Mastering effective copywriting is a crucial skill but can at times feel overwhelming. You know it’s essential to find the right words to connect with your customers – whether that be for your website or other marketing communications – but where do you start?
To help you navigate your way, we are delighted to have professional copywriter Sophie Lacey on the blog this week. With a wealth of experience working with a range of businesses, Sophie is here to share her expert tips on how to write copy that will connect with your customers. Over to Sophie:
As a small business writing for potential customers, it’s easy to get bamboozled by marketing terms like ‘brand values’, ‘brand personality’, ‘tone of voice’, and ‘storytelling’. But, they are all essentially ways of saying the same thing – what matters most is that we are writing for people and that people connect with brands through emotion.
Follow these 5 expert tips for writing effective copy with feeling:
Spend time finding your voice
As with speaking, written tone of voice is what we choose to say (brand values) and how we say it (brand personality). First and foremost, your tone of voice should be a true reflection of your business: be authentic, be original and be engaging. Use products, staff, logos, fonts and mood-boards for inspiration. Start by writing down all the words and phrases that come to mind in a spider chart (make it fun!) and then weave those ideas into paragraphs.
Think about your audience
Who are you informing, persuading or selling to? How would those people typically talk to each other if you overheard them in conversation? Does the language of your audience fit with the language of your brand? For example, if you’ve chosen a language that is youthful and full of ‘urban street’ references but your market is upmarket professional, you may have a problem unless you use humour, irony or nostalgia to bridge the gap.
Try to be consistent across all channels
It goes without saying that a daily Facebook post will have a different feel to the home page of your website or a meaty article in a trade journal because each of these tools serves a different purpose. However, language which is recognisable across all platforms helps to create that strong personality and powerful presence.
Write for people not search engines
It’s easy to get sucked into lots of complicated analysis of SEO (search engine optimisation). The problem with that approach is that language can start to feel unnatural. As a starting point, try to weave the all-important ‘key words and phrases’ into your copy effortlessly and then take every opportunity to link together all your online media.
Tell your story
Storytelling basically expands on brand personality with a ‘back story’ — the idea being that emotions (and motivations) are aroused by personal narrative. It works on two levels: telling the story of your brand (who started it and why?) and the story of your consumer (what is their situation and what are you helping them to achieve with your product?) By connecting your story with theirs, you have helped to create an emotional bond.
What tricks have you learnt about connecting with your customers? Get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!
Following a successful career in PR, Sophie Lacey set up her writing service nearly 10 years ago and now enjoys working with start-ups and SMEs in the lifestyle sector. Sophie lives in Oxfordshire with her green-fingered husband and two children: getting muddy and growing vegetables—with a home office overlooking the garden. For further advice about identifying your brand’s tone of voice and storytelling, visit Sophie’s website.