Copywriting: How to Be a Content Ninja

For every company, copywriting is becoming an integral part of the business. Your brand presence and how large it is, can help your business grow in awareness, ultimately raising revenue. The three keys to writing copy, according to a class taught by University of Wisconsin Creative Services Manager Kyle Henderson, are the audience, clarity and relevance. By focusing your efforts in strengthening those three pillars, you can strengthen your content.

When it comes to audience, there are three main questions you want to ask yourself. The first question is “Who are they?” You must be able to identify who you are talking to before you figure out what the message is going to be. Are the audience potential buyers, potential donors, or are they potential advertisers? By categorizing your audience, the message you want to give will become clear. The second question is “What do you want them to do?” Without knowing what your end goal is, constructing a message will be close to impossible. You must clarify whether you want the audience to buy something or if you want them to trust your company. The last question is “What do they regard as good reasons to act?” Putting it in simpler terms, this is the “Why” for your audience. What is the driving force behind why they are listening or reading your copy? Does your audience want to feel inspired, or do they want detailed accounts of your company? This last question will help tie everything together along with the first two questions. Knowing your audience will allow your copy to be clear and relevant to them. This in turn will speak to their reasons of why they should act on your company.

The second point to effectively writing copy is clarity. Your audience will only seek as much information as they need. As you may recall, the first point of good copywriting is the audience and they will dictate the clarity. The information may be important for a buyer to read, but is it something that is relevant to your target? As for the information, it is important to determine the correct amount of information needed. If you don’t have enough, the copy will cease to be adequate for the audience no matter what. On the other hand, adding too much information will only hurt your copy as it will weaken your message. Fillers should be avoided. Clients and potential customers may leave if they deem your message to be unclear or irrelevant.

Another key point to clarity is the platform that is being used. Is the copy a social media post or is it a blog on a website? Is the social media platform being used Twitter or Facebook? These are important questions that must be answered before writing your copy. Social media posts will typically be shorter than a blog and when it comes to specific platforms there are other specifications that can affect your copy. For example, Twitter will have a word count restriction while Facebook doesn’t. Instagram is based on pictures while Twitter and Facebook are not tied down to images.

Relevance boils down to the question, “Is it something my audience would care about?” You may begin to notice; the audience is essentially the backbone to effective copywriting. In order to have relevant information, research on your audience is important. Know who they are, know their habits and know their likes and dislikes. Mediums such as focus groups or surveys can be helpful. However, surveys can be tricky as the questions you ask may influence the answers you get. Making sure you ask the right questions is key.

Keep in mind, there are many different ways to create relevancy. One method is altering your tones. Several tones will be needed for different audiences. The tone that is needed for a children’s toy store will differ from the one needed for a restaurant. Another method to create relevancy is using typographies. Writing in cursive differs greatly from when it is in block bold. A cursive font may work well if your audience is looking for elegance and flashiness while block bold may be better suited for an audience looking for grit or masculinity.

Effectively writing copy can be a tall task but it is necessary as it can be the last piece to push your company forward. By writing copy, you can connect with your customers in a great way. Remember, the keys to effectively getting your point across are your audience, the clarity and relevance. By successfully combining these three aspects, you will be well on your way to quality copywriting.

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