Copywriting 101: How to Create Compelling Content

November 29, 2016
By Zack Poelwijk
Copywriting 101: How to Create Compelling Content

Copywriting is writing that conveys information for advertising or marketing purposes. That broad definition could involve any kind of writing you would do: for your website, your marketing emails, print advertisements, Facebook advertisements, etc. Effective writing keeps people reading and makes the most of the words you choose. Good copywriting strategically delivers information encouraging people to take the action you want. Here are the keys to understanding how to create compelling content.

Understand the reader

Yes, you are writing for a large audience. But think of yourself as a salesperson. A good salesperson concentrates on one customer at a time. A good salesperson makes sure that customer feels taken care of that single customer’s questions are answered. Try to think of yourself as a salesperson when you are writing your copy. Know your audience to the point that you can answer their questions as if you were talking to just one person. Explain what you’ve got for them and how it will solve their problems. You want to understand your target audience so well that it’s like you’re reading their mind.

Write a great headline

If a headline is weak, it won’t get read. Don’t be puffy or vague. Make it intriguing. Informative headlines that include a number, how-tos and guides often get more readers than other kinds of headlines.

Avoid passive language

Passive voice is not a grammatical error. It’s not wrong, and it works in many instances. In general though, passive voice is a style, or a tone, that comes across as vague. And in certain uses, can be confusing. Active verbs convey more energy than passive verbs, which is why marketing copy urges writers to avoid being passive in their sentence construction.

An example is “The company released the product last month” versus “The product was released by the company last month.” The first sentence is active while the second is passive. Avoiding passive language helps make your writing shorter, which is ideal in marketing copy. It also is more motivating than passive when you are trying to get your readers to take action. Think about this: “Your business can grow with a loan from Lenders Bank” versus “Grow your business with a loan from Lenders Bank.” The second example is more powerful.

Make the content scannable by using bold type, short paragraphs, photos and bullet points

The average readers wants to gather information in quick “bites.” Keep paragraphs short, which also means you must get to the point. Subheadings break up information, so people know where to look for what they want. Bullet points allow you to include a lot of information without being too long-winded. Sum up key points with infographics or other images.

Avoid clichés

Advertising copy is not the place for creative writing in the sense of including jokes, cliches or wordplay. Even if you think it is clever. Crafted writing is important, but trying to be clever often results in lost readers.

Tell them what to do next.

The reader should be naturally led along to the next action you want them to take. Be specific and be clear about whatever that is. Think about the difference between “click here” and “Visit our site for your money-back guarantee download.” The second provides more information on what they should do and what they are getting.

Copywriting is an art as well as a science. Essentially, good advertising copy is telling a story in a very short space. From the headline to the final CTA, all the pieces must be short and sweet and fit together in a compelling way that takes the reader through to the end. If you’re not sure how to create good advertising copy yourself, or you want some expert advice on how to create compelling content, get in touch with the experts at Build Your Dream Business. Building businesses is what we do.

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