When you’re starting a new business or launching a new product, your first thought might be: “I need an ad agency to help me get people interested in my product.” And you’d be right! That’s probably the #1 task that most new businesses and product owners face.
But here’s the thing: Whether you’ve worked with a traditional ad agency or a digital marketing agency, you’ve likely seen or heard the term ‘copywriting,’ but you might not know what it means. So let’s explore.
What is Copywriting?
In the simplest terms, copywriting is the craft of making words do the talking for your product or service. It’s the branch of writing that deals with setting the tone of a piece, crafting compelling headlines, and creating unique selling propositions (USPs).
In other words, copywriting is your words (i.e., the text of your copy) on your web pages, social media posts, and other digital marketing vehicles that you’ll be using to reach your audience.
Now, there are a lot of different kinds of copywriting, so you’ll need to determine what you need in order to succeed. To that end, here are the top 3 purposes of copywriting:
1. Product Description
You’ve probably seen this kind of copy often:
“[Name of product], is a web-based software that allows you to build and send professional-looking newsletters to your customers without having to write a single line of code.”
“[Name of product], is a state-of-the-art web browser that provides users with the speed and functionality of a traditional desktop application while delivering high-impact web content to consumers on the go.”
Simply put, product descriptions are those short paragraphs that appear at the top of a web page or in a social media post when a user clicks to that specific page or post. They’re usually written in the third person and aim to introduce the reader to the wonders of the product or service.
In other words, product descriptions tell the reader (or listener, in the case of a podcast) what the product is and why they need it. This type of copy typically works well for informational products (e.g., software or a service), but can also be valuable for those who sell tangible products (e.g., cars or housewares) if those products have complex descriptions.
2. Marketing Colloquialisms & Slang
You’ve probably seen this kind of copy often as well:
Get ready to rant and rave about your product! Here’s where you can do that with a bit of swagger. We’re not talking about the good old “shout out” or “buzzword” from days of yore. We’re talking about the kind of language that marketing people and those who work with them use to describe a product or service.
Take a stab at making a list of the most common colloquialisms and phrases your industry uses to describe your product. This will help you figure out how to talk about it, whether you’re writing a sales pitch, a review, or explaining it to a colleague. Start with words that describe your product’s features, and work your way down. When you’ve gone through all of that, you’ll have a list of words and phrases that you can select from to write your copy.
Here’s an example of what your list might look like for a product named Foo:
[Feature 1]: Easy to use Foo is the best product for [Feature 2] because it’s so [Feature 3]!
[Title]: Foo Review: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Using This Popular App
Foo Review: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Using This Popular App
If you’ve ever shopped for a flight or hotel room online, you’ve likely used the service named Foo. Launched in 2011, it’s one of the largest online travel agencies that handles travel and booking for a variety of companies as well as individuals. So, if you’re looking for a new airline or hotel, you might well have stumbled across an ad on Foo.
And that’s how you get paid to write reviews: You’re essentially getting paid to click on ads and buy products – primarily travel and lodging – that you might find on a site like Foo. In exchange for writing a review of a travel agency or a hotel, you’ll get a free night’s stay or a discounted rate for travel.
If you’re considering a product or service for review, here are some of the things you might want to consider:
First and foremost, you need to decide what features you need in order to consider the product useful. For example, if you’re looking into fitness apps for your phone, you might well want to consider an app that provides a decent variety of exercises as well as tips and tricks for working out. You might also want to look at how quickly the app’s interface responds when you click on buttons.
This is the part where you need to do some research into the competitors in your space. How are their features set? What makes your product special? Once you’ve got the features down, it’s easier to figure out what else you need in order to make the product perfect.
When someone is planning to purchase a holiday or travel package, the first thing they’ll do is check out the reviews for the product or service. So if you want to create an awareness of your product amongst potential customers, you need to ensure that they have a good experience when using it. This means paying attention to the little details such as the design and layout of your web pages as well as the mobile app.
There are a few different things you can do here. First, you can ensure that everything is uncluttered. When visitors come to your site, they shouldn’t be overwhelmed by the amount of content because your design and content should work together to create a cohesive theme and design language.
Another thing you can do is use color wisely. Ideally you want to use light colors in general for the product or service, but on a very small scale. If you’ve ever shopped for airline or hotel accommodation online, you’ll know that some websites use bright, distracting colors that can make you less focused on finding what you need. So keep it simple, streamlined, and easy to navigate.
If someone is planning to purchase a product or service and uses a site like Yelp or Google to find reviews, they’ll land on a page that looks something like this:
People often make the mistake of taking this kind of page seriously and assume that it has to be perfect – spelling errors and all – before they’ll consider buying a product or using a service from that company. But that’s not the case. In fact, the goal here is to make the page as simple and quick to navigate as possible. This means avoiding anything that might get in the way of a potential customer getting what they need. And for some businesses, this might mean compromising on the design and usability of the page a little bit.
Finally, you need to figure out what price you should list for your product. There are three important things to keep in mind:
- The price of the product or service you’re reviewing
- The price you paid for the product or service
- The price your competitors charge for the same product or service
You don’t want to undervalue your product or service, but you also don’t want to overvalue it. You want to list a price that is fair and reasonable given the circumstances. For example, if you’re a travel agent and you’ve got a special deal with a certain hotel or airline, you might want to list that price instead of your regular selling price. Or, if you’ve been given a free sample of the product you’re reviewing, that’s worth something.
As a general rule of thumb, try and stay as close as possible to the prices that competitors are charging for the same product or service. If you price your product or service too high, you might scare away potential customers who are on a tight budget. On the other hand, pricing your product too low might make your competitors think that there is no money to be made and could hurt your business model.