Copywriting: what it is, good practices (and why they work) and everything for you to become a Copywriter

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What is copywriting and what is its importance in marketing? Read our post and see how to create it to better relate to your audience

Copywriting is the process of producing persuasive texts for Marketing and Sales actions, such as the content of emails, websites, catalogues, advertisements and sales letters, for example. The professional responsible for developing the text (also called a copy) is known as a Copywriter.

Imagine your child is growing up and you are looking for educational toys for him. Searching online, you will end up at the “about” page of two companies:

Company X:

“AX is a company based on __. The company still belongs to the __ family, who founded it in __. AX is committed to developing children’s creativity through play and learning. Based on its first products, the company today offers toys, experiences and teaching materials for children in more than 130 countries.”

Company Y:

“We are in the midst of a Learning Revolution — a revolution that advocates the importance of play in 21st century teaching! AY creates and produces toys that teach empathy, creative communication, collaboration and other skills needed by 21st century learners of any age.”

Company Y’s description looks much more interesting than Company X’s, don’t you think?

This is because, more than talking about its products, company Y passes on its values. That is, she sells an idea. The idea of ​​a new way of educating, which associates the act of playing with the act of learning.

But what does this have to do with copywriting ?

In fact, everything . Want to see how?

what is copywriting

Before talking about copywriting, let’s take a step back and talk about the purposes of writing.

As you can imagine, writing serves different purposes; in marketing, writing has as its main objective to convince the target audience of something, be it buying a product, a service or even an idea.

And it is in this sense that the purpose of writing in marketing is related to copywriting. Copywriting is the act of producing texts (whether they are slogans, websites, posts, eBooks, emails, etc.) in order to guide your audience in making a decision.

As we said, this decision-making can be related to a direct purchase (when we are talking about the product or service) or another action that is part of this process (selling an idea or offering content, for example).

But then, in the case above, if both texts try to convince the audience of the importance and quality of companies and their products, why does the second one seem so much more interesting and captivating than the first?

The answer to this lies in differentiating what is good copywriting and what is not. And what would be good copywriting?

New marketing strategies, such as Inbound Marketing and Online Content Marketing , make it necessary to review this concept.

With the popularization of these strategies in recent years, the importance of copywriting that also brings information to the target audience, and not just advertisements, is increasingly perceived.

More important than selling is to convey information that your audience wants to see, and that adds value to them.

And what would be the best practices for passing on this information?

To talk about this, let’s start by pointing out what is not part of good copywriting.

What is not (good) copywriting

poor/bad text

This is, of course, one of the main problems of bad copywriting. It will be very difficult for you to sell anything if your text lacks a modicum of coherence, has grammatical errors and appeals to poor language.

Not by chance, many memorable copywriting examples were created by copywriters who are and were talented writers.

So, if you want quality copies, call someone who really understands the subject: hire specialized copywriters. And don’t forget to always have someone to proofread the text. This prevents many mistakes from going unnoticed and detracting from the purpose of your copy.

not having credibility

It’s also no use having impeccable text if your company or what you’re trying to sell doesn’t convey credibility to your audience.

Therefore, you need to build a trusting relationship with your audience. And that doesn’t happen overnight. Before trying to sell something to your target audience, show that you have a genuine interest in helping them, and that your company delivers on its promises.

Do not dose the amount of information

You might know that phrase “less is more”. And it goes for when we’re talking about copywriting too.

It’s no use trying to embrace the world in a single text, because even your audience is made up of several different sub-publics, with which you will need to have different approaches to try to sell the same idea.

So, if you try to talk to everyone at the same time using the same formula, you will end up sending a generic message that doesn’t dialogue with anyone.

Abuse of jargon

It is clear that each segment has a jargon, and it is often impossible to talk about your market without resorting to it. But remember that your audience is not always so familiar with this vocabulary.

So use it sparingly. Always be careful to explain to your audience the concepts you are addressing. Use clear, simple language — that doesn’t mean it’s simple.

Talking only about the features of your product/service and forgetting the benefits

In the end, remember that it’s not about trying to push your solution to your audience, because it’s not your solution they’re interested in, it’s about solving their own problems.

So focus on the benefits a solution or idea can bring to your audience, rather than on details that don’t add value in full.

Good copywriting practices — and why they work

Well, now we know some bad practices that don’t work. But what are the good practices? What makes copywriting work best? Is it just doing the opposite of the practices criticized above?

To talk about that, let’s go back to the very concept of copywriting. Copywriting is also known as persuasive writing. That means the goal is to persuade the target audience. And what are the weapons of persuasion used in creating good copywriting?

