Guide to copywriting

What is copywriting? 

Copywriting is the art of writing a piece of content that sells your product by convincing prospective customers to take a specific action. A digital marketing copywriter will generally write a piece for a wide audience through emails, social posts and blogs. 

Most copywriting is done on website pages to help with the promotion of a company’s products or services. Good copywriting is an essential part of a complete digital marketing strategy and knowing how to write good copy will convince more readers to take your desired action.

What should you know before you start copywriting?

  1. Define your product or service

Before you start copywriting for your product or service, you need to understand what exactly your offer is and why someone would want it. Consider what makes your product or service unique and desirable. What makes it stand out? What benefits will it bring to your customers? How does it stack up against competitors?

A good piece of writing about your product or service will present the benefit for the customer within the first sentence and tease out other unique features and benefits throughout the text. When it comes to persuading readers to take a desired action, like making a purchase, every word counts.

  1. Understanding your audience

You’ve now got all the details on your product or service, but what do you know about your audience?

The first thing you need to do is understand your audience’s behaviours and views. Try talking to your past customers about their experiences with you. They’ve already done business with you and so are the perfect people to ask for feedback that could prove invaluable for your next steps. To do this, you can carry out a short survey to hear about the opinions of your audience/customers and get an idea of behaviours and characteristics. Ask questions about why they purchased the product/service, what they like most about the product, what, if anything, they think could be improved, and potentially even details like their age and other interests to help figure out what demographic likes your product or service the most.

It’s important you get an understanding of your audience before you start copywriting so you can write for your audience: the wrong style can turn readers away. 

Copywriting guide 

Now that we’ve outlined what copywriting is, what your product or service is and what your audience wants, let’s move onto the actual task itself! Here’s what you need to keep in mind when copywriting:

Describe your product  

Since you now better understand your product and target audience, you’ll need to find the perfect way to talk about your offer. Think about what your audience wants to hear when deciding what to tell them. 

An example could be if you are selling a computer processor, your audience will be interested in all the technical details about that processor so they know how powerful it is and if it will be compatible with their other computer components. However if your product is a ballpoint pen, your audience won’t be interested in many details apart from what colour it is.

Solve pain points

When copywriting, it is important that you bring up what are known as “pain points”. A pain point is an issue that your target audience currently has. You essentially need to write in a manner that shows that your product can solve the problem that they are facing. Telling them that your product can solve their particular “pain” will be a great way of selling your product to them. 

Explain and emphasise your unique selling points (USPs)

A unique selling point is a factor that differentiates a product from its competitors, such as the lowest cost, the highest quality or the first-ever product of its kind. A USP could be thought of as “what you have that your competitors don’t.”

An example of a USP is a monitor that has an anti glare display. The user can struggle to see what is on their screen in a bright environment due to the reflective nature of a normal monitor. This unique feature allows the user to see what is on the screen properly in both light and dark environments. Your USP essentially needs to differentiate your product from the others on the market while also solving the customer’s pain. 

Create a sense of urgency 

Urgency is another aspect which you should touch on when trying to compel your audience to do something through your copywriting. An example of this that is commonly used in copywriting is discounts. No one likes to miss out on a good deal and a limited-time discount is a good way to encourage prospective customers to buy at the best price. Another way you can create a sense of urgency is by following trends in the market and speaking on those trends e.g. different tech innovations. This will help attract people to explore your product and hopefully make a purchase somewhere down the line. 

Looking over competitors’ website 

If you are struggling with knowing how to write about your product you may also want to have a look at the websites of your recognised competitors. This can also be used as an opportunity to borrow good aspects from your competitors without using the less effective parts. 

For example, look at how your competitors communicate their USP to their customers and see how you can counteract their USP with your own: how and why does your product better solve the customers’ problem? 

Keyword optimisation 

Another aspect that could be important to your copywriting is keyword optimisation. If you haven’t already, check out my blog on SEO to find out how you can obtain the keywords for your product.

Create a header that uses your target keyword, create subheadings that use other useful keywords and include other important phrases in the main body text. Remember that you don’t have to use the exact phrase for it to be picked up by search engine crawlers, you can tweak them to fit your copy more smoothly. This allows for easy copywriting, and you can ensure what you have written makes sense. 

Use a strong Call to Action (CTA) 

When ending your paragraph you will need to have what is known as a CTA (call to action) at the end. A CTA is a written instruction which is commonly used in marketing campaigns. Its intention is usually to get the user to make a quick decision.

“Start your course now!” is just one example. This can usually come in the form of plain text, but you could also use a text hyperlink or an interactive button that will take the visitor to the page you want them to complete the action on. 

Conclusion

Overall there are a lot of aspects that you will need to keep in mind when copywriting. Ask yourself why you are copywriting and who you are copywriting for. Discover who your competitors are and what their copywriting looks like. Understand your product and audience so you have an idea of what you are writing about to who. Try to solve customer pain points with a unique feature. Create a sense of urgency when you write so customers feel as though they have to buy the product otherwise they will miss out and finish up with a strong call to action to get them to achieve the task which you desire.
Follow these steps for more effective pieces of content, and you should see conversions rise. If you’re interested in how to run full content marketing campaigns, why not check our guide out?

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Fiona Tully, Sift Media