As someone who writes and creates content as a substantial part of my day to day responsibilities, I’m always keen to learn more about how to craft great long and short form pieces. I consider content to be the main focal point of any digital marketing campaign which means there’s a lot to be writing and creating so there’s a lot of importance and pressure for it to be executed to perfection. So, as part of the Content Marketing Show, I thoroughly enjoyed the Infectious Copywriting course run by Ellen de Vries of The Copy House. Take a read of my top 3 take-aways below.
The focus here was around the content strategy that leads to creating great pieces. One thing which stood out is how web content needs to be designed around addressing audiences needs before business needs and how sometimes content is just about human values. Your brand has to plug into the audience’s personalities.
Know your audience – a great reminder for any content marketer is that just because you find one type of content interesting, it doesn’t mean that everyone else will. I found that you really have to understand the mindset of your clients audience in order to write effective copy.
Audience – Create detailed personas
It can be easy to get caught up in trying to sell something to a brand’s target audience, but as consumers we don’t want to read overly promotional material; we want our needs addressed and our issues fulfilled. This means that you can’t just push products – there needs to be a supplement of how a product can improve your daily life. At SiteVisibility, we use tribes and the THEME methodology – where we work with the client to determine which audience segments are the most relevant to them. Creating personas really helps to figure out how to structure your content because you know specifically who you’ll be targeting, what their needs and wants are, and how your product or service can help them address an existing issue that they’ve got. That way, your content is more likely to be shared by your audience who believe it will help their peers in similar circumstances.
Structure and Purpose – Be concise
Try FAB! – features, attributes and benefits. By this I mean, creating content according to which of these elements your audience is interested in. Features are the physical aspects of the product, how large it is, what it’s made of or how much it might weigh. Attributes are the brand, the quality, colour tone or personality of the product. The benefits are why you’d want to buy the product and how it can improve your daily life. It’s usually helpful to focus on one or two of these.
ROT analysis – which is Redundant, Outdated, Trivial. This is useful for an onsite audit but also when you’re planning to create new content. Why are you creating it? Is this information already readily available elsewhere? Is it up to date? Does it make sense for your audience and help them by educating or entertaining them?
Finally, make sure your sentences are concise, unnecessary words are avoided, the tone is active, and paragraphs are three sentences long.
Copywriting – Call to action
When writing any kind of content, you need a call to action. Every piece of web content should lead to another piece of content or show the audience an easy way to convert and purchase, and more importantly, make it simple for your readers to find the call to action.
Use a range of terminology and don’t fall into the trap of overusing buzzwords. Using a variety of words helps keep your audience interested, and of course, is helpful for SEO if that’s a consideration for you. You might even want to get your hands on a copy of an industry magazine and adopt some of the language that they use. Make sure you understand the words that are commonly used in the industry you’re writing about, otherwise your reader will know you’re not an expert.
Creating infectious copy is about creating content your audience wants to read because it’s accessible, enticing and above all directs the consumer to make a decision.