As small business owners, you utilize copy in many different ways. Whether in advertising or marketing, on websites or blogs, in emails, newsletters or brochures, your copy is a direct reflection of you as a business.
Good copy does three things:
- Engages the reader,
- Speaks your message in an
intended voice and,
- Provokes a call to action.
Creating provocative messages in everything you scribe may seem intimidating, but there are a few tricks of the trade that you could utilize if having a full time copywriter on staff is not an option.
First and foremost, define your audience. Without a specific market in mind, you will not be able to cater your language to said audience, and you will be missing out on a marketable opportunity to “speak to their needs”.
Get inside their head, speak to what their needs are and use “you” whenever possible, avoiding “we”.
There are also two common acronyms employed by copywriters when developing content:
- AIDA- Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.
- KISS- Keep it simple, stupid!
Professional copywriters spend a majority of their time crafting headlines. It is a common thought that a headlines has 3 seconds to engage the reader, and trying to pack a punch into what can effectively be read in 3 seconds is harder than it sounds.
Put careful thought into your headlines, once you have them on the hook, you have made the rest of your job easier.
Another strategy is to act as a reassuring voice- make promises and back them up. Without a solid feeling of trust, a consumer is likely to look elsewhere. Your voice should be one of reliability and comfort to the potential customer.
In terms of marketing copy, it is advisable to speak in the present tense, avoiding the passive voice, to best engage the reader. Need a brush up on simple grammar? Spend a few minutes researching online- there a many resources out there to assist.
Finally, be sure that you are defining and selling a unique proposition. Do your research on your competitors, avoid creating content that sounds stiff and worse, mimicked. The more original your voice and proposition, the more likely it is to catch a customer’s attention.