Universal Marketing Rules For Writing Killer Copy.
When crafting any type of message there are marketing truths universally acknowledged that must stay front of mind. Whether it’s presentations, emails, reports, or advertisements, you need to create copy that grabs your audience’s attention and inspires action – not copy that ends up in the (physical or digital) bin.
We’re not all great copywriters, but by making a few simple changes it can have a surprisingly high impact that moves our content from ‘meh…’ to ‘yeh!’.
Highlight benefits not features.
Focusing on the nitty gritty facts and figures of what you do as a company doesn’t help the customer understand why they should bother. Of course, you will probably go into details further down the line, but people will be initially attracted if they relate to the benefit you are providing. If you do want to stress features, always link it to a benefit. Here’s an example:
“The company I work for offers estate agents social media marketing software which identifies trending content, brands third-party articles, and provides scheduling tools for automated social media publishing.”
What? That is fabulously dull.
But by adding: “This free software means you can spend less time behind a screen and more time winning business.”
At least now I understand why it matters and my interest is piqued.
Sell time not cost savings.
Instead of talking about cost savings all the time, try selling time. Time is something people can never get back, and it’s therefore far more valuable to us as human beings.
Customers care about their time, their troubles, and their objectives, so speak to them about this. Yes fees, are a bone of contention, but it has been shown that vendors will pay a higher fee for a stress-free experience.
Use verbs, don’t rely on adjectives.
Research shows that verbs are surprisingly more powerful that adjectives when it comes to copy. This is largely due to an overuse of elaborate adjectives where everyone fluffs up their writing with countless synonyms for ‘excellent’.
So, as it turns out, you can stand out of the crowd by just saying what you actually do.
Focus on them, not you.
Many companies fall into the trap of talking about themselves: what they have done, how great they are.
Let’s get one thing straight: People are not interested in what amazing things you can do as a company, they want to know how you can help them.
Focus on your client: What you can help them with, the problems they have that you can solve. Be customer-centric, not marketing-centric, and people will gravitate towards you.
Check every piece of content you write to see how many times you say “I/we/us/company name” versus “you”.
Use social proof.
As humans, we instinctively trust things more if we see other people doing it. And bluntly, other people can sell your services far better than you ever could.
Social proof involves displaying real testimonials, similar homes sold, how many people have used you or how many properties you have sold this month, etc. Anything that shows your credibility and proves to prospects that other people put their trust in you and left happy – so they can too.
Understand that stories are super powerful.
Stories grip readers and it gives us something to relate to – an emotional connection, a feeling, a similar experience. In fact, social psychologists Melanie Green and Timothy Brock explained exactly why stories are so effective in marketing:
“Transportation leads to persuasion.”
If you can incorporate storytelling into your marketing (and the answer is always yes if you get creative enough) then do.
Apply the AIDA rule.
The infamous marketing acronym:
This is a fantastic way to structure writing that inspires action and can be tweaked to suit almost any scenario.
The last bit is so simple but unfortunately often forgotten: Always have a strong call-to-action so people know what to do next – don’t leave them guessing.
Have you used any of these tactics above, or do you do something I haven’t mentioned? Comment below to let me know – I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Image: Flickr / CC 2.0