What is copywriting?
Copywriting is the art of producing words and/or phrases that will attract potential customers to a business or brand.
Why is it called copywriting?
The practice of copywriting begins with the writer’s first draft, which will eventually be reviewed by a separate individual (the editor) before being published.
While the copy may vary in length, an average piece of copywriting will generally include between 4 and 12 paragraphs of text.
Know Your Audience
The most effective copywriters will develop a good understanding of their audience.
If you are writing to a business audience, it is advisable to write in a language that they will understand. Hiring a translator to service your copy for you will not be efficient, as you will have to start from scratch.
In general, the better the understanding of your audience’s requirements and interests, the greater the likelihood of the copy being effective.
For example, if you are writing to farmers, it would be wise to avoid using terms such as shareholder, CEO, CFO, and COO, which might confuse your audience. Instead, use more general terms such as the owner of the business, the person in charge, or just plain old people.
The Basics Of Good Copywriting
The basics of good copywriting include:
- Being able to write
- Having a clear idea of what you are writing
- Choosing the right words
- Using correct grammar
- Being consistent with your writing
- Having a clear idea about the purpose of your writing
- Using proper adjectives
- Being persuasive
- Being short
- Keeping your writing fresh
- Making your writing interesting
- Making your writing versatile
- Creating a good first impression
- Using concrete language
- Avoiding clichés
- Being authoritative
- Being appropriate
- Using proper punctuation
- Avoiding spelling errors
- Being consistent with your use of capital letters
- Writing with a specific tone of voice
- Being factual
- Being specific
- Using appropriate phrases
- Being positive
- Keeping your writing concise
- Being creative
With this in mind, let’s examine the various types of copywriting.
Product copy includes everything from the product description to the benefits of using that product or service.
Sometimes, companies will hire professional copywriters to write the product descriptions for them. However, in most cases, this duty will fall to the companies’ marketing departments, as writing the product description can be quite challenging.
Since the product is already familiar to the audience (which is why we call it product copy), there is usually very little need to explain its features and advantages to potential customers.
In cases where the product is not completely understood by your audience, you may want to provide them with a bit more information, perhaps including an overview of the competitive products on the market and why they were designed the way they were.
Service copy is all the communications that take place between customers (or potential customers) and the company that provides the service.
Depending on the type of service you provide, the format of your written communication will vary but will still consist of sentences containing words and short paragraphs.
Unlike product copy, which is usually pitched at a fairly high level of detail, service copy will usually be quite basic.
Advertising copy includes all the words and phrases that you use in your paid advertising, whether digital or traditional.
In most cases, the copy will be rather simple and will consist of short sentences with no complex words or phrases. However, because this is the case for most advertising copy, it is also one of the most versatile types of copy you will need.
The important thing to keep in mind about advertising copy is that it must be different than your regular copy. When creating this type of copy, keep in mind that your potential customers will be seeing your ad for the first and hopefully only time, so there needs to be something about the ad that will make it stand out.
Blog Post Copy
Blogs are a great place for companies to establish their public voice and to gain further exposure.
Because blogs are usually short in length, it is advisable to use a few high-quality words in your posts, whether you are writing about a product or service.
Blogs are relatively easy to write compared to some other types of copy, and thanks to the popularity of blogs and social media, it is rather easy to find experienced freelance writers to help you with content.
While it is never a bad idea to use an outside source for content, you should not need to. Even a company as large as Microsoft gets content from scratch, as they have extremely talented in-house writers.
How To Make Your Copy Stand Out
Once you have the basics down, it’s time to take your copy and jazz it up a bit to give it that extra something special.
To successfully write copy that will engage readers, you will need to employ a few distinctive writing techniques. Using the above-mentioned product copy as an example, you can see how these techniques can be used to make your writing stand out.
First, make sure that you employ a tone of voice and style that will make your readers engage with you. If you want to make your product information interesting, use language that is fresh and concise. If you want to make your information authoritative, use words that the average person would not use.
The second step is to create an interesting hook that will prevent the reader from skipping over your copy. Once you have your hook, you can build on it by providing more information about the product or service you are marketing.
For example, if you want to write about the benefits of using a VPN to protect your personal data while online, you can begin by describing how VPNs work and why they are needed. You can then provide additional information about how to choose the right VPN for your needs.
Style And Tone
Before you begin to write, it is important to establish your style and tone.
Just because you are writing does not mean that you have to use boring, run-of-the-mill language, especially when marketing a piece of commercial copy. Instead, take a chance and use more colorful language, whether you are writing about a product or service that is completely fictional. Remember, your job is to engage your audience, and if you accomplish that, you will have written a successful piece of copy.