When done right, copywriting has the potential to take your business to a whole new level. Stellar copy helps you build your brand image and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Search engine optimization (SEO) rankings can improve, leading to more clicks on Google. You can also use it to create customer loyalty and a reputation as an industry expert.
And for those business owners wondering how copywriting can affect their bottom lines? The results can be monumental! Great copy can persuade readers to take action, generate more leads, and increase sales.
To achieve any of these outcomes, you first need to have a solid understanding of what copywriting’s all about. In this guide, we’ll start with reviewing the basics – a copywriting definition, copywriting job description, and copywriting skills, before delving into what copywriting in marketing can do for your business. Let’s get started!
Think of all of the information you read and process in a day. Advertising, emails, websites, social media posts – we’re inundated with words that are meant to compel us to take action. The process of writing these words is known as copywriting, and the end result, the actual words themselves? That’s known as copy.
There’s also content writing. Many people use the terms interchangeably now (and for the most part, we do, too), but there is an actual difference between the two. Using persuasion, copywriting takes a direct approach to selling a brand, idea, product, or service with the end goal of generating sales. Content writing is more subtle – it includes producing valuable content that will inform, educate, or entertain readers. Copywriting is more of a short-term strategy (“here’s why you should buy this now”), whereas content writing is part of a long-term strategy meant to create a loyal following.
Hopefully, you’re still with us because we have one more definition to unravel: SEO copywriting. Before we can, you first need to have an understanding of SEO – or search engine optimization.
Long story short, SEO is the practice of increasing traffic to your website through non-paid search engine results. Websites with excellent SEO rank at the top of search engine results pages and have a higher likelihood of receiving clicks. But getting those rankings isn’t easy, and improving your site’s SEO isn’t done overnight. Everything from site speed to user experience can influence your site’s rankings.
The quality of your content is also crucial for great SEO – and that’s where SEO copywriting comes in. This type of copy integrates SEO techniques so that your target audience finds the answers they need using search engines. The more valuable your copy is to search engine users, the more likely your SEO rankings will improve.
Copywriting Job Description: What Does a Copywriter Do?
Not just anyone can be a copywriter (or at least a good one)! Like any other career, the copywriting profession requires an extensive skill set.
One of the most important (and most obvious) copywriting skills is the ability to write well. Excellent knowledge of spelling, sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation are crucial – without them, your copy may look unprofessional, sloppy, or illegitimate. When there’s a poor choice of words in your content, copy can sometimes even be offensive to certain readers.
An eye for detail is also key. Copywriters take the time to thoroughly research before starting a project, and then spend time editing before hitting publish. At the start of a new client relationship, they gather a solid understanding of the client’s needs and goals. They’re communicative throughout the project and work tirelessly to produce well-written copy that’s an accurate representation of the client’s brand.
Like most other things in life, experience matters. The best copywriters have years of creating compelling copy under their belts (and can showcase this in an extensive portfolio). They may have specific industry expertise – such as in healthcare or B2B copywriting – or be more of a generalist. They are continuously upgrading their knowledge and staying up-to-date on the latest copywriting and SEO trends. Most importantly, a great copywriter knows what it takes to form great content and has a stellar reputation to back it up.
Copywriting in Marketing
Now that you understand what copywriting is, let’s discuss how you can start creating amazing copy for your own business.
Step #1) Understand Your Target Audience
You may already be thinking, “I don’t need to do this step; I already know who I’m selling my products or services to.” But wait – you probably only know your target audience at the surface level. There’s so much more you can discover about them to create the best copy!
A buyer persona describes your ideal customer – everything from their demographics, age, and job title to their needs and motivations. Developing a buyer persona helps you gather insider knowledge about your target audience and teaches you how to acquire their business.
Developing your buyer persona starts with completing audience research based on real-world data. Reviewing social media analytics, Google analytics, and your customer database are great places to start compiling your data.
Next, figure out your customer pain points and goals. What problems are your ideal customers trying to solve? Where do they need help to reach their goals? Check in with your customer service team for feedback and set up search streams to see what people are saying about your brand, products, and competitors online.
Once you get your answers about your customer’s pain points and goals, determine how your business fits into the equation. How can your products and services help your ideal customer? Then form your buyer persona(s) based on the information you have learned.
