Your writing doesn’t always have to sell. That might sound counterintuitive, but it’s true.
Think about readers who are nowhere close to buying anything. They need an extra push. A reason to even consider doing business with you. That’s where content writing comes in.
Content writing is one of the best ways to add to the existing literature about your product:
Not sure where to start? Keep reading to see how easy content writing is when you organize your ideas in a logical way.
A well-planned article hits all the right notes, helps reduce bounce rates, and promotes your business like nothing else can.
Imagine you need to write copy for your business. You’ve got a team assembled and you’re eager to start writing, but you don’t have a clear goal in mind. The pressure is on and your deadline is coming up soon.
Don’t fly by the seat of your pants. Create an outline for your team to fill in and decide the structure of the argument your copy will make. It may seem daunting at first, but I have a guide that’ll make it much easier for you.
Poor planning could result in information that doesn’t reach your target audience. Make sure every member of your team knows what their role is in content creation. When everybody understands their role, they will produce material you can be proud of.
Remember why you’re writing this copy. Gather your information and write to support your proposition. Careful planning will make the rest of the writing process fall into place.
Here's how you can master the copywriting process.
Encourage your team to come up with as many creative ideas as they can to see which ones will stick. This can be a lot of fun for your group, and it’ll help you break the ice. See how many possibilities you can generate in the beginning.
Try to make it relate to your call to action, but also include off-the-wall ideas that could lead to more relevant content. You can weed out the bad ideas later. Don’t judge them at this phase.
It’s time to sort your ideas and determine which ones you can use. Ask yourself, what’s the end goal for your content? What are you trying to say? How will these concepts help you say it?
Imagine you’re selling banana-scented perfume. You know that bananas are high in potassium, but it isn’t relevant to your promotion. Leave that part out and focus on the benefits of the product itself.
What action do you want your readers to take? You want them to buy your product, but what else? Do you want them to sign up for your email list? Follow you on Twitter? Maybe you have a club membership with points that add up to more savings.
What demographic are you trying to reach? Are you marketing to another business, or are you marketing to consumers? What level of knowledge do they have about the industry? What do they need and desire? What kind of solutions can you prove for them?
What are other companies doing? What topics have leading social media influencers been focusing on lately? Maybe you’re trying to convince people who have been on the keto diet - the latest dieting trend - to make an exception and include bananas in the allowance of “carbs” that they include.
What benefits do bananas offer to dieters? They’re small, so it’s easy to stick to small servings. They are portable and easy to clean up after. Maybe keto dieters are in a hurry and don’t have time to cook fruit or vegetables. It’s much healthier than a cookie or bread roll.
Pick the ideas that support the argument you plan to make to your consumer. Answering these relevant questions provides the backbone for terrific content.
Use Google and other search engines like Bing to find four or five top-quality articles related to the concepts you plan to present. Study them carefully. See what information is already available, and see if you can provide fresh content to add to existing knowledge.
Take note of your audience’s behaviors, interests, and preferences. This could be accomplished through surveys that you sponsor yourself, or you could buy the information from someone else. Other companies collect useful marketing research that applies to other fields.
Some information you can buy from other research companies, but some are free or low-cost. Track your return on investment with Google Analytics and other “freemium” services that are free to use on the basic level, but with more advanced features you can pay for.
Consolidate your existing data into a central repository for easy access to all the data you’ve already collected. You may already have data about existing sales and deliveries, but what about the time of day these transactions occur? What other factors influenced your ROI?
A repository also ensures that data won’t be counted twice. An accurate representation of data avoids redundant information and makes it easier to update your figures when new data comes in from whatever sources you’re using - whether it’s from your own company’s research or information you’ve purchased or gathered from other entities.
Easy access to all collected data ensures consistency across all members of your team. This motivates workers to consider every angle when crafting your campaign.
Contact colleagues and influencers to ask for specific concerns about topics.
Gather testimonials and insights. Take advantage of the connections you have to get a better picture of what consumers lack the most.
Imagine that your existing data demonstrate a marked decline in the demand for bananas for the 18-34 demographic. Aggregate information from previous years suggests a trend where consumers prefer to eat non-starchy fruits. You could examine how companies solved this problem by targeting audiences to make bananas more popular.
Learn more about the 4 ways to improve your copywriting research process here.
Now it’s time to put your ideas to work. Use concept mapping to introduce a logical flow for your project. Concept mapping is a scientific way of showing the relationships between ideas. It’s similar to a flow chart, like the ones you find for quizzes in magazines.
Process workflow happens when the order of actions is easy to distinguish. Case workflow addresses less predictable insights your team gathers after a long examination of available information. Project workflow focuses on one process and maps it out in detail.
Workflow is similar to concept mapping, but it concerns actions and not ideas. Concept mapping imposes logic on your list of ideas and doesn’t necessarily show a progression of steps. Maintain this distinction when discovering the relationships between the topics on which you’ve decided to focus.
