branditOCALA on Why Copywriting is so Important on Your Website
For much of your marketing efforts, it’s easy to get caught up in the whiz-bang and fun of graphics, images, and photography. Especially for online outreach, the internet excels at combining imagery with words. It’s important to remember that the words matter.
Words and brand messaging make a serious impact in marketing.
The words on your website, marketing materials, catalogs, and blogs are called copy. Copywriting is a distinct skill that helps your customers understand what you offer and provides a clear call to action (CTA) to entice them to reach out to you. By seamlessly providing the information customers need along with your product's features and benefits, much of your sales work is already done for you. In a perfect world, a customer contacts you and is already intending to buy your product at the advertised price.
Here are some copywriting tips that will help you reach and sell to your customer.
The tone of the copy should match your brand persona.
For example, a mobile horse trainer run by a 28-year-old former Olympian will probably have a completely different audience and voice than a board-certified vascular surgeon in their mid-50s. The horse trainer might use an emotional, passionate tone, one that emphasizes the trainer’s connection with horses and his ability to handle hot breeds. A surgeon’s voice would probably be serious, scientific, informative, and formal. An overly emotional tone just isn’t the right vibe for a clinical field.
In order to determine your voice and tone, here are some questions to ask yourself about your business and the persona you want to convey:
Are you the face behind the brand? This is a simple yes or no question that depends on the day-to-day operations of the company. If you’re the sole owner of a mobile car wash and are the primary person interacting with your customers, it would probably be safe to say that YOU are the brand. For bigger companies, with staff and a more formal hierarchy that directly handles the customer, then you most likely are not the brand.
What tone (vibe) do you want to convey? If you’re an independent jewelry store, reliability, longevity, and trustworthiness might be the key elements to emphasize in your marketing and branding. If you’re a local deli, then delivery speed, quality ingredients, and convenience might be your key sales points. Proactively choosing the vibe helps you actually write the copy because it sets the tone for the whole piece.
The tone is affected by word choice, pacing, and placement. Word choice is a key part of your brand’s tone and persona. For example, a skincare service might have a brand statement something like: “We take the wrinkles out of your day. And your face. Mina’s Custom Skin Care.” Can you imagine a surgeon using the same tone: “We take the scare out of vascular surgery. Experienced, certified, compassionate. Dr. Sarah Hobson.” Do you see and feel the difference? The tonality has to be appropriate or you risk creating a disconnect between the brand, the brand messaging, and the potential customer.
For the horse trainer, a light and breezy tone is an appropriate option, especially if the business has studied its market and knows that 75% of its customers are aged 25 to 45. They respond to punchy, fun copy. On the other hand, a surgeon’s customers are more likely to be in their 60s and beyond, and probably wouldn't appreciate a lighthearted and playful approach to surgery. These people are most likely looking for words that emphasize a serious and experienced approach that inspires feelings of safety and security.
Copy should convey your expertise and authority
You want to have credibility and inspire trust with your customers. Your words can help to do that. Part of that credibility is correctness, using the right words. Many of us come to rely on grammar and spell-check programs, but these programs don't always iterate the nuances and intended meaning correctly. One example of this is that software can’t always distinguish between they’re, their, and there. Even though the words sound the same when spoken, they have vastly different meanings in writing.
Another example is the difference between pedal, petal, and peddle. If you’re marketing a bike shop, then pedals really matter, and if you’re promoting your flower shop, then petals are more important. A human can understand the nuances, and a professional copywriter will use the correct form of the word.
You should give your copywriter some copy to start with
Yes, that means getting some words on paper. But they don’t have to be perfect! We have writers and editors who will polish your initial draft. Don’t worry about the words being right, worry about them being you. You can even dictate/speak into a document that we can work from, and this will help convey your voice and tone.
The goal is to get the experience and expertise that’s in your head down on paper. You want to position yourself and your company as an expert in the industry, with deep knowledge of the product, whether that’s accounting, drywall, or building tennis courts. Your copy will help sell your authority to customers.
Copy needs to be mixed with graphics
These are visual elements that help break up the text and give readers a digestable format to process the information. Creating subsections with shorter paragraphs of information is more effective than long text blocks that people are likely to scroll through and skip.
Use artwork, charts, tables, photography, and graphic design elements such as fonts and spacing to help reinforce your points. Use this blog post as an example. The key concepts are interspersed with white space to give readers a break between ideas.
These four bits of advice will give you a sense of the copy you want to create (or have created) for your marketing materials, website, brochures, and other sales collateral. Give it a cohesive tone, highlight your expertise, create some initial starter copy, and use visuals to reinforce the words.
It all matters, and it all needs to work together.
Your website, email marketing, and using the right words to build your messaging matter.