Step #2) Develop a Brand Identity
A brand identity is the external expression of your brand – and every business needs one. It includes everything from your business name to communications to visual appearance (logo and colour palette).
When it comes to your brand’s communications, that’s where copywriting comes into play. How you write your content is almost as important as what you write. The tone you use throughout your writing should resonate with your brand.
For more fun and uplifting industries – such as beauty and travel – content may integrate a more friendly, joyful tone. More serious industries – such as finance, health, or legal –utilize a more professional, confident attitude in their writing.
Point of view is also important. First-person (the me, myself, and I perspective), which involves writing content from your own viewpoint, and second-person (the you perspective), which speaks directly to your audience, are the most popular points of view in blog copywriting. Third-person is another option, but since it does not offer a personal approach, it is most commonly used in academic subject matter.
Your brand identity helps your target audience form a perception of your business. Make it consistent in everything you do – on your logo, on your website, and in your email campaigns. Any chance you have to communicate to your target market is an opportunity to build brand recognition.
Step #3) Write Well
Now it’s time to use the research you’ve completed in steps one and two and put pen to paper!
Whether you’re writing web copy, blog content, or an email campaign, you want to appeal to your reader. Remember those pain points that you uncovered in step one? Now’s your chance to show your target audience that you have the answer to their problems. Perhaps your copy can demonstrate how they can save money, why they should trust your product or service, or how you can help them complete a task more productively. Whatever your customers’ paint points are, your copy needs to demonstrate how your products and services are the solutions for them.
When you write, you need to grab your reader’s attention – and keep it until the end of your content. For blog content, you need engaging blog topic ideas and trending keywords that interest your target audience and have a chance of ranking on Google. Keyword research is important in website content, too. It’s one of your best opportunities to sell your business offerings to your prospective customers.
Whatever type of content you write, make it interesting. Your target audience is inundated with information to read and process every day, so if your content doesn’t interest them, they won’t stick around for long. Writing in a personal way – and avoiding industry jargon, wordy sentences, and a big vocabulary – is a great way to appeal to your readers.
To convert your target audience into a lead, you need to integrate compelling calls to action (CTAs). Maybe you want them to sign up as a subscriber to your blog, download your e-book, or set up a consult – these short, enticing, clear phrases within your content can help convince your reader to take action. Use a CTA that’s noticeable yet short and sweet. Include it either at the end of your content or somewhere within it that’s noticeable.
Last but not least, each piece of content you write needs to be error-free. When there are numerous spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, your target audience may question your credibility. Some spelling errors could offend your readers and have them paint an inaccurate image of your company. Pause before publishing content, use editing programs, and follow our additional proofreading tips to make your content high-quality.
When you start writing content, it can be difficult to avoid rambling or repeating yourself – especially if you’re trying to achieve a particular word count. Although word count matters for SEO purposes, what matters even more is that your content provides Google users with the information they need. Keep the following tips in mind when writing your SEO blog and website copy:
Write for Your Audience
Address pain points throughout your content, make it easy to read, and avoid industry jargon. Use a suitable tone that fits your audience.
Use Powerful Language
Write captivating titles, make your CTAs strong, and avoid using any redundant words.
Format it Well
Make sentences and paragraphs short. Include titles and subtitles, use bulleted and numbered lists – include anything that makes it easier for the reader to find the information they need.
Back up any research by citing qualified sources or including testimonials.
Make It Error-Free
Proofread it well before publishing, and never publish copy on the same day you wrote it.
The key tip to keep in mind? Every piece of copy you produce represents your brand. Use this opportunity to achieve a goal – such as increasing blog subscribers or sales conversions – while also meeting the needs of your target audience.
Toronto Copywriting Services
Just like we don’t know everything about your business, we don’t expect you to be an expert at ours, either. When you work with us, we’ll develop a strategy to get you the results you want – and fast.
We can work on improving any current gaps in your copywriting strategy. Want to make your website copy more engaging (while also improving your website design)? Need to create informative blog articles to help improve SEO? Require compelling product descriptions or interesting staff bios? We can help you with it all. Many of our clients choose to work on retainer with us to enjoy personalized monthly strategy calls, project flexibility, and affordability, but we often work on a project basis, too.
Now that you understand the power of great copywriting, are you ready to elevate your own? To learn more about our Toronto copywriting services, reach out to us today to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with the best copywriters in Toronto!