Pretend that your team has brainstormed the following ideas:
How do these concepts relate to each other? Bananas Foster could be the main idea, with waffles, pancakes, and syrups as subcategories. The syrup could lead to a further subcategory of flambé.
Visualization of the ideas connects the logical points to frame your outline. Topics can wrap around back on themselves. They’re not always hierarchical. For example, flambé can connect from syrup, but it also wraps around back to Foster.
Once you’re organized your topics and arranged them into an outline that makes sense, it should be simple to follow the outline and write your content with grace.
Now you have all the information you need properly researched and presented in a consistent, logical matter. You’re ready to begin writing your copy. There are several formulas for copywriting, but we’ll focus on eight.
You need to have clear goals in mind when you are creating. You know what you want to put across to the audience, but there are qualities you should consider. Make it clear, concise, compelling, and credible to read.
Say you’re trying to get people to buy your banana-scented perfume. Describe the perfume and its features. Identify pain points such as body odor and show how your perfume helps mask the smell or relieves it altogether. Use credible arguments and link to other content that supports your supposition.
Sometimes the classic methods are the best. PAS (Problem, Action, Solution) is a tried-and-true formula for any kind of advertising.
PAS produces a narrative that quickly explains the benefits of your product in addressing the consumer’s pain points.
BAB (Before After Bridge) invites your audience to imagine two very different worlds. One with your product, and one without. These worlds contrast because of the benefits of your product or call to action.
BAB works well in chunks of information, such as in social media posts. A linked stream of tweets provides the bridge between the new, better world, and your ideas.
AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action) highlights four of the effects your copy should have on the reader. A successful argument will guide your audience through all of these phases.
Imagine that the consumer is bored and looking for something to do. They’re browsing through the Internet and they see an ad for your new deep-fried banana poppers. It’s been a while since they’ve eaten out, so they want to eat something new.
Their stomach starts to growl. They scroll down and find a coupon for 50 cents off their first packet. Congratulations! They’ve printed the coupon and they’re on their way to the store.
Everyone needs closure. When you reach the end of the chapter in a book or the last episode of a season of your favorite television show, it’ll usually end on a cliffhanger. Back before streaming services were available, people had to wait all summer to find out what happens in the next season. The payoff when they finally find out is big and satisfying.
An open-loop holds the reader’s interest. This could be as simple as a “clickbait” article with an intriguing title. Perhaps something bizarre like “Bananas are the fountain youth - find out how.” You could even make it humorous, while still sticking to the point of what makes what you offer special.
Everyone cares about benefits, but have you established the link between your features and the benefits they produce? This simple bridge explains how one leads to the other.
Think about your deep-fried banana popper. They’re crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. How does this benefit the customer? It provides a variety of textures, plus it’s lower in cholesterol than your typical fried food. Many people, especially older audiences, find lower cholesterol to be a great feature because it won’t contribute to heart issues later on.
Every time you state something about your product, ask yourself, “So what?” For example, you’re back to describing your deep-fried banana poppers.
They’re brand new. So what? So they don’t know what they taste like yet. So what? It would be something new to try. So what…?
Imagine you’re having a conversation with a three-year-old. This will be annoying, but it’ll also get down to the root of why your product or call to action produces the results your audience wants to achieve. It’s also incredibly simple.
Much like the four Cs (Clear, concise, compelling, credible), the four Us (Useful, Urgent, Unique, and Ultra-specific) mark the qualities you want to address but don’t necessarily provide a narrative the way PAS (problem, agitation, solution) AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action), or BAB (Before After Bridge) will when describing your product and its features.
Let’s run down the list. Your viewers experience debilitating pain. Your banana salve relieves arthritis. It’s unique because it is all-natural, with no preservatives. Appeal to the ever-increasing demographic that is focused on natural, organic solutions to problems instead of pricey medication.
Here are the 26 copywriting formulas you can use to turn leads into customers.
Content writing is an excellent way to paint a picture of why your offer is so great. It helps readers imagine how much better their lives could be. All they have to do next is click a link, buy your product, or sign up for your email list.
Writing content can be as easy as it is fun. Follow the steps and suggestions above, and you’ll have no problem creating content your audience wants to read. These tried-and-true formulas have worked for a long time for a reason. They also work for more novel copywriting situations.
Reach out to your team to identify the goal of your content. Brainstorm and refine your ideas. You might even be a little surprised by how clever and creative your team can be given the right environment.
Then, research, research, research. There’s a wealth of information out there waiting for you to discover it. Now, more than ever, it’s easy to gather all the data you need to prove anything to your viewer.
In fact, there’s so much data that you may need to weed some of it out. That’s well worth the little bit of effort it takes. Organizing your ideas and supporting information makes it easier to decide what to include in your content.
After you have everything you need, use the suggested formulas to win your readers’ hearts and minds. These streamlined methods make it easy to demonstrate how great your product is and why. This way, you can be confident that your content will reach your audience and push them one step closer to your CTA.
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High-converting direct-response copy for growing B2B companies and disruptive digital brands.