Copywriting is the art of convincing your reader to take specific actions. It is used in promotional material for advertising and marketing purposes. The goal of copywriting is to generate sales and raise awareness.
Copywriters aim to write interesting and intriguing copy that captures the attention of the audience and persuades them to take a specific response such as, calling the phone number, buying the product or, trial the service.
Good copywriting may even get you more loyal audiences through word of mouth, and the readers sharing information through email and social media – you that word ‘viral’ that is bandied about so much these days.
Unique selling proposition
What differentiates between a good copywriting from bad copywriting is the unique selling proposition (USP) that it provides. USP in copywriting helps you to stand out from the crowd while increasing perceived value, credibility, and expertise without explication. The USP will get the readers’ attention, which is the starting point of every sale. Unique selling proposition is what your business stands hinges on.
For example, BMW may stand for Bavarian Motor Works, but its slogan “the ultimate driving machine” represents its USP: owning an incredible work of automotive engineering.
Bunnings is known for its “Lowest price is just the beginning,” and its guarantee to beat any lower price by ten-percent. Then, there is Domino’s Pizza’s “guarantee to deliver your pizza while it’s hot, fresh, and in 30 minutes or less – or your pizza is free”.
The USP will position your company in the consumers’ mind and determines the perceived value in comparison to the rest of the competition – so long as that USP is as rib-sticking as a Summer barbeque like the above examples.
Value, value, value
In the days post the Global Financial Crisis and tight economic budgets, one word that will become a key success factor for your business is value. Whether or not you can deliver value and actually create value for your customers is crucial.
So, what is the relationship between value and copywriting, you ask? Good question! Good copywriting is able to communicate value and even create value in consumers’ mind. Before we discuss this in greater detail, let’s establish that value is the relationship between consumer’s perceived benefit to the relative cost of obtaining the product or service.
For example, a company sells recycled papers which cost 30-cents extra per ream than normal paper by advertising “you should buy our products because it’s made from recycled materials.”
The consumer will see no benefit at all from buying the recycled paper when they buy paper – which may cost more and, not be the same as non-recycled paper. There is no perception or, understanding of, the value of the product.
Now, how about if it’s written like this: “When you purchase our recycled papers, you will have a peace of mind knowing that you have taken a step toward saving the environment and making this world a better place.” Does that sound like something that is more likely to sell? That’s because a good copywriting does what I did just now, create the value in the consumers’ mind.
Content without copywriting is a waste of good content
If you think that you have a great content that people would love to read but you’re not finding the traffic or attention you want, the problem probably lies in ineffective copywriting. Some of these problems could be:
- Your headlines are boring and not giving people any reason to click through
- You haven’t thought of how your content benefits the readers. Your content may be appealing from your perspective but not necessarily beneficial from the readers’ point of view. How do you expect the customers to contact you or visit you if it isn’t beneficial to them?
- You haven’t given a clear direction that lets people know what you want them to do next (This may be calling you, visiting your store, visit your website, or even “like” your Facebook page)
- Your content isn’t building any good reputation or trust. Anyone can get attention by being authentic, weird, or even a train wreck, but attention doesn’t necessarily get you customers
Oddy Tedjasurja works for WordCentric, a copywriting firm providing unique content at www.wordcentric.com.au