What you need to know about copywriting
Marketing trends are a funny old thing.
We’ve had the age of social media and how it’s all about sharing. We’ve had ‘it’s all about video’. We had the ‘just write any content every day’. Looking for attention. Getting it.
And yet, in the meantime we seem to have forgotten that most people still read their news, get their shopping deals via email and they read reviews about what they want to buy.
Reading. It’s still happening. And a whole lot. To get people to read, you need people to write. And write very well.
Because, 'Yes'- you need people’s attention. You need them to believe in the story that you have to share and persuade them to say ‘Yes’.
When you have someone’s attention, more is more.
Big purchases and big decisions require all our attention. There are many psychological factors in place. Here’s a big one:
We don’t want to make the wrong decision.
Of course not. Who wants to be the person that buys the big family car from Germany that is renowned for being bad value compared to other cars and terrible with fuel economy?
The answer is no one.
Now, here is one of the biggest reasons these decisions require our attention.
We don't want to make the wrong decision - and then have to tell our friends and family about it.
That’s an avoidable negative experience.
You may well have had to go through that awkward conversation with someone you respect.
Then your only decision is to pretend that you are happy with what you bought anyway or, tell the truth and say how you didn’t know about it before you said 'Yes'.
So many people have been through this. It’s not a unique experience. It’s not even a recent trend . Don’t be fooled by our always connected social media world now. That just makes it easier to complain when it goes wrong.
That’s what makes people pay attention and get excited by well crafted stories that relate to them about the service they want to choose.
Their decision about satisfying their need is over. Is it going to be yours they pick or a competitor?
The difference will be how you can connect with your potential customers and make a lasting impression with them.
When you get someone’s attention who wants to potentially buy from you, serving up as much content as possible is what is going to keep them excited.
When visitors are excited by your content, they are more likely to say ‘Yes’.
That takes real craft. Copywriting is like having an accomplished salesperson selling your products whilst you sleep.
So why are we having to praise the benefits of copywriting?
There are myths that get told and told, and retold again about marketing. Sometimes they come from business leaders who are not natural marketers, or they come from marketing managers who don’t want to change their methods.
We're going to deal with two of those myths right now:
Myth: No one has any attention left
Sure. Attention isn’t what it used to be with smartphones and notifications pinging. So, some businesses take it that they have to do micro content or it’s all over.
That’s most certainly a myth.
Here’s what we know after 7 years in the marketing industry creating content:
Long form content converts 37% better than shorter content
Micro content is super effective at getting traffic to long form content
Longer content is harder to produce
Could it be true that some people don’t want to go through the pain of writing 1000 or more words on a site? Maybe so.
It’s absolutely true that if you only use long form content then you are limiting your marketing opportunities. However, avoiding long form content based on myths is just as harmful.
When someone is truly considering a product or service, they read obsessively about what they want. Especially if it's helping them to learn more and give them the confidence to say ‘Yes’.
Myth: Writing for search engines is what matters
Understanding this myth involves a little history about Search Engine Optimisation techniques, as this was old-fashioned advice that worked - kind of.
Back in 2007 and up until around 2011, creating as much content as possible shot websites up to page 1 of Google. The old advice from wise SEO consultants was to just create more content than your competitor.
Then it got really, really weird.
Some marketers took this and ran with it in a bad direction. One that really abused Google’s algorithm and it didn’t help anyone wanting to use search.
There were tools that helped businesses take their content and write it in different ways. Effectively meaning you could write one article and get 5 versions of it. As you can imagine, that’s not a quality way to write content. Despite that, algorithms fell for it.
It worked for a time. Then it failed miserably, as most shortcuts do. Sites plummeted down Google rankings and in some cases, their businesses never recovered.
You can target keywords with content, yet writing just for search engines is outdated advice. A myth that is dangerous for anyone that follows it.
Your content has to strike a chord with a real person that feels compelled to take action, be that click ‘add to cart’, ‘add me to your email list’ or ‘submit an enquiry’.
Being concerned about your Google rankings is normal. With there being so many ways of getting traffic to your site, gaming Google is not an effective long term strategy.
Back to copy-writing and what matters
We’ve established that:
Long form content converts better than short form
It’s harder to produce
We write for humans and their emotions - not algorithms
Attention isn’t so poor that no one can read
When we have people’s attention, serving them more words is best
Imagine a purchase where you’ve really taken your time to buy a product. A TV lets say.
You go online and check through what you can get. All you know right now is that you want it to be around 47 inches and HD.
Then you see that it can cost you anything from £299 to £799 to get a TV that fits that specification.
