As a digital marketing agency, copywriting comes hand-in-hand with many of the services we offer to our clients. Whether it be website development, creating social media schedules, writing press releases, blogs, email marketing or creating collateral, without effective copy, you run the risk of your business being poorly represented.
At our popular Social Media Masterclasses, we take many questions from business owners surrounding all aspects of marketing. The prominence of blogs, and their numerous useful functions, has led to the question of how our delegates should go about approaching this new and time-consuming kind of content. This is also often followed by a second question, “Should I just hire a copywriter?”
As a copywriter myself, I can only say that you could easily hire a talented writer to ensure your business and its key messages are resoundingly present across all your written content. For those who simply don’t write, can’t find the time, or those who dislike their writing style, perhaps a copywriter is exactly what you need.
But for everyone else, it might just be better to do it yourself…
What are the benefits of providing your own copywriting and blogs?
Who understands the business better than those who built it, or work within it? Passion is something that can be conveyed easily and naturally through the written word, and it’s hard to argue with passion. It’s hard to get bored of reading something that the writer is clearly proud or excited to share.
Who better than you to position your business? Should you wish to be seen as a knowledge lead to encourage trust in your brand and business, the industry is your knowledge base, and you no doubt have an inkling of how to encourage that kind of trust.
You know the problems your customers face, or the problems surrounding the products/services you offer. This means you can craft your copy to position your business as the shining beacon customers are looking for.
Making a start
First of all, if you haven’t written in a while, it may take a few practise-runs before you craft something that you’re happy with. That being said, this guidance should help steer you in the right direction.
Before you even open that blank Word document, Tone of voice is the all-important first step.
Large corporate businesses often have style guidelines, which are detailed documents meant to standardise the style and tone of all written content.
For small businesses, or those who wish to form their own simple style guidelines, ask yourself:
What is my business’s brand mission? & How would I describe my business? Try to humanise your business and then describe “them”.
Jot down the answers to these questions and use them to shape the voice you write in, and the voice of your business.
Planning your piece effectively is the key to copywriting success. Don’t worry! It’s simple.
- Why am I writing this?
- What message am I trying to convey?
- Who is the audience?
- How will I lead the audience through the piece, to the point I’m trying to make, and the action I want them to take, whilst holding their interest? (Structure)
- What keywords should I use?
Audience is everything. Just as a business needs to understand its target personas, an effective copywriter needs to know their audience.
Who are your customers? Who are you talking to? Again, try to describe them, before crafting copy to speak and appeal directly to them.
When you’ve decided on the message you’re trying to convey, Keywords need to be considered in order to make your hard work pay, in the form of sweet SEO juice.
While a more technical approach can be taken through extensive keyword research, we believe that content should be written for people, not google bots. Deciding on your keywords can be a fairly easy and logical process to help drive traffic to the blog, and the business’s website, no matter your current grasp on SEO.
Think about what people might be searching for related to your industry and the topic you want to tackle. Narrow down that topic to its core and ask yourself what questions your piece could answer.
At this point, with your tone of voice established, with a firm grasp on your audience, the topic/message and the keywords you’ll use, it’s time to get stuck in.
Keep your copy concise, be upfront and be bold in the points you’re making.
Remember, that due to the digital devices that many of us now use to consume this kind of content, your readers are likely scanning and scrolling on-the go. Ensure your piece is easily read and understood.
If your piece is selling something, ensure the copy really sells! Audience is a key consideration here, and you should try to appeal to the personality of your reader.
Copy is a personal and subjective thing, and it’s likely you’ll never write a piece that every single reader consumes in its entirety.
However, if you try to make your copy easily digestible, and if your readers can relate to the piece and the writer in some way, they’re more likely to read on. Should we writers fail to do this, well… our readers will hit the back button quicker than they can yawn.
Call to action
This is your sign off, if you will. The call to action is where you direct the reader to the action you’d like them to take.
For example, when we at The Marketing Optimist write a blog about anything linked to social media marketing, our call to action will be to sign up to our Social Media Masterclass.
Be bold and clear. Asking something of a reader isn’t always the easiest thing to do, and while you might be inclined to soften the language in your call to actions, this will risk the directness of the action you want your reader to take.
Now your piece is complete, allow as much time as you can (within reason of course), before going back to review it with fresh eyes.
Begin to edit the piece and don’t hold back. Is everything you read crucial to making the point you wish to deliver?
Check again, is the message and the action you want to the reader to take both clear and concise?
Then, take another break, before your final read/tweak before signing off the piece.
And just like that, copywriting at your fingertips.
Click the play button below to hear the podcast version of this blog, and the first by The Marketing Optimist.