“People aren’t interested in you. They’re interested in themselves” - Dale Carnegie
Forget what you've heard, there is no such thing as a boring business. No matter the product or service, whether ball bearings or luxury cars, it has a story--a beginning.
The mere notion that a company in and of itself is boring is a massive misconception. If your business comes across as boring, then that is the fault of the content--the content is boring, not the business. If the product or service isn't exactly sexy, then it's the job of a content copywriter (or you, if you’re the content creator) to make it so. (And while you’re at it, you might want to check your brand name too!)
Examples of Great Content for Not-So-Sexy Products
There are a lot of differences between content writing and copywriting. What do copywriters do? They create great content that inspires, and nothing shows that more than copy generated for the more dry products or services on the market. In order for content to ignite the imagination, and grab the attention of the audience, it needs to offer them something useful. Great content is valuable, helpful and beneficial to the reader. No matter how dry your niche is, if your content relates to your chosen demographic, then consider it a job well done.
Meet ERNIE and the Art of Personification
As a content writer, if you want to talk about writing exciting copy for a dry niche, then this is a fabulous example. After all, trying to personify a random number generating system can't be the easiest gig in the world. ERNIE stands for "Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment". When Savings Bank, NS&I required copy to attract customers, they used personification in order to convey their message of themselves as offering a trustworthy service.
Charmin and the Magic of Humor
When we're talking sexy, toilet paper simply does not make the cut. Yet it still needs exciting content in order to sell the product. To work around that, Charmin has successfully incorporated humor into both its print and commercial ads. From 1964 to 1985, the makers of Charmin utilized a fictional supermarket manager named Mr. Whipple, and his then famous catch phrase, "Please don't squeeze the Charmin.'' Mr. Whipple appeared in over 500 Charmin commercials, as well as print ads. Today, Charmin is still using wit to sell its product via it's twitter account, churning out witty bits of copy on a regular basis, while keeping more family friendly copy on Facebook.
The Lycos Dog--Go Get It
Way back in 1998, when the internet was still a wee babe, the Lycos Dog was a sensation. There was nothing juicy about a search engine. In a world dominated by Yahoo, Lycos had to make its mark, and did it with a dog, and some slick copy. The copy used the tagline "Go Get It” and was reinforced by the image of a dog 'fetching' the information the user sought via the Lycos search engine. The imagery reinforced the content which centered on what Lycos could do for the consumer, "To get you everything you could ever want, from the world-wide web.''
#1 What's In It For Me: Tagline, and Product Description
“Your job is not to write copy. Your job is to know your visitors, customers and prospects so well, you understand the situation they’re in right now, where they’d like to be, and exactly how your solution can and will get them to their ideal self.” – Joanna Wiebe
You may think that your new ball bearings are the cats meow. You may be so into their composition and function, that you forget one thing: No one else cares. That's right, no one cares about your ball bearings like you do. As potential clients, they are really only interested in what those ball bearings can do for them, what you can do for them. So, in order to get people interested in your product, to get them excited, it’s critical to craft a high-level page which concentrates on the benefits their product or service provides. Once interested, they can then be guided to a more detailed sub-page.
Taglines and product descriptions are two types of content which you can use to relay product/service benefits. The tagline or slogan is a short and snappy phrase which tells the prospective client what your mission is, your promise, your brand, and does it in a catchy, memorable manner. Famous taglines include Lay's "Betcha Can't Eat Just One", Nike's "Just Do It", and Apple's "Think Different".
With a tagline, don't focus on the product, focus on what it offers potential buyers. The same can be said with the product description content. A product description blends both features and benefits together. However, when writing this copy, remember to promote the benefits of the product/service, and how it can make the customer happy, rather than focusing on features.
#2 Academic Writing is Not Business Copy
“Remember the people you address are selfish, as we all are. They care nothing about your interests or profit. They seek service for themselves. Ignoring this fact is a common mistake and a costly mistake in advertising” - Claude Hopkins
We've all done it, sat through hours at our desks, writing essay after essay, research paper after research paper. After years of schooling, we've got the system down pat. However, that type of writing will not prep you for writing exciting copy. In fact, If you follow those rules, your copy will be downright boring, and far from compelling. According to Copywritertoday.net, well-written, persuasive copy brings in up to 7.8 times more site traffic and an increase in audience engagement.
As such, it's crucial that you break out of this research paper mindset and concentrate on creating content that’s unique. For this, you’ll have to do some digging into the background story of the business, making notes about anything and everything which may be of interest. You're not researching Dickens's or the fall of Rome, you're in the business of composing original, fresh and exciting copy, copy that makes a business money. To make sales with your copy, it might sound counter intuitive but you don't actually need to be too salesy, you can be subtle. For instance, thanks to an experienced copywriter you can write sales emails people actually like.
#3 Break That Copy Up
“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” - Leo Burnett
Prospective clients spend an average of 8 seconds on a webpage before they decide whether or not they want to read the copy, and that's just the time you have to snare them, to get them intrigued in the product or service. To accomplish this, remember, less is more. To do this, work to eliminate any large blocks of text, then budget your words.
When you budget your words or set a limit for how many words can be in you text, you're forcing yourself to write copy that excites and invites people to learn more without driving them away with frighteningly long blocks of text. Finally, remember to increase your font size, and keep the sentences short, crisp and lively.
#4 The Power of Words and SEO Optimization
“In an online world, our online words are our emissaries; they tell the world who we are.” - Ann Handley
ABtests.com did a conversion optimization case study, where a business reported a 200 percent increase in conversions after they replaced feature laden copy with copy that concentrated on benefits. This means that if you are looking for a high conversion rate, the copy should revolve around the clients’ desires, not the services offered by the company.
