What Is Copywriting? A Copywriting Guide for Businesses

Copywriting is a marketing strategy that’s been around for decades, and it’s one of the most powerful tools a business can use to connect with customers. How a business communicates remains an influential factor in customers’ buying decisions, so effective copywriting is essential to a company’s continued success and growth.

Learn more in this copywriting guide from our WebFX digital marketing experts — and get professional copywriting tips in your inbox when you subscribe to our Revenue Weekly newsletter!

What is copywriting?

Copywriting is creating the text businesses use to promote products and services. This content, known as copy, can range from blog posts and comprehensive case studies to search engine ads and video scripts. In other words, copy is any form of text a company uses for marketing.

The goal is to make people aware of a product or service, create a desire for it, and encourage them to take action.

Why does copywriting matter to my business?

Today, there are more ways to reach potential customers than ever before — including print, in-store, or online marketing. However, that also means there’s more competition for their attention. Great copywriting helps your business stand out from the crowd of advertisements and attract new customers.

When you hook a prospect into engaging with your content, you’ll generate more leads, increase conversions, and boost your revenue through additional sales.

5 tips for producing better copywriting

Now that you know what good copy can do for your business, you’re probably eager to create it. Read on for five expert tips on writing compelling copy.

  1. Focus on the consumer

Your primary goal is creating content that resonates with your audience. It’s not about you — it’s about what you can do for your customers, so focus your copy on their wants and needs. Start by defining your audience. You can segment your audience based on demographics and other factors to divide your leads and customers into groups you can target in different ways.

Imagine you’re a resort manager with three target prospects — families, business travelers, and couples booking a wedding venue. One piece of content aimed at all three isn’t practical. You’ll have to develop buyer personas to represent these three audiences to create more relevant text. 

You need to speak the same language as your personas. Your copy should be conversational to increase their comfort with your brand. Ask yourself what each audience segment wants and needs to know about your products or services based on the terms they use.

When you understand the customer’s pain points, you can hyperfocus your copy to address them. You can find those challenges in customer surveys, online reviews, relevant forums, and more. 

For example, imagine that as the resort manager, you read comments on a popular forum expressing frustration with catering prices at a competing resort. You can create a blog post with tips for keeping costs down. Use the same language you saw in the reviews to reach the target audience. Your content will position your resort as the more cost-friendly option, and remind readers their savings can help fund an exotic honeymoon or a down payment on a home.

  1. Stress benefits, not just features

What is it you offer that’s better than your competition? 

While it’s important for customers to know the technical details of your product or service, it’s even more important to show them how it’ll improve their lives or solve their issues. 

Let’s say you sell garage doors and have an exciting new product to introduce. When you write your content, you should tell your potential customer about the door — and emphasize what it’ll do for them. Doors come in steel, wood, vinyl, and more. That’s a feature readers expect. Your doors increase a home’s curb appeal and help save money with better energy efficiency — those are the benefits customers want to hear about. 

Focusing on benefits works the same with services. For example, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company may list its valuable functions and then explain how they boost productivity and protect data security.

  1. Do your research

Now that you can identify your customers’ pain points and your products’ unique selling propositions, it’s time to get proactive. If your copy is going to be effective, people need to read it.

Two primary types of research will help you create the most compelling and accessible copy — keyword research and competitor content analysis.

You can learn the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) to help readers discover your content. In essence, you’ll create copy that search engines can understand while writing to match the user’s search intent. That’s where keywords come in. Search engines can identify words and phrases in your content that align with what people are looking for.

Back to our money-saving resort example — your audience has a clear goal to save money on catering for their wedding. You can use natural keywords to match their intent, like including “how to cut catering costs for a wedding” and “affordable wedding catering” in your copy.

Another helpful tactic is to see what your competitors are writing. Once you’ve done some keyword research, enter those terms into a search engine and see which businesses are ranking for them. What is their content saying — and how can you say it better? 

  1. Keep it readable

Today’s users want easily scannable and digestible content. Your copy should incorporate best practices for readability. 

This approach includes breaking up large blocks of text into smaller sections. Remember, whitespace is your friend! Make sure to balance out your words on web pages with plenty of images or blank space to help readers better comprehend your message.

Structuring your content with subheadings helps readers scan quickly to understand key points. Plus, these natural breaks are great opportunities to use the relevant keywords from your research. You can also use tools to gauge reading difficulty so you’re writing at a suitable level for your target audience.

  1. Close with a clear next step

Whatever type of copywriting you’re doing for a campaign, close it out with a call to action (CTA). Your CTA should be activity-oriented, like “subscribe by email” or “request a demonstration.” Make it evident to the reader what you want them to do and what they’ll get in return.

Now you’re ready to go forth and start flexing some copywriting muscle!

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