It’s official; your writing sucks.
Your web content fails to attract people, your blogs are instantly forgettable, and your newsletters fall flat on their faces. Or at least they would if they had faces.
Every piece of marketing you produce is a flop despite it getting the green light from your management.
What’s going wrong?
You’ve read all the books by the copywriting greats. Your grammar and spelling are excellent. You’ve checked and double-checked all your facts, but still, there’s no impact.
The problem is, even though you understand the technicalities of writing, you’re ignoring some basic facts.
So to get you on the right track, the following five tips will make sure your content satisfies the needs and wants of your readers.
Developing your writing process
No professional copywriter will take on a project by just sitting down in front of a screen and waiting for inspiration to strike.
They always have a plan of action because preparation is the key to successful copy creation.
It usually goes something like this:
- Research– gather all the information you need about the topic and audience you’re writing for to make sure your content is relevant
- Plan your copy– make sure you cover the most important bits first
- Create a rough draft– just let your writing flow unchecked
- Edit– you’ll end up doing this several times checking for coherence, typos and grammatical errors
- Read it out loud– yes, you’ll feel a right Charlie, but it will highlight how well your content flows and whether there’s any repetition
- Final review– once you’ve checked and tweaked your content and shaped it into the finished article, recheck it and make sure it satisfies your original goals
In other words, at any stage of the process you are either researching, or writing, or editing – never doing all three together.
Write for one person
You have lots of customers. They are all different. So when you read that you should focus your writing on one person, how do you achieve that?
Well, think about your perfect customer.
- Who are they?
- What do they want to achieve?
- Why would they come to you?
- How will you make their life better?
By focusing on one person, your content will be far more powerful. And, because you’re writing to your ideal customer, the people it will attract will also be ideal customers.
Make sure your writing remains focused. If you try to please too many people, it will become weak and ineffective.
Yes. If you want to sell your products and services, it’s imperative you focus on the benefits to your reader.
Let’s face it; if you ask someone to buy something, they won’t. But if you show someone that your product will make their life easier, make them more successful and reduce stress, they’ll buy.
Research the main benefits and then reformulate them into problems you help your customers avoid.
I’m reasonably sure you’ve read mountains of general marketing. You know that stuff; we will take your marketing strategy to the next level – but they never actually tell you how or what the results will be.
If you want your audience to convert into customers, you have to be specific.
As a business owner, you know your stuff inside out, so there is no excuse to use generic fluff. Tell your reader exactly what you’re going to do, why and how they’re going to benefit.
So, rather than saying you’re going to help them take their marketing strategy to the next level, show them how you’ll help them optimise their strategy to ensure they not only generate more leads but also convert those into customers.
Prove it to them
The stuff we’ve covered so far will help you develop compelling content, but your readers will want more; they are going to want proof that you can do what you claim.
Use reviews, press coverage, testimonials and case studies. These will provide the social proof sceptics will need to push them towards a buying decision.
Again, they have to be relevant and ideally address common problems, but having real-life examples of how you’ve helped past clients will help convince future ones you’re the company for them.
How to write persuasive content
Your copy is only as good as your research, so make sure you know your audience, understand why they need you and give them proof as to why they should buy from you.
Another bonus tip for you us to make sure your personality seeps into your content. It’s a cliché, but people do buy from people, so if you want to stand out make sure you write from the heart.
Of course, there is another way. You could leave it to the experts. Professional copywriters do this stuff day in day out. Once they have the facts from you, they can create content that will resonate with your audience and persuade them to take action.
Remember, what they produce may not be what you would have written (mainly because they are a professional writer and you’re not), but that’s because they are seeing your business from your customers’ point of view and not yours.
Trust their instincts and work with them not against them.
Sally Ormond of Briar Copywriting is a dab hand and at writing for any audience. The industry doesn’t matter, but people’s motivations do. To get Sally on your team call on +44(0) 1449 779605 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.