Are you talking to me?
There are still many people out there who believe that copywriting simply involves writing stuff.
I wish it were that simple.
The problem is, if I don’t know who will be reading my ‘stuff,’ I have no idea how to write it. That might sound a tad dramatic, but I assure you it’s not.
What’s your audience like?
Different audiences want different things. For example, writing for a group of academics is very different from writing to young adults. Understanding the people who will do the reading helps determine things like:
- What vocabulary to use
- Whether contractions are acceptable
- The use of local dialects and idioms
- Whether it should be formal or informal
And that’s just the start. I haven’t even mentioned brand voice yet.
So, as you can see, the reader directly influences the way content is written.
What’s important to them?
On top of the specifics of language, you also have to consider what they are looking for in terms of benefits.
Are they more concerned about saving money or time? Perhaps image is vital to them, and the way your product will affect how they are perceived is what will make them buy.
If it’s B2B content, it could be improving ROI, increasing leads, streamlining processes or maximising the end of year bonus.
Whatever it is, it will be driving force behind the content because it is the one thing that will convince them to buy.
Where do they hang out?
This will affect the language used but also where the content will be published. Is your target audience obsessed with social media? Are they more likely to read an article on your website?
What floats their boat?
Content doesn’t just have to be written in the form of a blog or article. Some people prefer to get their information through graphics, videos or even podcasts. Again, understanding to whom your communicating will determine format your content takes.
There’s a lot to think about
There you go – now you are beginning to see why copywriting isn’t just about writing stuff. You have to think about a huge amount if you are to create a content strategy that works.
Of course, you’re also going to find that one size doesn’t fit all, so your content strategy will have to be multifaceted. That means creating your content in a variety of formats depending on the audience and channels used.
It all comes down to your readership. That’s where your homework starts. Find out as much about them as possible and then formulate your strategy around them.
Sally Ormond is a professional copywriter and content writer. If you need help, call her on +44(0)1449 779605.