Do you remember when you read something online, and the next thing you know you’re already checking out a brand’s products? You were silently scrolling through your feed when the words felt so captivating, like they were meant to find you.
That’s what great copywriting does to people. Now that almost every business works with a digital marketing agency to compete for everyone’s attention, words will help you stand out from the noise.
But this doesn’t come easy for most digital marketers. Copywriting can get tricky if you don’t know how to string powerful words together. Because remember, every sentence you put out there has the potential to either make or break your digital marketing strategy.
So, for today’s article, we’ll discuss effective copywriting techniques to make you a better writer & marketer! Continue reading below for more information.
The Basics: What is Copywriting?
Before we delve deeper into copywriting techniques, let’s discuss what copywriting is first.
Copywriting is the process of writing persuasive words—also referred to as copies—to encourage people to take certain actions. You may want to convince them to click on a link, donate to a charity, make a purchase or subscribe to a newsletter.
These copies can be published online or in print. For example, when you read a magazine and there’s a page full of advertisements selling furniture, that’s copywriting. When you visit a website and a pop-up tells you to fill your shopping cart, that’s copywriting.
If you only closely observe and listen, you can find copies almost anywhere. This is especially true in the age of the Internet where almost every business tries its hardest to get clicks, impressions and sales through words.
Now that you have an idea of what copywriting means, let’s get to the exciting part and teach you how to become an effective copywriter!
Proven Copywriting Techniques For Digital Marketers
Even if lots of copywriting tools and software have been made available, learning copywriting from scratch is still important. There are writing tricks that never go out of style, helping several digital marketers generate sales and attract their target audience.
Here are several copywriting techniques you may want to consider:
Tell An Engaging Story
Humans find it easier to connect with something when there’s a story. Do you remember those nights when you couldn’t put down a book even when it was already past midnight? The story was just too good and you couldn’t wait to get to the ending.
It’s the same thing with copywriting. If you know how to craft an engaging story, then you can guide potential customers into the right marketing funnel. Using a story, you tell readers what your product is about and how it can potentially change their lives.
But how exactly do you pull this off? Here are a few tips:
- Try to paint a picture—show, don’t tell. Use imagery and vivid descriptions to encourage your readers to be more imaginative.
- Make sure that you write sensory words to appeal to the five senses. Keep in mind that your target audience is possibly diverse. Some of them might be more auditory, while others are visual.
- Include a bit of suspense. This helps capture the reader’s attention and motivate them to finish reading an article. Make things more exciting on their end.
Use the Serial Position Effect
The serial position effect states that a person typically recalls the words or phrases from the beginning and the end of a list instead of the middle ones. In fact, a study conducted by Indiana University showed that the participants mostly remembered the first and last words.
So, when you’re writing a copy or a sales pitch, try to use this copywriting technique. The key points and other important details should be written at the beginning and end of your article or post.
Be More Conversational
One of the worst mistakes that copywriters make is they try to sound technical in an effort to impress their audience. They think that using jargon will make them more authoritative and convince readers to believe what they say.
This doesn’t really work. The opposite does, however.
In copywriting, you have to learn how to be more conversational. The danger of sounding too technical is your audience might skip to the next thing because they don’t understand what you’re trying to say. It means that you have to create a friendly atmosphere and meet your readers at their level.
This isn’t to say that you have to ‘talk down’ to your readers. The objective is to make a copy that’s easy to understand through simple sentences and words. You have to make yourself clear and assume you’re having a conversation over a cup of coffee. Write how you speak!
Sell The Benefits
Your copy should focus on the reader and not what you’re trying to sell. This is why lots of copywriters tend to list down the product features and assume that it will do the work for them.
While potential customers may appreciate the features you offer, they want to know how your product will benefit them. Let’s face it: readers likely don’t care about your company or brand. What they care about is what you can bring to the table and how that can change their lives.
It might come in the form of inspiring others, helping them save money or relieving their body pains, among other things. So, when you start writing copies, show how your products can meet those needs and what they’ll gain if they ever invest money in your business.
Use Powerful Words
Another great copywriting technique is writing powerful keywords in your copies. Remember that it’s much harder to communicate in writing because you can’t use body language and intonation. So, the only way to persuade your readers is to use strong keywords that are easy to recall.
For example, you can use new, free, proven and now when writing a blog post to make it more impactful. To convey emotions, you can also use better adjectives, such as:
- majestic instead of beautiful;
- Heartwarming instead of nice;
- Entertaining instead of fun.
Take Advantage of Copywriting Formulas
If you find it hard to think of a captivating copy and a catchy headline, taking advantage of copywriting formulas might do the trick. This includes the following:
- 4 U’s: Urgent, Unique, Useful and Ultra-specific
- 4 C’s: Clear, Concise, Compelling and Credible
However, if you plan to offer benefits in your blog post, following the Before-After-Bridge formula is more appropriate.
When writing the ‘Before’ section, think of a situation where you imagine a certain problem doesn’t exist. ‘After’ is the stage where you address and resolve the problem. Last but not the least, the ‘Bridge’ is the part where you discuss how to get there.
