When it comes to modern marketing, good copywriting is at the core of nearly every business seeking to take advantage of their online opportunities.
Besides the fact that brick-and-mortar simply doesn’t work for SaaS-type business models—and plenty of others for that matter—there are numerous advantages to entering the digital market armed with a well-designed website and compelling, if not killer content.
Outside of significant savings on the maintenance, utility, and others costs of a physical store, the combination of website and content can also play the role of digital storefront, resource center, marketing hub, sales force, and even customer service—but only if each facet is backed by effective copywriting.
Plenty of companies hire outside professionals to complete this type of work, knowing that experience plus efficiency equals good value and even better ROI, but not every company can afford the resources to do so.
So, what do you do if you have to or prefer to keep your copywriting in-house for one reason or another? Learn how to do better. Here are four powerful tips to help you get there.
Write compelling headlines
Whether you believe it or not, good headlines aren’t exclusive to journalism. Consider nearly everything you choose to read online. If you search for a specific topic, you’re more apt to choose, click on, and read the article that sounds tailored to the information you’re seeking.
For instance, say your website isn’t generating the type of ROI you were hoping for. When you conduct a search, you find “Why Websites Fail” and “Five Hard-Hitting Reasons Why You Have an Ineffective Website” at the top of the search results. Which one are you more likely to choose, and more importantly, why?
The first headline would seemingly give you at least SOME idea of why your website is struggling, but it also sounds like a sprawling topic that could include a lot of irrelevant information. The second, however, gives you a finite number of reasons, which likely means they’re the most common and more specific to websites that are ineffective like yours, not outright failing, which is far more applicable.
Being specific with your headlines can go a long way in helping you find the right audience, meaning more traffic, better reader retention rates, and a better chance of engagement and even conversion if they find the copy helpful. And boosting your SEO certainly doesn’t hurt either.
Talk with your readers, not at them
Killer content doesn’t simply direct your audience towards your offerings, it establishes good customer relationships.
Regardless of type, good relationships take trust, understanding, and reciprocation to be meaningful and maintain longevity, and that includes the ones that exist between businesses and their customers. Good product and service fits should be mutually beneficial: the customer solves their problem and the business reaps the financial rewards.
To translate that into content, that means being personable, relatable, helpful, informative, and directly targeted at the issues they are facing throughout the stages of their buyer’s journey. Your writing shouldn’t come off like long-form advertisements or all-too-salesy copy that gushes about every product or service feature, but rather a helpful guide that positions you alongside them to show you understand their challenges.
So be supportive, sympathetic, and timely—and don’t forget to stay in the active voice.
Make your copy easily skimmable
For most people, time is not a luxury, especially when they’re trying to solve their problems. Since answers are so often perceived to have quick delivery in the digital age, no one wants to read the digital equivalent of a ten-chapter book just to find out your product or service may not even be the right solution to their issue.
Besides talking with your audience in the right voice, structuring your content to fit the context and meet your reader’s expectations is one of the most effective ways to deliver your message.
One way to do this is to segment your copy into easily digestible parts. If you’re writing a blog post, include clear titles, headings, subheadings, and even easily interpreted images. Not only will this help them navigate to the most applicable parts of your content more easily, but also encourages them to read more because a few well-written sentences book-ended with obvious titles is much more inviting than sprawling paragraphs of text.
While it may seem like that kind of structure is just more visually appealing, it goes a long way with reader retention, leaving you far more opportunities to align yourself with potential customers and guide them down the funnel in a helpful and meaningful way.
Provide value without hesitation
We’re not saying you need to give away seven eBooks, a car, and a free vacation to lure prospects in, but you should be willing to give away at least something to show that you’re in the business to solve problems just as much as you are to make sales.
There is certainly a lot of research to support the idea that people feel an obligation to return the favor when they’re given something for free, but your content doesn’t need to function on this idea.
We’ve already discussed what it takes to form a good relationship, and being selfless with hours of thought, research, and labor is often enough to gain trust and authority with your audience, especially when you offer helpful insights into their problems. If you’re able to make their job easier by giving up your resources to provide some to them, they’ll be more apt to assume you’ll be just as supportive, if not more so, once they’ve purchased your offering.
To be frank, there are a ton of small details that can help you tweak your content to appeal to your audience that much better, but it helps to have a good foundation first.
Copywriting is an essential part of any well-structured marketing strategy, and if you don’t have the ability to outsource, it’s certainly worth learning how to do it the right way to ensure you’ll be providing the answers your prospects are looking for.
For more tips on how to create compelling copy, check out our Killer Content Strategy eBook below or contact us to help put your plans in action.