Copywriting is a job that most marketers are asked to do, and in many cases without much training or experience. Luckily, we tend to be a verbose bunch and include a high number of bookworms within our midst so the written word is not something we shy away from. That said, the pressure of the blank page and the knowledge that our words will represent our organisations can cause a form of stage fright.
There is much to consider, not only what to say, but how should you say it? In what style? How long should it be? How do you make it persuasive? How can you connect with your reader? And how do you encourage them to act upon your words?
As a marketing communications agency, these are questions that we’re regularly asked by clients who are stuck with producing copy for websites, brochures and other marketing communications. Luckily, it just so happens that recently I learnt a useful trick to help produce engaging copy relevant to your target market.
As obvious as it seems, you need to get to know your audience and write for them, not for your boss, not for your designer and not for your portfolio!
Think about your typical potential customer and get into their mindset, once you know how they’re thinking it’ll be much easier to write content that engages them. To help you get into their mindset, imagine you’ve sat down to have a drink together and answer the following questions:
What do they drink? Perhaps a skinny latte or blue WKD?
What did they read whilst waiting for you? Was it Heat or The Guardian?
Where are they going tonight? Home to look after children or off to work?
Where/When did they last go on holiday? Vietnam or Dorset?
How do they see themselves? Trendsetter or Straight talking?
How do others see them? As well educated or over achiever?
What kind of phone is sitting on the table? Brand new and cutting edge or an old battered relic?
What type of language do they use in conversation? Abrupt or flowing?
Do they have a pet? Rocky the Rottweiler or ‘no pets allowed near the sofa’?
What shopping bags do they have with them? A bag of groceries or something more exciting?
By answering these questions you’ll get to know your ‘typical customer’, you’ll start thinking about what they want and how your organisation can deliver this to them. Once your copy begins to reflect this new way of thinking it’ll naturally become more engaging to that key target market.
Good luck and happy writing!