Whether you’re creating a landing page, crafting a blog post, or trying your hand at social media marketing, every word needs to be chosen with care. Your copy needs to represent your business and attract your audience, or you can wave goodbye to any conversions. It doesn’t have to be a complete guessing game though. Supersede is here to save the day with our foolproof copywriting tactics!
We’re going to take you through the ways in which you can better understand your audience and compel them to become loyal customers, not to mention hone your copywriting skills to take your marketing to the next level. Let’s go!
Write for your audience, not yourself
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One of the worst things you can do when crafting your website copy and general content is focus on yourself. It doesn’t matter if you think your brand should use a professional tone, talk about your half a dozen achievements, or focus on specific aspects of your service—your preferences don’t matter.
It sounds a bit brutal, but it’s the unfortunate truth that many copywriters fail to grasp. You’re not trying to convert yourself. You’re trying to attract a specific audience and compel them to become loyal customers. This means shifting your tone of voice to suit them, and focusing on aspects of your business that will actually interest them.
To figure out which parts of your copy need a massive overhaul, you’ll need to conduct a deep dive into what motivates and attracts your target audience. The best way to do this is by creating your own buyer personas.
Don’t make sweeping assumptions
Buyer personas are extremely useful in helping you get to know your target audience. They can reveal major pain points, concerns and desires that allow you to rejig your copy and strategies to attract them better. That being said, they should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Even if you create a dozen personas to match the various types of potential customers you’re hoping to attract, there will be people that don’t fit into your tidy boxes. This becomes an issue when you start to make sweeping assumptions about what your target audience likes and dislikes. If you get too specific, and assume too much, you risk alienating a portion of your audience.
Though it’s difficult to find the right balance between using buyer personas and making generalisations about your audience, you’ll get the hang of it with enough time and experimentation.
Avoid using too much jargon
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Every aspect of your copy needs to be considered with your audience in mind, especially jargon. When you include abbreviations and technical language, ask yourself: “Will my audience understand this?” If you’re not sure, get rid of the copy and replace it with something more readable.
Sure, your audience could look up any words they might not understand, but why would they do that when they could just head to one of your competitors instead? This is why it’s vital that you make sure your copy is flexible enough to suit varying reading levels and knowledge—you don’t need to make it more complex just because it sounds more professional or authoritative.
If you want to home in on your audience’s vocabulary and ‘speak their language’, you should look at social media, Reddit and other online communities to get a better feel for it. This will help you to discover specific buzzwords they use and might even help you uncover new angles to focus on with your product/service.
Stop depending on clichés
Nowadays, it’s next to impossible to find a website that isn’t completely saturated with overused phrases and clichés. Odds are, you’ve probably made use of a few in your own copy…
- “We’re disrupting the NAME industry.”
- “COMPANY NAME…we do things differently.”
- “We’re authentic and trustworthy.”
- “We’re the leading/number one provider of…”
So, what’s wrong with using these types of words and phrases?
- It’s unoriginal. Though it’s difficult to be completely original with your copy, the least you can do is avoid using the same buzzwords and clichés as the businesses you’re competing with. If you follow the crowd, you’re not going to stand out to your target audience.
- It’s a case of telling and not showing. You shouldn’t have to tell your audience that you’re ‘trustworthy’—your testimonials and customer reviews should show them that.
- It’s a lie/exaggeration. When you’re telling people that you’re ‘the number one provider’, you should be able to back it up with firm evidence, otherwise you’re just making a baseless claim.
To avoid following this type of pattern, take a closer look at your competitors’ copy when conducting a competitor analysis. Jot down any adjectives or buzzwords that jump out at you. If you notice them cropping up on more than one website, that’s something to avoid in your own copy!
Remember your USPs
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Why should your potential customers pick you over your competitors? This question should be on the tip of your tongue every time you work on your copy. Whether it’s your product pages, social media ads or email newsletters, it’s vital that you are aware of, and draw attention to, your unique selling proposition(s).
Let’s look at an example…
Skull Crusher Coffee sells coffee. Nothing new, right? You can buy coffee from hundreds of thousands of places. So, why would you pick them? Head to their website and immediately you’re hit with a heading that tells you they sell “F#cking strong coffee“.
Right off the bat, they’ve made an impression. They’re telling you that it’s not just strong coffee, it’s f#cking strong coffee. Though coffee as a product isn’t unique, coffee that means you’ll “never sleep again” stands out and immediately appeals to people looking for a stronger brew.
So, sit down with your various departments and really think about what it is that makes you so different. Once your USPs are sorted, consider sending out a questionnaire to your target audience to see what it is that they value and whether it aligns with your USPs.
Stop talking about features
As useful as a list of features is in providing your target audience with further information about your product/service, it’s utterly useless if you’re not also providing them with the associated benefits.
Instead of telling your audience that your product is great because of feature A and feature B, you should be focusing on how it can help them achieve X, or stop them from having to deal with Y. In other words, you need to tell them how your product/service will change their life for the better.
Consider your sales approach
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When you’re putting together your product pages and CTAs, and attempting to persuade your audience to become loyal customers, what angle are you going for?
- Are you focusing on scarcity? Buy now while stocks last!
- Offering a discount? Get 25% off today!