So what’s the difference? You look through the website but it’s just a bunch of tech specs. Should you care what Hz or how many HDMI ports it has? It fast becomes confusing. When you are confused, you are far less likely to have the confidence to buy.
At this point, you are in the consideration phase. You will look for reviews on shopping sites and from independent experts. You’ll check out YouTube too.
You haven’t found the assurance or confidence to buy from the website.
When it comes to services, it becomes harder to find sources to help you make a purchase. This is where your copywriting needs to do the job of persuading the visitor to say ‘Yes’.
Consider the commercial objective
It’s always a ‘Yes’. What does that ‘Yes’ mean in the context of your content?
It could be to get someone to subscribe to your email list or to sign up for your latest eBook. These are all commercial actions that help you to get a prospect nearer to saying ‘Yes’ to you.
To be clear - it isn't enough to just explain what you offer and write a few paragraphs to satisfy your own to-do list.
The more you can help visitors to understand, the more likely they are to choose your service. That brings us into content marketing campaigns and why they work so well.
If you want to find out now about why content marketing campaigns matter then click here.
Content that persuades a visitor to complete a commercial action is designed to fill your sales funnel. Its purpose is to sell.
Not all content that you produce for your site will be the kind that persuades people to say ‘Yes’. That content has a different objective. The content that you do write to get sales directly needs to concentrate on the psychology of why people buy.
Headlines are the most important part of your content
So, we know that writing around 2000 words makes your content 37% more likely to convert. And now, here we are looking at the reality that your headline is the most important part. Maybe 8-10 words all of a sudden is the the key focus.
Here’s the thing - headlines are so important because they are the first thing a visitor will see about your content. So it better be excellent. It’s going to make them click and read.
It makes perfect sense right?
Don’t take our word for it. Legendary copywriter and AdMan extraordinaire David Oglivy said this about headlines:
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
It’s often said 80% of your time should be spent working on your headline. It pays to do it, especially when you want to advertise your content around the web.
Testing headlines is one of the tougher processes of marketing. You need to research what your audience wants to hear about. How it helps them.
When you've done that, you then need to know what connects emotionally and gets them to click.
That’s why TrainingMontage is obsessed with getting headlines the attention they deserve.
We then repeat that obsession for your long copy. Now, after all of that, perhaps you are thinking “actually, I’ll just write a headline and bodge the copy together”.
After headlines, long persuasive copy is the most important part of your content
Lets remind ourselves that your commercial objective needs to be met with the content we create.
TrainingMontage has proven that long copy persuades visitors better to say ‘Yes’.
When someone is considering your service, they are hungry for information (thank you again to David Oglivy). The amount of money they will commit directly affects how hungry they are.
Content length to conversion scale
The visitors who are considering your service - just like you now, are wondering about the wonders of copywriting. Those visitors are going to read your content to the end. That's exactly what you want.
Making it longer, with more information means that you are helping to satisfy their hunger.
Think about how long it would take you to decide to buy a USB stick compared to buying a new Laptop.
It’s more of an expense when it comes to a laptop and there are so many options.
Remember. Who wants to be the person that picks the laptop that doesn’t work the way they expected it to?
You want to assure your visitors who want to be your customers, that they are making a decision they will thank you for later.
Long, informative copy that has been crafted with true salesmanship is going to satisfy your potential customers hunger for information - and you get to be the business that helped them.
That’s really powerful. It creates trust.
Trust is what makes visitors put their email in a form or click submit enquiry.
So you’ve got the headline and great, crafted copy - what’s next?
People visiting your website and clicking through for the right reasons.
You want people to find your content based on the fact they need your services. That’s relevant traffic. The ‘hungry for information’ sort that are looking out for your service.
This exists and best yet, you can pay for it. Social advertising, Google AdWords and editorial placements all work.
Even better - there is more than one way of finding it.
Why aren’t you getting traffic to your content right now?
If after reading all of this, you know that your content needs work, or that you don’t have the right content, then we really need to talk.
TrainingMontage are a content marketing agency focused on copywriting that persuades people to say ‘Yes’.
We’ve created more revenue for charities, technology services, graphic design agencies, animation studios, fishing tackle shops and even laser cutting services.
All that they had in common, was that they wanted more leads from their website to power their business. They trusted TrainingMontage to do it.
We can help you achieve your business goals with our copywriting techniques that focus on the psychology of how people buy.
Then we plug that into content marketing campaigns, so that we keep giving your potential customers information that they are hungry for.
If you want to know more, give us your email. We look forward to getting to know more of how we can help.