that they can understand and relate to. You want to convey your expertise, but it is important that you remain relatable.
  2. Communicate Buyer Benefits: Effective copywriting focuses on the needs of prospective customers. Buyers should not have to be reminded of what’s in it for them as all aspects of your messaging and advertising should make that obvious. Start by thinking about your product/service and how it can help your customer – whether it’s by saving time, money, or helping to grow their business. Pick a couple of the main benefits to focus on for your messaging and promotion campaigns. Make sure your message is specific and to the point so your customers know exactly what you do and how you can help.
  3. Keep core messages consistent:  Develop key messages and create the “voice” to reflect your brand. Make sure the user experience you provide matches that voice and position yourself in channels your users will frequent and through means they’ll appreciate. Then listen, measure and refine. Make adjustments to the plan as necessary until key components are finely tuned, understood, and appreciated by your target market.
  4. Call to Action: Once you’ve created that engaging content, it’s time to provide a call to action to drive conversion. The call for action allows for your prospects to respond to your campaign. Use an active voice to provide direct, concise language that gets to the point. Use words that instill a sense of urgency in your prospects; that they should want to drop whatever they are doing to buy your product!

It’s a simple formula that takes some practice to hone. But once implemented, it should produce some noticeable benefits in short order. Plus, who knows … you might just become the next Hemingway!