The average person gets 126 emails and sees over 5,000 advertisements a day. That's not to mention the news stories, books, magazines, journals, social media posts… I won’t go on.
It all adds up to tens of thousands of words people read daily. So, how likely is it they'll read yours?
For your copy to work, it must be easy to read, offer interesting messages, and motivate your reader to act.
Sounds easy, right?
Well, good copywriting principles are simple to adopt but easy to overlook. Copywriting skills require constant development, as new channels emerge and fresh demands are made on your readers' attention spans.
Here are 5 fundamentals of good copywriting that apply in all contexts.
1. Know your audience
What do you know about your readers? It's not just about demographics. You need to know what their goals are, what motivates them, what entertains them, what problems they have.
The simple fact is, the more you learn about your audience, the better your copy becomes.
2. Solve your readers' problems
Good marketing is about identifying a prospect's problem and showing how you can solve it.
In the tweet below, you can see a perfect distillation of this formula:
Problem - You're getting low engagement
Solution - The Complete Guide to Lead Nurturing
3. Grab attention
Readers face extraordinary demands on their attention online. To create content that's 'thumb-stoppingly good', you need to capture attention and drive engagement within a matter of seconds.
The text you write for page titles, page summaries, headlines, subject lines, social media updates, links and captions requires attention. Make sure yours stand out.
4. Follow good style principles
Research shows that readers scan text on screens, rather than read methodically, like they do in print. Therefore, you must ensure that your copy is clear, concise, and easy to take in. Follow the rules of good style to avoid confusing the reader. If they can't understand it easily, and the benefits aren't clear, they won't stick around for long.
5. Plan first
You may be a seat-of-the-pants kind of writer. I can empathise – I am too. I've learned that planning is the best way to save time.
Before you write a word, note down the essentials of what you're writing. Who are you writing to, what problems are you addressing, and how are you planning to solve those problems?
Clarify your objectives: What do you want the reader to know, and how do you want them to feel? What are your business goals, and how will you measure the success of this copy?
Planning your copywriting ensures you're clear about your messaging. Consider how you'll say it, and what information you to need to get across.
To learn more about writing effective copy online, be sure to check out the IDM's Copywriting for Digital course.
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