Great copywriting isn’t about selling; it’s about storytelling. You need to help readers to understand a problem (even if they never considered there was a problem before) and how you can solve it. Do this, and they’ll be happy to purchase your product or select your service.
OK, so it’s not that simple – but these are the tricks that all experienced copywriters use to grab attention and inspire action. These strategies aren’t secret; in fact, we’re happy to share them with you here.
We spoke to one of the team from Copywriting Bristol, to ask their 5 best tips when it comes to copywriting and really focusing on the best way to produce amazing content.
Tip #1 Create problems, sell solutions
Peril is the copywriter’s best friend. But what is it?
If you’re old enough, cast your mind back 30 years. Then, nobody would ever have considered paying for bottled water. But we all do today.
Advertisers used tactics to create a problem (being thirsty while outdoorsbut wanting something healthier than a Coke or juice) and a solution (bottled water).
The most compelling copy sets out what a problem is and then sells a solution. In the case of bottled water, the answer is simple.
When approaching any copywriting task or challenge, think about it in terms of problems and solutions. This is more important than considering features v benefits.
Tip#2 Questions demand answers
What do 95% of copywriters have in common?
Copywriters love questions. Why? Because, as humans, we all want to know the answer.
Advertising copywriters use questions all the time. It’s a powerful way to engage us, as it feels like we’re being spoken to directly. But, crucially, most of us will stay engaged with an advert (or piece of content) to find the answer.
Imagine being a Science Writer for a top publication, you can generate amazing content by asking leading questions, as when you ask questions you generate engagement and engagement then generates more content. Win Win!
By the time we’ve found the answer, we’re hooked and will typically read to the end.
Using questions in your headlines and even inside your copyis a powerful technique writers use all the time.
Tip #3 Push pain points
Pain points are the things that matter to your customers. If you’re selling bottled water, thirst is the pain point. When selling a premium watch, it’s about status and perception. When copywriting for a kid’s car seat, it’s about safety.
Copywriters look for the hidden triggers your customers are worried about and then push them.
You can use the pain point approach for just about every type of copy, including blogs, advertising copy, social media posts, and PPC.
Core to the pain point approach is a deep understanding of your customers. Many pain points remain hidden until you invest time and energy in identifying them. The best copywriters do this. It’s why they’re the best…
Tip #4 Go big on benefits
Copywriters respect featuresbut love benefits.
When attempting to create copy that converts, don’t just describe what the product is and what it does, but focus on the impact it can have.
Let’s go back to the water example. One key feature of a bottle may be its flip-top lid. Instead of saying:
- The bottle has a flip-top cap.
A good copywriter will focus on the benefits:
- Want to grab a drink on the go? Don’t lose your cool with a screw-top lid, but flick it open in seconds.
In the battle for words, benefits beat features.
Tip #5 Want to sell? Make someone smile
The world is a serious place, but we don’t always want to see it that way. One of the most powerful sales techniques is to make someone smile.
It could be a funny headline, a witty reference, or a well-placed quote. Whatever product you’re selling or service you’re promoting, if you can find a way to make a customer smile, you’re well on your way to securing a sale.
In some cases, being funny may not be appropriate. But being smart can also raise a smile (and secure a sale).
Copywriters are always learning…
The world is constantly changing, and how we use language does, too. The best copywriters use all these tricks (and more) to create connections. They’ll all work in different ways, of course, but one thing that all great copywriters can agree on is that they’re always learning.
The best copywriters have a restless enthusiasm for language and learning. They’re taking inspiration from anywhere and are always willing to ignore the rules (even those above) to create excellent copy.