Quality content includes many ingredients. It’s crucial to make sure that they are all included in every content piece you generate, and in your content strategy.
Copywriting is, after all, the art of persuasion, and you need to demonstrate this in every content piece you create. Superlative copy is essential if your ambition is to maintain anything like a standard of quality in your content.
Check out this simple list of copywriting rules for maximizing the effectiveness of your content.
1. Your tone.
It’s important to align your content (and its tone) with your audience. Tone is the attitude expressed by your writing. Imagine you were speaking face to face with your audience – what would be your mood? Bantering? Concerned? Excited about sharing new information? This will affect your choice of vocabulary and the sentence structure you use. For example, if you are reviewing a new model of skateboards on offer by your business, including some of that sport’s colorful slang and jargon could be acceptable, and occasionally perhaps even some strong language.
On the other hand, if you are discussing safety equipment and the importance of its use, credibility would demand complete sentences and appropriate word selection. If you’re selling your audience heavy machinery, your tone should remain professional and employ applicable niche terminology immediately familiar to your audience. If you are not immersed in the field, you will need to do some research to become conversant with the lingo of your product/service.
2. Not a copywriter? Use a formula.
Most copywriters don’t adhere slavishly to a specific formula in their content. However, there are a plethora of such formulae out there in articles and books for reference. These formulae describe and recommend specific techniques for approaching, organizing, and creating effective content.
If copywriting is not your background but you need to produce it for your business, take a moment to examine what is out there to help polish and diversify your content. Here is one example of a formula for effective copy: picture what is desirable, promise results, prove that such results are possible, and push your reader to do something about the opportunity you offer.
3. SEO copywriting
Yes, this is actually a real area of expertise and competence. What is the point of posting content online if no one can find it and read it? As with everything else that appears on the web, copywriting has its own set of SEO rules that govern how a search engine finds your content, or, disastrously, does not find it. Properly constructed Search Engine Optimization copywriting will pop up in search results, and be compelling enough to induce people to click through to your content.
4. Show your cards right away.
Remember, your content has as little as 400 milliseconds (yes, an eye blink), translating into only a part of a sentence, or phrase visible on a device, to grab the attention of impatient internet searchers. Grip your reader’s interest immediately. Maybe you should lead with a provocative or controversial assertion. Can you offer a mind-blowing fact or statistic?
Could you offer a superb solution to a pesky problem – right in the first line or even the first few words; you can elaborate and provide more detail farther down in the body of your posting. It’s your choice, but keep in mind that you have your reader’s eyes on your copy only very briefly. (By the way, any errors in spelling or grammar in your opening lines will alienate and sour your readers, even if they are not quite sure what it was that bothered them.)
5. Know your topic.
Ever been tempted to dive deep into some subject that is hot, new, and represents a niche market you would like to reach? Before you start sounding off about something current, thoughtfully ask yourself the following questions: have you read widely and deeply on this topic? Do you have enough knowledge or experience with this topic to discuss it articulately?
You don’t need to be an expert, but you should understand it and have a well-articulated point of view, whether it’s based on your reading or personal involvement. Be sure that you have enough information and insight on your topic to speak with authority or raise questions worth considering before plunging in to write about something that was heretofore unfamiliar.
Yes, it is critical to our growth as businesspeople and copywriters to keep current with cutting edge topics in our own or related fields. However, it is better to stick to topics with which you are most familiar and about which you can speak most authoritatively. As with your favorite pair of shoes, it may not be the newest – perhaps your most reliable pair is well-worn.
Similarly, because the impact of your copy is based on the value you add, and you are likely to add maximum value in your areas of greatest know-how. This is what makes niche freelance copywriters so valuable – they have the experience to quickly research and write knowledgeably and credibly about arcane specialties.
Your content is central to getting new readers/customers. If the copywriting is not instantly findable via online search engines, immediately compelling, appropriate in tone, strongly organized, and authoritative in the information it offers, you will lose potential readers. Use these rules to guide your copywriting content for optimum effectiveness.