Another popular formula is the AIDA model. This is where you catch the reader’s attention, provide interesting information about a product, develop a desire and create actions.
Remember The FOMO Technique
Have you ever heard about the term ‘FOMO’ or fear of missing out? It’s the anxious feeling that people get when they realise that they are actually missing important opportunities. This can mean constantly checking your social media to know what your friends are up to.
If you’re familiar with the feeling, then it will be easy to benefit from the FOMO technique. You need to create a sense of urgency such as giving limited discounts, offers and exclusive events.
Take a look at this example from Starbucks:
Starbucks took advantage of scarcity to make customers push through with a purchase. They set a final date for special offers, indicating that this is for a limited time only.
Write A Killer Headline
Image source: https://www.businessinsider.com/the-20-best-headlines-of-2009-2010-4#2009s-best-headlines-10
You’ve probably skipped lots of articles or copies because you just weren’t hooked on the headline. Maybe it didn’t make sense to you and you couldn’t relate to it at all. You didn’t have enough motivation to open the content, so you scrolled past it and called it a day.
That’s why making a killer headline is one of the best ways to make your copywriting impactful. Whether you’re writing a guide, ads, news articles or e-books, you have to lure readers and make them click.
Check out these tips from Jeff Goins on how to write a compelling headline:
- Using a number in the headline, especially 3 and 10, is highly recommended since it converts.
- Write unique adjectives such as smart, bizarre, dazzling and entertaining to appeal to your reader’s emotions.
- Insert a useful keyword that tells readers in an instant what the content is all about.
You’re highly unlikely to trust a brand if you don’t know if their product truly works. Of course, you wouldn’t spend your hard-earned money on something that hasn’t earned your trust yet.
This is where testimonials come into play in terms of copywriting. Sharing what your previous customers have to say about your products will show proof that you are legit.
You prove to your potential clients that someone has benefitted from what you offer—that others trust you so much they are willing to vouch for you.
Here’s an example of testimonials from Roots Digital:
Having testimonials can easily build trust and show how a brand can resolve the pain points its target audience is facing.
Make Use of Emotional Triggers In Copywriting
Do you follow bloggers and check their websites in case they upload something new? Chances are, you like them because they offer great advice, write good content and give useful tips regularly.
But sometimes, some bloggers have no idea how to emotionally connect with their readers.
You have to understand that as a copywriter, you have to leverage emotional triggers to successfully persuade your audience. A reader is more likely to build an emotional connection with you if they read your content that makes them feel something. It can be happiness, sadness, frustration or disappointment, among others.
Let’s say you want to promote a smartphone. In this scenario, you should sound informative and friendly at the same time. Using a cold voice won’t help you establish an emotional connection, discouraging your readers from returning to your site.
You should always remember that you write for people. This can be a bit hard to comprehend when you’re stuck in a traditional view of SEO content so you’re used to writing for an algorithm.
That’s why you should talk about your experience. Try including personal examples, be real, ask your audience questions to encourage participation and share experiences. Just make sure that you know your audience very well to pull off this copywriting technique.
Content Writing vs Copywriting: What’s The Difference?
Even the most seasoned digital marketers make the mistake of interchanging copywriting and content writing. Although they both use words to entice the audience, they are actually different from each other. Here are a few key points that set them apart:
Tone of Writing
One of the most important differences between copywriting and content writing is the tone of writing. While copywriters sound more conversational when speaking to readers, content writers often use a formal tone since they have to be more informative.
Length of Content
Content writers are typically required to write long-form pieces of content such as blogs. Their goal is to write down more than 1,000 words to make their work more comprehensive and detailed.
On the other hand, copywriters have to keep their text short and sweet. In most cases, you only have to write two or three sentences to encourage the right readers in taking specific actions.
Here are some examples:
- Copywriting – ads, billboards, sales letters, social media, jingle music, etc.
- Content writing – articles, television programs, podcasts, email newsletters, press releases, etc.
The most significant difference between the two is the purpose they serve. Copywriting aims to convert traffic into leads, while content writing drives organic traffic to a website.
Of course, in some cases, there can be an overlap. However, copies are more recommended if you want to boost a brand’s sales!
If you think copywriting is a piece of cake, think again. Anything that involves stringing words and sentences together has never been an easy task. And sometimes, it’s not even about words anymore because you have to act like a psychologist.
You need to be familiar with your readers so well that you know their problems and needs from the get-go. You know their fears, dreams and thoughts.
This is important because it’s one of the best ways to persuade readers to buy from you. Because no matter how many copywriting techniques you use, if you don’t know them at all, your copies won’t convert.
Copywriting is an art and your creativity should be your foundation. But if you need extra help in crafting compelling copies to boost your brand’s engagement, our team of talented digital marketers has you covered. Shoot us a message!
What are the 6 core copywriting skills?
The six core copywriting skills are the following:
2. Research Skills
3. Knowing Your Audience
4. Staying Up-To-Date
5. Ability to Attract Readers
6. Knowledge of SEO
What are the four Ps of copywriting?
The four Ps of copywriting are promise, picture, proof and push.
What are the 5 levels of copywriting?
Like any other type of writing, copywriting comes in five levels: prepare, organise, write, edit and review.