The answer? Mental triggers .

In general, mental triggers are brain mechanisms that aim to speed up the decision process, preventing it from taking up too much of our time and energy.

According to Robert Cialdini, in the book The Weapons of Persuasion , human behavior is governed by some fundamental psychological principles, which generally lead us to act almost automatically: reciprocity, social approval, affinity, authority, scarcity and commitment.

  • Reciprocity: This psychological principle suggests that human beings have a natural tendency to respond to a positive action with another positive action. It’s the famous “kindness begets kindness”.
  • Social Approval: The social approval trigger concludes that we are influenced by others in our decisions, and the more people choose something, the more others are driven to do the same thing.
  • Affection/Affinity: is the psychological principle that states that people tend to connect psychologically with whoever looks like them, whether by fears, anxieties, abilities and similar characteristics.
  • Authority: This trigger suggests that human beings tend to obey whoever they judge to be superior, out of respect.
  • Commitment and consistency: argues that, when publicly committing to something, the person feels psychologically pressured to behave in a manner consistent with the mission that was assumed.
  • Scarcity:  is a mental trigger that is quickly triggered when we are in a position to lose something. With this, our brain reacts emotionally (part of the limbic brain) and tries to avoid this feeling.

So these psychological principles can—and should—be used to make copywriting more efficient.

The 5 steps of copywriting to double your conversions, by Rafael Albertoni

The copywriter and founder of the Brazilian Copywriting Society (SBCopy), Rafael Albertoni, presented at the RD Summit 2018 the 5 main steps to obtain more conversions with the writing technique, which he defines as “the art and science of creating a communication with the objective of generating an action in response”.

Heads up

For him, it is important to keep in mind that the content strategy needs to be done thinking about the sale, not the content itself. And 80% of the strength of a good copy is in this step.

These are elements such as the title, which should “make the person stop everything he is doing to read”. Another tip is to use the “rule of one”, which consists of talking about one subject at a time so as not to distract the reader.

Connection and identification

For the reader to develop connection and identification with your brand, it is necessary to appeal to emotion. “If people connect with the brand, they buy; the human being acts by emotion and justifies logically”, he explained.

This can be done with stories and characteristics that the interlocutor has in common with the reader, as people like to talk to their peers.

Problem

A good copy also talks about problems the person has gone through and is going through to generate identification. And it can also look to the future, indicating problems that someone might go through if they don’t do something about it. In the latter case, the appeal is made out of fear.

Solution

“The best solution to deliver to your customer is not your content, it’s your product.” After identifying the customer’s problem, Rafael Albertoni says that the copy must inform what your product can do for the potential customer.

“If, while selling, you are solving a problem, your offer needs to work in this context to achieve success”, he explained.

Offer

According to Rafael Albertoni, many copywriters are afraid to sell, either for fear of unsubscribes by email or of losing customers. But, according to him, it shouldn’t be like that. According to him, the cases in which he obtained more unsubscribes were also those in which he generated more results.

The best solution you have to deliver is not your content, it’s your product; content has the sole function of growing your business. Be careful not to join the Google game and forget about your business game, because without a sale, no business survives.

When making the offer, he suggests giving real guarantees that the product works, for example, “get your money back”, and include cases and testimonials from those who have seen the solution work in practice.

7 Copywriting Tips for You to Use in Content Production

Next, Blue World City will make you look at some good copywriting practices—and what psychological principles govern them.

1. Know your audience

This is one of the most basic points of good copywriting. After all, you can only convince your audience to take the desired action if you know them, know what they need, and understand how to communicate with them.

To do this, you need to know your personas very well , know at what stage they are in the buying journey and understand how to create content that generates value for this persona according to the stage in which they are.

Thus, you will be able to create a copy that really answers the doubts and fulfills the wishes of your personas, communicating with them the way they want.

See the email example below. Just by the content offered, we can try to trace the persona to which this email was sent. So if it’s fired into a predominantly male base, for example, we’ll know it’s unlikely to deliver the expected result.

Psychological principle: affection/affinity

2. Offer something “extra” for your reader

If you want to initiate or intensify your relationship with your audience, don’t start by asking them for their information. Instead, do the opposite, and offer something to these people, preferably something you know creates value for them.

See the example below: By providing in-depth, quality material to your personas, they won’t mind giving you some information in return.

However, don’t forget that to get what you want, what you offer really must generate value for your target audience.

Psychological principle: reciprocity

3. Prove what you are saying

It’s no use trying to sell a product, service or idea to people if you can’t prove what you’re talking about. After all, why should they trust you?

