Many companies now accept that an online presence is an absolute necessity to achieving success for their business and simply getting your brand out on the Internet will unlock numerous opportunities for your business!
And these companies would be… wrong! Despite the fact that it is easier today to reach multitudes of potential customers over the Internet, the competition is undoubtedly doing the same. What you need is to step up your game and separate yourself and your brand from the competition. While a visually appealing website can help, there is one thing that most businesses overlook – the value of copywriting.
Investing in copywriting for your website that is both informative and engaging, can bear great returns for your business in the long run. You keep visitors engaged and interested in your business offerings through content that is concise and targeting them on your website.
Even the most powerful businesses acknowledge the importance of quality web copy. Apple, among the many examples, invests in good copywriters. They apply proven copywriting techniques to capture and entice their audiences. As a result, Apple’s copywriting team was successful in generating hype for their product, and ultimately persuading visitors to convert to buyers. You don’t need to be Apple to achieve the same results. We have 8 kick-ass copywriting techniques to help you achieve success online as well.
8 Copywriting Techniques that Kick Ass
1. Rhyme Time
We are all exposed to the melodic beauty of rhymes from a young age as we tend to remember information better when presented in a witty rhyming package. Would you believe that the same holds true even as you get older?
In Daniel Pink’s book To Sell is Human, he shared a study proving the association between rhymes and honesty. Apparently, people find statements that rhyme to be more accurate than plainly written ones, regardless of the message in the statement.
The study asked participants to rate two statements with the same meaning but written in different ways (Woes united foes vs Woes unite enemies). While both statements drove the same message, readers found it easier to accept the one that rhymed as the truth.
You don’t have to fill every nook and cranny of your website with rhyme-packed poems though. Utilize rhyme to make important points stand out. That should make your website more memorable to your audience.
Grace…Space…Pace – Jaguar
2. Repetition Catches Attention
Just like how mothers tend to repeat their wisdom-filled lectures to drill important life lessons into you, repeating key points in your copywriting does the same for your audience. Don’t get us wrong, though. We don’t mean you should repeat entire sentences, which makes your copy redundant as no one wants to re-read the same sentences over and over.
However, repeating the keywords within the copy in an effective fashion is where the gold mine is. If you repeat select words in your copywriting in different ways, it draws more attention to the overall message as a whole. And Google likes it too, so it could improve your SEO results.
More intuitive. More intelligent. More you. – Apple watchOS
3. Break Thoughts In Half
Rarely does your website visitor read every word on the screen. Typically, visitors only spend 10 to 20 seconds on a website, and you have to make it count. Flooding your landing page with literally everything you have to say about your business and products is certainly not going to help you. Too much information can turn visitors away.
Short, simple, and concise web copy and copywriting work best. Potential customers should leave your website with salient, and memorable, information about your business. For that to happen, your copy has to deliver key ideas in a brief space of time. This is also where visual elements work together with your copywriting to deliver the message.
Always break down long sentences. Turn them into short and memorable statements.
4. Cliché’s Make You Lazy
There are copywriting techniques, and then there are copywriting tactics. When you turn to techniques, your goal is to muster up copywriting that is effective and efficient. Tactics, meanwhile, are used to get things done quicker. When you use clichés, you are taking a shortcut.
Turning to an overused catch phrase or stereotype to represent your brand paints you as a lazy company. Visitors do not find such copywriting witty and it promotes a negative reputation.
Sure, phrases like “born and bred”, “play your cards right”, and “the grass is always greener” can be effective in delivering a message in a concise manner. However, it should be used minimally in your copywriting. People hear clichés way too much. Associating widely familiar clichés with your brand makes it seem un-original. So come up with something unique to your brand. In the long run, it will help differentiate you from the competition.
5. No Weasel Words
No one bets on, or trusts, something that seems uncertain. Your copywriting needs to reflect your brand as a solid and stable company. Using weasel words, i.e. words that avoid direct command can be bad for your brand. If your headline, sub-headings, and body copy consist of words like maybe, try, could, may, hope, it associates your brand with instability in your visitors’ minds.
Let’s say you run a courier service business. If your web copy states “We will try to deliver your parcel as soon as we can!” you should not hold your breath for new orders from your website.
Although that statement is accurate, as your delivery could be affected due to bad weather and calamities, your use of weasel words cast doubt about your business capability in the eyes of visitors.
Weasel words bend the truth. Considering that today’s audience is sharper and wittier than ever, they can sniff the truth out in a jiffy.
Establish confidence. If you have confidence in your brand, so will your potential buyers. Use words like will, definitely, can in your copywriting to instill confidence in your visitors.
Just Do It. – Nike
6. More Active, Less Passive
Most of us use passive speech naturally. Even articles, such as this one, often use passive phrasing. Politicians opt for the passive voice to deliver messages at time. For instance, Donald Trump would say “mistakes were made” instead of “I made a mistake” to distance himself from it. Both statements are true, however, one is perceived differently from the other.
There are times when it is smart to use the passive voice, like in the instance above. However, when it comes to copywriting, it is best to avoid it.
The best example is the McDonald’s slogan “I’m Lovin’ it.” Imagine if it were to read “I’m being loved.” That would equate to a very weak slogan for the popular fast food chain. Passive writing adds unnecessary words to a sentence, and ultimately weakens its impact. Always lean towards the active voice.
7. An Exclamation Point Isn’t Always Your Friend
A marketing e-mail filled with exclamation points in red text makes you cringe! You probably close the e-mail without absorbing anything!! You don’t understand why the speaker is yelling at you!!! You’ve been cringing since the first three sentences of this paragraph!!!! Don’t click away!!!!! Yet.
The point made above would have been clear even without adding ‘excitement’ and emphasis with exclamation points. It is unnecessary in most cases, and there are other ways to spice up your message.
Back in the 90s, it was a norm to use an exclamation point with a call to action. “Sign up now!” “Order here!” Nowadays, it has been ditched for a more minimalist call to action method. People realized that using exclamation points is similar to using pepper in a dish. Too much of it will ultimately overpower every other flavour and result in no one enjoying the meal.
An exclamation point can still be effective though. However, it has to be used sparingly. As F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “using an exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.” Just keep that in mind whenever you feel the need to turn to a punctuation to inject excitement in your copy.
8. Avoid Overusing Techniques
As the saying goes, ‘too much of anything is bad for you’. The same holds true when it comes to copywriting. Although there are many techniques to improve your web copy’s quality, bad things can happen when you overuse them.
Just because an article provided you a copywriting tip that using rhymes is an effective way to create memorable web copy does not mean you keep using it on every other page. You’ll end up with a satirical business site instead of looking like a reputable business marketing itself online.
Also, beware seeming generic. The competition is fierce, and they are probably studying effective copywriting methods, just like you. Relying entirely on proven techniques may not set you apart from all the rest. Make it a point to add your own unique spin to your business. An idea unique to you and your brand is the best and most effective way to stand out.
Make Your Copywriting Shine
Much like every game-changing factor in business, copywriting requires mastery. If you want your online presence to shine, investing on improving your copywriting skills or hiring a master copywriter can strongly contribute to your online success.
Make it count. You didn’t pay for a domain, hosting, and a whole website design only to blow your chances of success with bad copywriting. Written content is the core of your website. Although design contributes to a great first impression, the copy is your way to introduce your brand to visitors. Take these 8 kick-ass copywriting tips to put your business on the right path to online marketing success.