When writing great copy for online advertising or your website, it’s best to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what it is that they want to get out of your page. Yes, they want information about your services or products, but they also want you to address their resistance, reassure them and inspire them to become a client.
Granted, creating inspiring content for some services and products (like industrial goods and services) is challenging, but all products are created in response to a need – a need that your company is trying to meet. Although copy isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of digital marketing, it is a valuable tool that you can use to both inform and drive customers to the point where they want to buy. Creating great copy is challenging. But if you adopt the following tips, you’ll be well on your way to enhancing customer experience and boosting your firm’s bottom line.
Create “Rest Points” In The Text
Science shows that reading is a cognitively demanding task for the majority of people. Reading requires the expense of effort – something that most of your customers want to minimise.
It’s a good idea when creating written content, therefore, to break up the text into bite-size chunks with judicious use of bullet points, paragraphing and headings. Try to keep paragraphs short – three sentences at most – and provide white space as “rest points” for your prospects as they consume your content. By being concise, giving customers the information that they need, and breaking up text, you encourage them to discover why your product or service is enticing.
Re-Invent And Test Your Content
When it comes to creating great website and advertising content, it’s worth noting that there are no set rules or formulas. Different companies have had success with all manner of content-driven strategies.
That doesn’t mean to say that you can write anything you like: some combinations of words will work better than others. The trick is to find a strategy to move towards a desirable combination and away from an undesirable one.
Smart firms have found that the best way to do this is to engage in continual testing. These companies begin with a basic outline of the content that they would like to present and then make alterations, testing the customer response as they go (usually by measuring how many customers convert). Over time, businesses refine their content to make it evermore effective and persuasive. CRO Testing like Google Optimize help companies test content to continually refine and improve based on real data.
When most people write, they listen to their inner narrator and obediently regurgitate what it says. But the problem with our internal narrator is that he or she is often more versed in verbal communication than in written. We write how we speak, not how we should, and this leads to bloat.
Take a look at the following fictional example of how a firm might describe a product. “Our socks have excellent durability thanks to the incorporation of additional synthetic materials.”
Now compare that to this: “Synthetic materials give our socks superior durability.”
Reading the first description requires a lot more effort than reading the second. Keep it short. Keep it sweet.
Don’t Rely On Standard CTAs: Always Give A “Why”
Marketing gurus understand the importance of CTAs or calls-to-action. CTAs remind the customer that they should be doing something while visiting your page, preferably buying your services and products, and then sending you money.
But basic CTAs are unlikely to be effective. Most firms will use a CTA like “buy now” or “subscribe today,” but the problem with these calls-to-action is that they fail to give customers a “why” they should buy.
The best calls-to-action contain the “why” within the text itself and link to further useful information.
Going back to our previous example, a firm might write: “Durable socks keep your feet warm and blister-free, whether you’re at the office or hiking up a mountain. Here’s how our technology works.”
In this example, the customer has a reason to buy the socks and can find out more if he or she so chooses.
Another example for a restaurant might be: “With our classic pizza ingredients, you can finally get a genuine taste of Italy. Find out more about our authentic dough.”
The above works much better than “buy pizza now” because it directly appeals to customers who are sick and tired or inauthentic pizzas that don’t faithfully recreate the original.
Give Customers Something Back
The best marketing content provides customers with high ROTI or “return on time invested.” Consuming marketing material isn’t free. There is an opportunity cost. A customer could be doing something else productive with their time as they read about your product. To convince a customer to absorb your marketing material, you have to convince them that it’s worthwhile. In short, they must get something out of it.
Writers, therefore, should avoid preamble and deal with customer needs immediately.
Check out the following example of what not to do: “If you’re in the market for a good TV-streaming service, then you have probably looked all over the place. It can be difficult to find a good service with so many offerings out there on the internet. The good news is that your search is at an end and you can get TV streaming from us…”
Clearly, this opening passage wastes time and fails to give customers the information that they need, namely what this particular firm’s TV streaming service offers. A better approach might be something like this:
“Get instant access to all your favourite shows on-demand and new content weekly, all for a lower monthly price than the competition.”
Notice how the second example not only tells customers what they can get (on-demand TV and new content) but also what they can get out of it (a lower price than the competition).
Effective copywriting for websites and advertisements is as much an art as it is a science. While you need to conduct proper testing to see what works, if you start in the wrong place, it’s unlikely that you’ll end up at the right one, no matter how much effort you expend refining your offering. At its core, great marketing content provides customers with immediate value. The sale should follow on naturally.