- Giving people something for free? Buy 1 get 1 free!
It might all sound the same to you, but your audience will react differently to each approach.
You’ve also got to consider how forceful you want to be with your sales tactics. Your potential buyers know that you want them to make a purchase, so you don’t need to keep reminding them on every single webpage. To avoid intimidating or irritating your audience, try a more subtle approach—highlight the benefits of your product(s) and show testimonials from real customers to show them why they should buy without telling them outright to do so.
Deep dive into your CTAs
Your CTAs are one of the most important elements of your copy. They’re what you use to drive your audience to take action. Whether it’s to download a resource, join your newsletter or buy a product, your CTAs are the cherry on top of your copy. If you’ve not put any thought into them, beyond sticking to “BUY NOW” and “SIGN UP NOW”, don’t be surprised when your conversions fail to rise.
As with your USPs and features/benefits, you need to consider what will actually appeal to your audience. Instead of saying “sign up to our newsletter”, consider emphasising what they’ll get out of it with “get handy SEO tips sent to your inbox weekly”. Similarly, a “buy now” CTA could be replaced with a “save 10% today” CTA.
Not only do you have to carefully consider the text of your CTAs, you’ve also got to think about their…
- Placement (above or below the fold)
As with most things copywriting-related, it will be a game of trial and error until you eventually stumble across the winning combo!
Make sure your copy and design complement each other
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As we’ve established, your copy is critical in capturing the interest of your audience. That being said, as important as your words are, they’re completely useless if you haven’t put any thought behind the design.
Copy and design go hand in hand across all channels—whether that’s your website, blog, social media or email. If your imagery and branding is poor, your audience won’t bother interacting with your copy, even if it’s top notch! Similarly, if your copy is low quality, your audience will leave, even if they’ve been enticed by the design.
Odds are, you’re working with a team of copywriters and content writers across your website, blog, social media and other marketing channels. Not only can this cause headaches when it comes to sitting down to brainstorm and syncing up your schedules, it can also lead to a lot of inconsistency.
Whether it’s your tone of voice, vocabulary, imagery or even branding colours, you need to be consistent across all of your channels. You want your audience to be able to recognise you no matter where they are and what copy they’re reading.
The best way to achieve this is by creating some editorial guidelines for your team to follow. It can typically include things like:
- The goals of your copy
- What content types you’re allowed to publish
- Your tone of voice
- Grammar rules
- Image guidelines
Make yourself more approachable
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Nowadays, consumers are looking for more transparency with the businesses they’re interacting with. They want to know what your ethos is, where your ingredients/materials come from and, more importantly, who you are.
No one wants to interact with a faceless corporation that seems to exist solely for the purpose of taking their money. So, peel back the curtain and let them see the real you. You can do this in a variety of fun ways…
- Add pictures of your team to your About Us page
- Tell them the whole story behind the origin of your company (with personality!)
- Share employee activities across social media
- Try social media takeovers with different departments
In essence, you’re trying to inject some personality into your copy whenever you can. The more you share, the more relatable you become and the more likely your audience is to engage with you—and potentially convert!
Try to provide evidence
So you’re telling your audience that you’re the best at X, or that you provide the best Y they’ve ever seen…but where’s the proof? Unless you’re a huge business that already has plenty of trust built up with loyal customers, you’re going to need to back up your claims to build up some credibility.
You can do this in a number of ways:
- Customer reviews
- Case studies
- Trust logos
- Lists of awards
- Links to articles
You can even include your own data and metrics, where necessary, e.g., “We’ve helped X people…” or “X% of customers were satisfied with their journey.”
Don’t forget about mobiles
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Given how many people opt to browse on their phones nowadays, you could be missing out on a huge portion of your target audience by failing to optimise your website for mobiles.
If your mobile website is slow to load, difficult to interact with and just plain horrible to look at, don’t be surprised when your bounce rates skyrocket. People are looking for user-friendly websites, so if yours isn’t up to scratch, they’ll just head to your competitors.
You can find out where your website currently stands by taking Google’s mobile-friendly test. Then, once you know which issues are standing in the way of your website’s mobile-friendliness, you can use our mobile optimisation tips!
There are plenty of copywriting rules that are absolutes; SEO is a must, audience awareness is a necessity and proofreading is essential. Other ‘rules’, however, are completely subjective claims that are taken as gospel:
- CTAs should always be above the fold
- Long-form copy is best
- Short-form copy is best
- Use ‘this word’ to increase conversions
In some cases, people will have experience to back up these claims, but that’s not to say that it will be exactly the same for you and your website. Instead of following guidelines religiously, you should try experimenting a little to see what works best for your website. You can do this with A/B testing, conducting qualitative analysis with your target audience, and deep diving into your metrics to gauge what’s most successful.
We’ve made our way through quite a lot here! To quickly recap, you need to use these copywriting tactics if you want to increase conversions:
- Write for your audience, not yourself
- Don’t make sweeping assumptions
- Avoid using too much jargon
- Stop depending on clichés
- Remember your USPs
- Stop talking about features
- Consider your sales approach
- Deep dive into CTAs
- Make sure copy and design complement each other
- Be consistent
- Make yourself more approachable
- Try to provide evidence
- Don’t forget about mobiles