However, if you can confirm what you say, mainly through testimonials, your personas will see what you say with new eyes — after all, if other customers have trusted you and are getting results, why shouldn’t they do the same ?

So, while you show that other people are having success with your solution, you are already positioning yourself as someone who understands your market and shows you what you are doing to solve your persona problem.

See the example below for Digital Results. We used the testimonial of a customer using RD Station , our Marketing Automation platform. With this, we show readers that it is possible to be successful with the tool. Thus, the chances of our personas wanting to test the tool or speak to a consultant can be much higher.

Psychological Principle: Social Approval and Authority

4. Assume mistakes

This tip may seem like a shot in the foot, but it can be a real asset to your copywriting company. Of course, we are not encouraging you to make mistakes, but to accept them when the situation is necessary.

In this way, you will create a kind of connection with your personas, showing them that, like everyone else, your company is also liable to make mistakes, but that it overcomes adversity to have a trusting relationship with its audience — and you can even use the situation to offer compensation to your Leads and customers. Want more transparency than that?

Take the example of Made.com, the UK furniture brand. They had created an Email Marketing campaign in case the result of the Scottish independence referendum was “yes”. But, even though the result was negative, they ended up triggering the campaign.

The solution that the company found was to send an apology email celebrating the “return” from Scotland to the UK, and offering a discount on purchases.

Psychological principle: affinity

Sorry! We unwittingly sent an email which we prepared in case of a ‘YES’ to Scottish independence. Scotland, good to have you back! To celebrate the union, get £10 off purchases over £100 using the code GREATBRITAIN for any order placed before midnight on Sunday (21 September).

5. Offer something limited

Offering your product, service or content as something unique and exclusive will create an urgency in your target audience to get it. Furthermore, it is important to add value to the customer in order to offer some competitive advantage and in a limited way.

You can, for example, send emails informing the Lead or customer that you have released a trial on your product for free, but only for the first to download specific content. Don’t forget to also indicate that it’s shortly before something runs out.

Psychological principle: scarcity

6. Make the Lead/Customer agree with what you are saying

If you talk directly about the features of your product or service, it is very likely that many Leads and customers will not even listen to what you have to say.

But if you instead talk about the problems the Lead/Customer is facing and show that you can help solve them, the situation completely changes. That’s because, by making your audience identify and admit their problems and doubts, you naturally encourage them to seek solutions that address a particular problem. The solution, in this case, is you who offer it.

For example, the seller could ask the following question:

“Customer, you are telling me that this problem is responsible for limiting your growth, correct?”

(Wait for the “yes”).

“And if I show you that the product I have can solve this problem and make your company grow again in the medium term, would you be willing to invest?”

(Wait for the “yes”).

In this way, the customer would be likely to say yes and would increase the chance of closing the deal due to the commitment made.

Psychological principle: commitment and coherence

7. Tell stories

The famous storytelling is not a technique used by chance: through stories of your company or your customers, your personas will be able to create an identification, sharing fears, fears, anxieties, abilities, challenges and achievements with the stories they read/see.

Thus, it is very likely that other companies will see the value in a particular solution when they realize that other businesses have gone through the same journey and been successful.

Psychological principle: affinity and social approval

Good copywriting has the power to create and influence people’s perception of your brand.

In addition, it is also essential for building a good relationship with your target audience, and influences every step of your audience’s buying journey, from discovery to evaluation and purchase.

So, make copywriting create a positive perception: choose your approach carefully and strategically, and prove the value generated for your business!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Copywriting?

Copywriting is the process of producing persuasive texts for Marketing and Sales actions, such as the content of emails, websites, catalogues, advertisements and sales letters, for example. The professional responsible for developing the text (also called a copy) is known as a Copywriter.

How to do Copywriting?

The purpose of Copywriting is to persuade the target audience through mental triggers. Therefore, to make a good copy it is important to consider the following triggers: reciprocity, social approval, affection/affinity, authority, commitment and consistency, and scarcity.

What not to do in copywriting?

Some of the main mistakes are: creating an incoherent text, with grammatical errors and poor language, not building a trusting relationship with the public, putting too much information that can confuse the reader, using too much jargon, and talking only about the product’s characteristics / service without highlighting the real benefits it brings to customers.

What is Microcopy?

Microcopy is a small piece of text that is intended to instruct, convince and alleviate the reader’s concern. In this way, it reduces friction and makes it easier to carry out the expected action. Microcopy is widely used in buttons, forms and instruction fields.

 

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