What is Copywriting?
Copywriting is strictly choreographed writing that informs, inspires, entertains, excites, and / or educates your "target audience" about your idea, service, program, or product.
Copywriting is a visceral enticement designed to reach out and snatch-and hold on to the attention, and the interest, of consumers courted by your "click-away" competition.
Not an easy task.
Today, people are perpetually peppered with an unending onslaught of persuasive proclamations (aka "advertisements") – via the Internet, the television, the latest app. As a result, their attention span (out of sheer necessity) is getting ever-shorter and ever-more skeptical.
Your copywriting message, therefore, has only a few seconds (if that) to get your target audience "hooked" into spending their limited time on what you have to say and, ultimately, their limited resources on what you have to offer.
Copywriting can come in many seductive shapes and sizes, including text associated with:
• website copy (offered through landing pages, product or service pages, transaction pages);
• email marketing copy (offered through teasers, lead-generators);
• blog / e-zine copy (offered through personal stories, testimonials, articles);
• print ad copy (offered in, or garnered from, newspapers and magazines);
• mail-order / direct mail advertising copy;
• brochure / business card / catalog copy;
• display and classified copy;
• promotional copy (including broadsides, invoice stuffers, circulars, pamphlets, White Papers, Press Releases); and
• feature articles (including case histories, how-to articles, issue articles, and news articles).
Creative, Compelling, Contemporary
Copywriting, in order to be captivatingly successful, should be creative, compelling, and contemporary.
Creative, as in unique.
Whether there are 4, or 400, or 4 million others selling it or servicing it, proudly present it as the "one and only" of its kind. Yes, they may have heard it before, but they have not heard it this way).
Tell it like it's never been told before.
Compelling, as in persuasive.
Why should they peruse, purchase, or prefer it? What makes it different, delightful, and a downright necessity to obtain, no matter the cost?
Tell it like there's no tomorrow without it.
Contemporary, as in right here and right now.
Likes, dislikes, shift and change in the blip of a blog or the tone of a tweet. How is what you have to offer a popular part of this time, this space, this day, this minute-this NOW!
Tell it like "trending" is its middle name.
When it comes to the specific words-the headlines-within your creative, compelling, and contemporary copywriting work, it's a good idea to craft headlines that:
• grab attention (using powerful words, ideas, and concepts);
• select the audience (screen out readers who are not potential customers);
• deliver a complete message (a majority of readers only read the headline); and
• draw the reader into the body copy (by arousing their curiosity).
In order to ensure that readers do not just turn the page, it's also a good bet to make sure that your headlines are:
• urgent (they must act now);
• ultra-specific (they must focus on this product or service); and
• useful (they must have it, buy it, read it, own it).
When it comes to the specific words-the copy-within your creative, compelling, and contemporary copywriting work, it's a good idea to craft copy that:
• addresses your intended audience (writing "you-oriented" copy);
• Prioritizes your selling points (focusing first on primary selling points);
• breaks the copy into short, readable sentences and sections;
• uses visual, creative, concise words that paint the right picture (avoiding technical jargon);
• gets straight to the point in a friendly, conversational style;
• uses copy that sells based on specific benefits (what the idea, product, program, or service) offers the reader, not on features (endless descriptive details about what the product is or has) -because people do not buy products or services , they buy what those products or services can do for them; and
• uses the "motivating sequence" (writing copy that gets attention; shows a need; shows how the need can be satisfied by this specific product or service; demonstrates exactly how this particular product or service will deliver; and calls for action).
It may not be an easy task to choreograph copywriting that successfully reaches out and snatches-and holds on to the attention, and the interest, of consumers courted by your "click-away" competition, but it is achievable if you remember to keep it creative, compelling, and contemporary.