Have you ever played a game entitled "Good Copy, Bad Copy"? The rules are simple. Oh, wait; there is actually just one rule: you have to create good copy to promote your online business and stay far away from bad copy that can compromise your image, make you lose prospects and help you put a smile on your competitors' faces. Most people will sigh and exclaim: "if only things were that simple..." They are.
Even though you may think about copywriting and picture a rainbow of colors and flying unicorns, things are really black and white when it comes to creating fantastic copy: you're either good at it because your copy sells or you're not and your copy is a mere waste of time and money.
The bad news is that good copy that is also persuasive requires lots of things, including excellent writing skills, extensive knowledge, patience, passion, research and empathy. The good news is that as long as you play by the book and do everything in your power to boost your copywriting skills, you can actually obtain excellent results in the long run. But what exactly should you work on to be able to see the first signs of improvements in the long run?
The Good, the Bad and the Damn Ugly of Copywriting
So we're clear, copy overstuffed with keywords is not good copy. As a matter of fact, first-class copy should reflect your creativity, originality and ability to see things from a different perspective. If should accentuate your desire to resonate with a large, diverse audience and your ability to address the specific needs and requirements of all your categories of readers. Moreover, it should indicate the fact that you have a vast knowledge and can anticipate, analyze and explain new trends and concepts faster and better than any of your main rivals. In short, great copy shows that you're good with words and you know it.
On the other hand, bad copy is a clear indicator of the fact that you are lazy, sloppy, ignorant, unmotivated, untalented or all of the above. Bad copy is web writing with absolutely no value, which doesn't stimulate the curiosity and the interest of your readers and doesn't make them want to land on your page a second time. You may be wondering: how could I improve my copywriting efforts? According to an article published by Search Engine Land, sometimes SEO rules are meant to be broken. An obsessive focus on SEO can kill your copy. You have to ignore or your current SEO strategies at least when it comes to developing:
A) Titles and Magnetic Headlines
Can you actually create compelling, magnetic, attention-grabbing headlines and still include as many keywords as you want in them, to attain your optimization goals? It's possible, but very unlikely. Readers are very savvy and know how to distinguish high-value content from what appears to be a piece of cleverly disguised written trash.
B) Shareable Content
Can you actually ask a team of writers to come up with insanely creative, readable, original, client-focused content and still force them to incorporate a huge number of keywords in it? Obviously, the answer is no. Great copy goes beyond keywords. Naturally, great copy is built around popular queries, to anticipate and address the needs, expectations and demands of a certain audience, but it does not employ aggressive SEO strategies that are visible to the naked eye. Here are a few rules that you may want to follow, to come up with fabulous, shareable copy:
a) Be engaging, transparent and empathetic to favor an emotional response from your readers
b) "Write tight"
This means that you should keep it short and simple; organize your content piece into small well-organized paragraphs to improve readability. Otherwise, your readers will get bored to death, no matter how amazing your copy really is
c) Ditch second-hand material that you were planning to recycle one more time and conduct expensive research to spot new info and the most influential trends. You can rely on social media networking sites and special tools (Twitter, Facebook, Google Trends) to keep yourself up-to-date with things and facts that may interest you
d) Turn your posts into visual masterpieces by adding a fair amount of quality, relevant images, while preserving an ideal balance between text and images.
Make no mistake: your refusal to upgrade your copy writing skills will cost you. According to an infographic introduced by Ragan.com, site performance, keywords and content are 3 of the most important factors that influence your SEO rankings. According to the same source, companies that blog obtain up to 50% more traffic than the ones that do not count on this strategy.
7 Reasons Why Fabulously Good Copy Really Matters
We have managed to come up with 7 great reasons why good copy is an incredibly powerful ally for all people who run any kind of business on an online market.
1) Good Copy Sells. First-class copy tells an enchanting story. It entertains the readers, resonates with them but also compels them to take action. Good copy gives you the opportunity to promote your products in a highly effective manner in front of a vast audience that is ready to listen to what you have to say. A successful copywriter has amazing selling skills and could probably convince an Eskimo to buy a bathing suit. Different writers employ different selling tactics. The only way to find out which ones would work best for you is through a trial-and-error process. Test different selling methods and see which ones are the best bait for your prospects.
2) Good Copy Creates a Long-Lasting Bond with Your Audience. Great copy gives you the chance to improve your relationship with your visitors, by responding to their questions, needs and concerns and by cultivating their feedback. Whether they are looking forward to buying a luxurious 8-bedroom mansion or a box of cereals, consumers want to feel that their seller strives to be on the same page with them. Quality copy sells, but also allows you to build long-lasting connections with your audience. This is a very important aspect that shouldn't be neglected, especially since some of your old clients can convert themselves into fervent followers and brand evangelists, giving you the chance to increase brand awareness, diversify your clientele and improve your profit margins.
