How to write copy for marketing

Effective copywriting is a powerful tool that can make the difference between capturing your audience’s attention and losing it to other competitors. Great marketing copy engages readers, sparks their interest, and makes them more likely to become customers. Here, we’ll explore the fundamental principles of writing marketing copy that can demonstrate why your business deserves their time.

Know your audience

Understanding your target audience is the starting point of writing marketing copy. You need to know who you’re writing for – their needs, challenges, and values. By creating customer personas to help you visualise who you are trying to reach, you’ll be in a better position to tailor your copy.

Start with a strong headline

The headline is the first thing readers see, so it needs to be attention-grabbing. A compelling headline will make people curious, present a solution to a problem, or highlight a benefit of your product or service. Use powerful words, compelling evidence in facts, and a sense of dynamism and urgency to make your headline stand out.

Focus on the benefits

Instead of simply listing features, highlight the benefits of your product or service. Explain how it solves a problem or improves the customer’s life. Show readers the value they’ll gain from choosing your business.

Keep it clear and concise

Avoid jargon, complex sentences, or overly technical language. Assume they know nothing about your business. Use short paragraphs and sentences to make it easy for readers to digest the information. Use bullet points or subheadings to break up text when necessary. For B2B customers, you may be able to relax this rule a little, but only if you are confident the customer will understand technical language, and that it is an advantage to use it. You should still be looking to keep things as concise as possible in your marketing copy in any situation – you can always link to more detailed information for them to read further.

Create a compelling story

Storytelling is a powerful tool in marketing copy, that brings an emotional element as well as a factual or intellectual one. It also provides an opportunity to give potential customers a relatable example to their own experiences that they can connect to. Stories make your brand more relatable and memorable.

Make us of social proof

In marketing terms, ‘social proof’ means the experiences and reviews of others that have used your products or services. Peer recommendations can be very powerful, so make use of social proof to build trust and credibility. Include customer testimonials, reviews, ratings, or other evidence that demonstrate the positive experiences others have had with your product or service. Sprout Social offer a more in-depth guide to making use of social proof.

Use persuasive language

Effective marketing copy employs persuasive language that encourages action. Use words like ‘free’, ‘exclusive’, ‘limited time’, ‘guaranteed’, or ‘save’ to persuade readers to take the next step – whether that is making a purchase, signing up, or contacting you.

Create a sense of urgency

You can encourage immediate action by creating a sense of urgency. Use phrases like ‘act now’, ‘limited time offer’, or ‘only a few left’. Time-limited offers and promotions can motivate readers to take action promptly.

Accept and proactively address objections

Use your planning and research to identify the potential objections that people may have. Anticipate these questions or concerns and provide reassuring answers within your copy. Is your product expensive? Emphasise how this reflects reassurance of quality. Are you a new service? Highlight the opportunity to get in early on an exciting emerging opportunity.

Call to Action (CTA)

End your copy with a clear and compelling call to action (often referred to as a CTA) – which should be referred to in terms of urgency. Whether it’s ‘Buy Now’, ‘Subscribe Today’, or ‘Contact Us’, the CTA should be specific, focused on a clear action, and aligned with your primary objectives.

Edit and proofread

Mistakes in your copy can undermine your credibility. Edit and proofread your content carefully to eliminate spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and awkward phrasing. Try and get someone who did not write the copy to do this, so that you get the benefit of a fresh pair of eyes, who might also spot opportunities for improvement.

Test test test!

A/B testing is a valuable technique to determine what copy resonates best with your audience. Run two options and monitor the variation in performance to help you use the best one. Experiment with different headlines, images, CTAs, and messaging to identify what drives the most engagement.

Writing effective marketing copy requires understanding of your audience, the ability to convey compelling messages, and a commitment to continuous improvement. By following these basics and refining your copywriting skills over time, you can create persuasive and engaging marketing materials that drive results and help your business succeed.

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