Copywriting – writing to sell – is in many ways much easier than it used to be, it’s also harder, in today’s busy world. Back in day, you could write catalogue copy, or a brochure, and call it done. Today, both your catalogue copy and brochure-like websites need to be tagged with meta data, and supported with social media marketing.
Let’s look at three essential copywriting secrets for today’s busy and fragmented audiences.
1. Emotion First – THEN Make Them Think.
Arouse emotion in your audience first, THEN make them think. The old copywriting formula, AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) is based on emotion. Emotion not only grabs attention, but it also inspires action. AIDA is useless without emotion.
The easiest way to arouse an emotion is via visuals. A recent post on visual content on the Buffer blog made this point:
The brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it does text. We are wired to take in visual content faster and more effectively than we are words. Ninety percent of the information sent to our brains is visual; we’ve been trained to consume visual content as quickly as we can.
Bigger is better with visuals – viz print magazines and social media – for two reasons: emotion, and memory.
I’m a writer, so I’m heavily focused on words, but visuals allow you to arouse emotions faster in your audience, and get them to remember more. Here’s an interesting PDF from hp on the power of visual communication.
Copywriting is persuasion, and there’s no persuasion without emotion.
2. What’s the Big Idea?
Every copywriting project depends on the power of a big idea, such as the idea (and the emotion) behind David Ogilvy’s classic Rolls Royce ad.
Your big idea is the message. You’ll leverage your message with content, so the more you consider your message, and its implications, the easier it will be to leverage.
Politicians know the persuasive power of repetition. They stay on message. You may repeat words in your copy, however, beyond words, focus on the emotion, and your big idea.
3. Leverage Your Message With Content.
Copywriting isn’t just advertising in today’s world.
“The guys get together in the morning and say, ‘what’s happening, what’s in the news and in the online space’,” he says. “It might be something relevant to one of our brands and we need to come up with an idea and get it out there in a short space of time.”
Today, your copy needs to be leveraged with content, in any way you can manage it.
You’re running a small business; you don’t have an advertising agency to do your social media for you. Indeed, social media can seem like a nuisance. At best, it’s an afterthought.
What if you switched that around, and made social media the focus of your advertising? Start paying more attention to social media. You may find that social media not only enhances what you spend on advertising, but helps you to spend less.
As John Wanamaker said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
In summary, consider emotion first, then focus on your big idea, and leverage it with content. These copywriting secrets are essential today.
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