3) Good Copy Transforms Products into Must-Haves. Assuming that you are getting ready to launch your very own laundry detergent, have you ever wondered why clients would feel even remotely tempted to try your product? Here is where result-oriented copy comes in handy, enabling you to turn your new product into a hot must-have, by accentuating its unique features and benefits. Your detergent costs much less than brand-name products, dissolves stains as fast as you can make a decent cup of coffee and preserves the colors of your most delicate clothing items. A fabulous copywriter will know how to put all these advantages on paper and give them a new twist to stimulate the imagination of your public and make them crave for your merchandise.
4) Good Copy Separates Yourself from Your Main Competitors. Good copyallows you to make a name for yourself. Let's face it: several companies know how to say a lot without actually using tons of words, according to Hubspot.com. We're thinking about Mozilla, with its amazing tagline "Doing good is a part of our code." GymIt offers us another great example. Its snappy, funny, short and memorable taglines resonate with their potential clients. Their tagline "Earn Your Mac'n Cheese Tonight" cannot pass unnoticed. It's basically a way of saying, "hey, it's ok if you have a gym phobia, we all hate to exercise, but you may want to go to the gym every once in a while to be able to indulge yourself later."
5) Good Copy Provides Measurable Results. Fantastic copy gives you the chance to roll out an effective marketing campaign on time and on a budget. According to BizCommunity.com, top-notch copy that has nothing to do with boring, generic sales pitches is one of the most powerful tools that marketers can rely on, to attain their specific goals. It's fairly easy to separate the good from the bad, in terms of copywriting. Great copy will lead to increased engagement on some of the most popular social media platforms and improved conversion rates.
6) Good Copy Makes You Powerful and Unique. Most importantly, good copy makes you unforgettable and gives your story a sense of authenticity, according to Jason Delodovici. Numerous people who are bombarded with dozens of spammy messages on a daily basis tend to think that every offer that is presented to them online is a scam. Great copy can help you create and promote a powerful, compelling story that will give people the chance to eliminate their concerns and preconceived ideas and just listen to what you have to say for a moment or two. Robert Collier gave us an excellent piece of advice: "study your reader first-your product second."
While going down this path, an experienced copywriter will be able to put any kind of product into a different light, turning it into the object of desire of a large audience. Great copy gives you wings and supports your ascension. As long as you stick to the image that you have created for yourself and rely on reader-oriented content pieces to strengthen your relationship with your prospects, your success is guaranteed.
7) Good Copy Gives You the Chance to Embrace an Effective Signature Approach. Do you think that there is only one method to craft compelling copy? Experts in this line of work beg to differ. The creative minds from Copyblogger have managed to list 10 ways to come up with what they call "damn good copy". Each copywriter has his own style, his own methods to resonate with a certain audience, to send a powerful message and to stimulate client feedback. Sorry to disappoint, but when it comes to copywriting, there is no such thing as a "one-size-fits-all" solution.
Obviously, no two ads are alike. You cannot try to sell makeup products in the same manner in which you would try to promote luxury cars. Different audiences require different tones and different selling strategies. So what do you do when you're stuck and in need of an excellent source of inspiration? You go back to the meaningful words of the copywriter masters.
Check out the infographic about the art of sales letters introduced by The Daily Egg to find out what it takes to become a creative copywriter who says it well, says it fast and always manages to prove a point. If you feel lost and confused, just keep in mind that in order to become a successful copywriter, you have to identify and perfect your personal writing style. There are several types of copy (at least 10, according to Copywriter). Here are some of the most effective models that may fit you like a glove.
- Plain copy. Plain copy reflects the main features and benefits of a product without making superlative claims, creating an enchanting story or trying to maintain a conversation.
- Storytelling copy. Storytelling copy comprises 4 distinctive elements: opening, conflict, dialog and solution. Creativity and in-depth research are the main factors that guarantee the success of this type of copy, which is mostly suitable for landing pages and email series.
- Conversational copy. The conversational copy reflects a conversation between 2 individuals: the prospect and the copywriter.
- Seller-poet copy. Would you define yourself as a poet, or as a seller? Couldn't you try to be both, at least when it comes to crafting copy? As you can imagine, this is what seller-poet copy is all about: a beautiful story comprising well-placed calls to action that have a powerful effect on your readers. As the famous David Ogilvy affirmed at one point, copywriters have to "sell, or else." Selling while making the most of your poetic style could help your cause.
- The friendly CEO-Inspired Copy. Buyers need to rely onan expert opinion before making a final call. This is why the friendly CEO-inspired copy is always extremely effective. People realize that CEOs are not cold-hearted, goal-oriented individuals. This type of copy turns CEOs into caring, down-to-earth individuals, stimulates sales and reinforces the connection between prospects and a certain brand.
There you go-at least 7 great reasons why you should rely on premium copywriting services to grow or consolidate your business. Keep in mind that practice makes perfect. Work hard to perfect your own copywriting skills, or get out of the way and let the real master of words to the heavy lifting.
(good copy / shutterstock)