Writing comes in different forms, and even for some writers it can get confusing. You can be a novelist (novels, obviously), a playwright (plays), or a screenwriter (screenplays for movies and TV shows). But for some folks, it’s not really easy to understand what copywriters do… So what is copywriting, exactly?
Copywriting, in its very essence, is the text you write so that your target reader does what you want them to do. It generally used for advertisements and other similar tools such as brochures, sales pages, and marketing emails.
Most of the time you want people to buy your stuff or use your services. But you can use effective copy to get them to do other things that will benefit your business, such as to call your number for more info or to subscribe to your newsletter.
Look at any print ad online and on billboards and posters. Do you see any words? That’s the copy. If you’re the copywriter, it’s your job to come up with the words to go with any images you may use for the ad.
Elements of Copywriting
Copy can appear in many different forms and styles. Yet most of them follow a very basic formula. Here are the elements that you need to cover with your copy:
- What are you offering? This is a description of either the product or the service you’re selling. If you like, you can harp on the various features of your offerings.
- What benefits does it offer your customers? It’s probably more important to focus more on how your customers will benefit from your product than to harp on its specific features. Here you can identify a problem that your customer has, and then you tell them just how your product will solve that problem.
- Why should they trust you? Here you need to introduce yourself or your brand. Why should they trust you? You have to establish your credibility so they will take your word.
- Call them to action. This is the concluding part of the copy, and it’s called the call to action (CTA). This is where you tell them to click on a link instead of just showing a clink. You give them a phone number and you tell them to call it. You have to be very specific and clear.
It is of course permissible that you can just plainly introduce your product with the benefits. When you just want to offer info, this style will do. But it does lack a certain pizzazz. It’s not really effective enough to convince your audience to do what you tell them to do. It’s not even memorable so they may not remember your brand afterwards. But you do have other style alternatives:
- You can tell them a story about people your readers can relate to. The people you talk about used your product and overcame great odds, or something similar.
- Write copy as if you’re talking to them in person. It’s a very friendly approach. In a variation of this, the copy can be an open letter from the CEO and the reader.
- Ask your readers to imagine something, such to imagine if they had lots of money (which you can bring about with your educational tools).
- Lay out all the facts. This type of copy is for web pages, and you try to answer every possible question your readers may have.
- You can also emphasize negatives first, such as when you tell them that a car like Porsche is expensive, it uses up lots of fuel, and it’s cramped. But then you can tell them that it’s fast and gorgeous.
- You can also make outlandish claims (lose weight in 1 week!), though this may only work on the more gullible readers.
You can use several of these styles into one ad, and with killer copywriting skills you can boost sales accordingly.