Wrong: We offer you state-of-the-art training
Right: Become a coding guru
Once you realize the power of words, it’s time to combine that with the power of SEO optimization. After all, what use is good copy if people can’t find it? There are many SEO tools available to help you. SEO copywriting involves content such as slogans or taglines, headlines, meta data, and title tags. SEO Copywriting: Writing title tags, headlines, and metadata. It's a fact that 80 percent of people will read the headline, with only about 20 percent reading the entire article. Your headline is your hook, plain and simple.
#5 EQ: The Emotional Quotient
“One of the keys to solid copywriting on the web is writing for real people, rather than writing for search engines” - Neil Patel
Successful copy is copy that gets people to perform an action, in this case make a sale. Dr. T.P. Chia stated that "Emotion is more powerful than reason. Emotion is the driving force behind thinking and reasoning. Emotional intelligence increases the mind's ability to make positive, brilliant decisions". So, when writing lively and relevant copy, you employ emotion rather than reason to increase conversion rates. In other words, when writing copy with the intent to motivate, move to reach emotion, rather than reason.
According to Neil Patel, you are selling experiences, not products. Here, you want to show your prospective customer that you understand their needs, then show how the product or service will benefit them, and cap it all off with reinforcing how good they'll feel. In short, your goal is to make an emotional connection to the prospective client.
If you're planning to hire a great copywriter or content marketer, we recommend that you follow these tips.
#6 Leave the Ten-Dollar Words in the Dictionary
"We try to write in a friendly, natural way that gives first time customers the confidence to try our products..." - Alice Little, Content Editor for Lovehoney
Take care to avoid using big, ten-dollar words, as they can undermine your purpose by making your content sound old, dull, boring and stuffy. In order to reach those high conversion rates while creating interesting and vibrant copy, you'll need to reach as many prospective customers as possible. You'll have to utilize conversational language. When you keep the copy friendly and conversational in nature, you've a better chance of connecting with your audience instead of driving them off.
A good way to check yourself is to read your copy out loud. The copy should come across as conversational, likeable, friendly and inviting. This isn't Shakespeare, your copy's only function is to generate income.
#7 Visual Content
“...global internet traffic from videos will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021” - Cisco
According to Search Engine Journal, content that is accompanied by appropriate images, infographics, and videos not only make your copy more attractive, but if properly chosen accentuate your position.
They found that posts with imagery achieve 180 percent more engagement, 150 percent more retweets, and increases customer purchasing by 85 percent. In fact, the Social Media Examiner Report found that when imagery accompanied text in blogging, that it would be shared more often than text that did not have imagery. The report also noted that 77 percent of marketers intend to increase their use of videos, 68 percent plan to increase use of images, and 63 percent planned on utilizing live video streaming.
#8 Honesty, an Active Voice, and e-books
“The very first thing we tell my new students on the first day of a workshop is that good writing is about telling the truth.” - Anne Lamott
When it comes right down to it, converting page views to actual sales is downright difficult at best. You're asking someone you've never met, to dig into their purse or wallet and buy a good or service, and that's not easy. Your copy needs to be fresh, inviting, honest and done using an active voice. When you combine copy that is truthful, using active voice, you've generated content that impacts the prospective client, and backs it up with credibility.
While we’re on the topic of credibility, don’t forget the website design and content. A competent freelance copywriter will be able to show an A-List website filled with content that inspires customer trust and reflects past customer satisfaction. Finally, as far as providing interesting content goes, remember to include an ebook or two. Ebooks provide two crucial assists in digital marketing: They represent a chance for the entrepreneur to show their clients how well versed they are, while at the same time helping to build their mailing lists.
#9 Making Email Content Enjoyable
“Using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19% and clickthrough rates by 65%” - Forbes
According to grasshopper.com, recipients find receiving emails with a fun or "wacky" subject line more enjoyable. Let's face it, most marketing emails can be a little dull and boring, so adding a little fun can help keep the pitch fresh and effective. Not only that, but a light-hearted email can help to set the mood for a sale.
Then there’s the open loop approach. Open loop in email marketing simply means to leave your customer wanting more by utilizing both the subject line and body text. Basically, you're sending out a series of emails which revolve around a certain theme, with each one having an open end. The open-ended emails create anticipation in your subscriber. Think of it in terms of a cliffhanger.
Finally, if you're looking for the perfect example to add a little spice to your email marketing content, then look no further than "The Hustle" newsletter. The Hustle has a solid open rate and is an example of an email that people actually anticipate receiving. Here, you'll find everything from memes, jokes to useful information, all packed into one daily email. By using humor, the open-ended technique, of modeling your campaign around The Hustle, spicing up your email copy can definitely help rev up dull, everyday content.
So, how to make the most of copywriters to make your business sound less boring?
To conclude, we'll give you a quick run-down of some of the major elements discussed above. First, remember to create content with the prospective customer in mind, and how the product will benefit them.
Next, set a word count for yourself, while spacing out your sentences to make the copy easier and faster to read. Also, in order to create exciting content, it's important to emotionally connect to your audience, as well as create engaging and anticipated email marketing campaigns.
Finally, don't forget to use visual content, such as infographics, videos and imagery, as visual content has been shown to increase audience engagement. There you have it, just a few tips to help inject a little vitality into your content, as there is no such thing as a boring business, just dull-witted content.
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