Written by Copycat Staff
March 18th, 2020
Written by Copycat Staff
The Internet isn’t what it used to be.
Does that sound cynical? Maybe, but you’ve probably had the feeling. When you Google a simple question—“when does Westworld return?”—nothing on the first page of hits gives you a straight answer. Instead, it’s summary after summary of a show you already watched. When you buy a new broom on Amazon, you realize that the business failed to state that it’s a child-sized broom, presumably for use with a witchy Halloween costume.
Consumers are frustrated with clickbait, not to mention the constant bombardment by advertising. But your brand still needs to find a way to build an audience and breakthrough all the noise. This is why copywriting is important to your digital marketing strategy: it’s the best way to establish a clear, informative voice that your audience can trust.
When you think of copy, your imagination might be limited to slogans, from Just Do It to I’m Lovin’ It. While your business may have absolutely no need for a slogan or sales jingle, you already rely on copy, whether you know it or not. Any text associated with your brand—from your website’s homepage to your Instagram captions to your blog posts—is copy.
Copywriting is the art of creating a strong, consistent brand voice.
At its very core, copywriting is good writing: when readers encounter it, they want to keep reading rather than opening another tab. It’s not that consumers hate advertising—they hate bad advertising and worthless content. However, research from the University of Georgia shows that more than half of the people are persuaded by sponsored content that is informative and compelling.
Next, we’ll talk a little bit more about why each of these elements of copy is so important when it comes to connecting with current and potential customers.
Along with your graphics and visual identity, the voice and tone of your brand’s written content creates a picture in your audience’s mind. They give your brand a “personality.” As they encounter your content, readers might subconsciously ask:
Effective copy helps readers answer these questions.
Let’s take a look at an example. Maybe you’re interested in getting into zero-waste skincare: skincare products made from and packaged in sustainable materials. Depending on their copy, different companies in this space might create very different brand personalities and therefore communicate with different audiences. For example, imagine three different descriptions of night cream at the top of a newsletter:
Which would you buy? This probably depends on your personality: are you an eco-warrior, or just looking to treat yourself? After all, each of these approaches conveys a brand’s unique personality, and consumers will resonate with each one differently.
Of course, creating a voice and tone for your brand isn’t all about trying to read the customer’s mind. Rather, it’s finding a way to authentically communicate why you care, how you differ from your competitors, and what kinds of customers you hope to connect with. Your visual identity might establish some of this, and great copywriting can provide a voice and tone to help fill out the picture.
The truth in advertising is that you’re speaking to everyone, you’re not really speaking to anyone. Honing your brand’s unique voice is a great way of carving out your niche and building a rapport with customers who care about the same things you do.
However, even though you want to stick to a consistent voice, you can always create different content with different users and audiences in mind. For example, if you sell fitness props for building core strength, some blog posts might target postnatal women, while others might target men and women at the start of their fitness journey.
As you develop more copy, you can use analytic tools to keep track of engagement and conversion rates, helping you hone your strategy even further. After all, your brand’s personality can change and evolve over time, as can your own.
Copywriting importance is directly linked to its ability to work alongside your other marketing strategies, helping build and foster a loyal audience. If you’re looking to drive traffic to the top of your sales funnel, you may have already considered creating a company blog or adding additional content to your website—with the mission of SEO optimization. SEO optimization is the science of:
SEO copywriting is widely known as a great way to improve your search rankings and engage with your customers. After all, websites that appear at the top of the results get an outsized share of the traffic. However, if your copy isn’t high-quality, this strategy can introduce more problems than it solves.
We’ve already talked about how frustrating it is to Google information and find page after page of meaningless content. We’ve all been drawn in by low-quality content before, whether we found it through a search, clicked “You won’t BELIEVE what these 15 Child stars look like now!” at the bottom of a trusted page, or even gotten drawn in by fake news (gulp!).
If you offer a unique solution to a customer problem, you want to do everything you can to create and retain credibility. Your content, from your web copy to your blog, can help you achieve this goal—but only if it’s actually worth reading.
When you prioritize SEO optimization over quality, it can actually decrease your search rankings in the long term. How does that work? When users click (rapidly) out of your page, it lowers your dwell time—the amount of time users spend on your page before going back to their search results. As many search engines take this into account when ranking, a low dwell time can spell trouble.
To drive conversions rather than clicks, great copywriting is central to your SEO strategy. Whether you’re creating whitepapers, blogs, or evergreen web pages on topics relevant to your offerings, make sure you:
As Google and other search engines adjust their algorithms to promote higher quality content, it’s more important than ever that what you write has real value for the reader. This is just one facet of the importance of professional copywriting.
What products or services have you returned in the past twelve months? Maybe some come to mind immediately: a Groupon for a massage therapist who wouldn’t actually book your session unless you committed to multiple; a “universal” iPad stylus that didn’t work at all with your model; a t-shirt that felt like it was made out of fiberglass.
No matter what channel your copy appears on, from your website to your newsletter and beyond, it needs to engage your audience while making it clear what you provide and why they need it. Vague and inaccurate descriptions can backfire over time and damage your credibility.
Your copy should show how you can remove your customers’ pain points, not create them!
Describing your company’s products and services isn’t something you do just once on your webpage. You may find yourself looking at the same product from different angles over the course of a marketing cycle. A professional copywriter can help you keep it fresh.
By now, it’s clear that copywriting for marketing needs to be good writing: fun to read, informative, and supported with evidence. But even if you’re a virtuoso wordsmith, the digital marketplace has birthed its own genres of writing, and knowing their rules is crucial to your copy’s success.
When it comes to web writing, you need to apply the 5 second test: after just 5 seconds of looking at your home page or another page on your site, does your audience understand your central message? If not, you may have lost their attention.
Because users tend to click around and scroll through the internet at the speed of light, your copy needs to get to the point—and to the CTA. Depending on your goals, The CTA could be:
How can you make sure a CTA is easy to locate? There are a few rules when it comes to placing CTAs. For example:
By now, it’s clear that good copywriting is an art. After all, if it were easy, maybe today’s web content wouldn't be as messy and pointless as it can so often be. It may be easy to generate clicks, but it’s much harder to get readers to scroll to the end of a page or post.
If you and your brand are looking for a way to stand out in the clutter, a great content strategy is central to your mission. At Copycat Copywriters, our team is made up of creative writers with a range of backgrounds and copywriting skills. Whatever your focus, we help you develop the voice and content that builds your credibility and connects with your audience on an emotional level.
This connection is then what drives your readers to an action—investing in you.
Science Daily. Consumers are More Accepting of Native Advertisements, Research Finds. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161114093511.htm
Reuters Institute. Attitudes to Sponsored and Branded Content. http://www.digitalnewsreport.org/essays/2015/attitudes-to-advertising/
Impact. How Important is a Top Listing in Google? https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/important-top-listing-google
Search Engine Journal. What is Dwell Time? https://www.searchenginejournal.com/dwell-time-seo/294471/
UIE. 5 Second Tests. https://articles.uie.com/five_second_test/