How To Write Compelling Copy : RM 101: Week 2



Woman copywriting on laptop in sunlight

This week I spent a great deal of time reviewing roadmaps on Marketer Knows, led by the one and only Andrew Webb.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Marketer Knows, it’s essentially a content library (currently in beta) that provides marketers with step-by-step guides on how to do everything related to digital marketing.

As an intern, I’ve been reviewing roadmaps to ensure they’re easy to follow—especially for someone like myself with limited marketing experience.

Here’s what I’ve learned this week about compelling copywriting from said roadmaps. Feel free to head over to marketerknows.com to access the full versions.

various urgent headlines

Master Your Headlines

80% of people who stumble upon your article don’t make it past the headline, so by taking the time to design a compelling one, you could significantly improve your click-through-rate.

There are three main things to remember when writing the headline.

  • Keep it short. The longer it is, the more likely readers will scroll right by it.
  • Lead with action verbs. Tell the reader to discover X, start X, or stop X. We want them to feel like there’s something they ought to be doing.
  • Work in a specific time frame. Give them an estimate of how long it’ll take for them to do X. The shorter this time is, or the fewer steps there are, the more likely they are to invest that time. Think of how I could improve my title with a time frame.

Good examples would sound something like “Optimize Your Instagram Page in 30 Minutes” or “Create a Facebook Ad in 10 Steps.”

The Body Copy

Plan

When planning a blog or article, don’t just start writing. First, outline what you’d like to talk about by writing down 3-5 topics. These are your main headings.

Under each of those main topics, jot down 3-5 subtopics. These are your talking points within each heading.

Look at the layout of this blog post. It should be very clear that I have three main sections (plus an introduction and conclusion) with three talking points within each section.

woman planning blog post before copywriting

Write

You’ve made this part very easy for yourself by planning ahead. Now all you have to do is elaborate on the talking points you previously recorded. Aim for paragraphs of no more than three sentences in order to keep it digestible for readers on mobile (likely most readers).

Add Flow and Flair

It’s important to note that you shouldn’t post content that is simply text. This is the easiest way to bore readers. Rich media is extremely important in breaking up the post content and keeping the reader interested. It also sends signals to search engines that you’re improving the reader’s experience by delivering credible information in a variety of ways.

Keep in mind these types of media for your pages:

  • Images
  • Infographics
  • Video embeds
  • GIFs
  • Lightboxes

With that said, return to your writing to add photos, infographics, and videos to spice things up—and optimize those images.

Calls to Action

Everything you write should have some sort of call-to-action (CTA), which basically entails telling the reader to do something. This action is likely the whole reason you’re writing in the first place.

Remember these three key points for every CTA:

  1. Focus on immediate next steps
  2. Emphasize results rather than features
  3. Trigger emotions (positive or negative—but commit to one and only one)

Next Steps

Giving the reader an idea of what comes next sets expectations, mitigating the fear of future headaches—like jumping through administrative hoops or sign-up processes that require a desktop. This can take the form of a purchase, signing up for an email list, or making an account for Marketer Knows (see what I did there?).

Focus on Results

Pretend we’re marketing a pickup truck. Rather than saying, “Experience a 100,000lb Towing Capacity” you would say something like, “Never Wonder if You Can Tow it,” or, “Tow Anything, Anywhere.”

Features include the massive towing capacity, but the results are confidence, simplicity, and convenience.

Trigger Emotions

various emotions in the form of smiley faces

“Never Wonder if You Can Tow it” spurs people to buy a new truck to avoid the frustration and embarrassment of not being able to tow something, which carries several negative undertones they want to avoid feeling.

“Fearlessly Tow Anything” excites the reader with the idea that they can tow anything they need.

Triggering emotions increases the chance that the reader will do what you suggest, so involve them whenever possible. Remember, selling is about their experience, not your product or service.

Bonus: Can you identify the three CTA components in the following CTAs? Try “Save A Child From Going Hungry,” “Sponsor Today,” and, “Choose PerfectPillows and Get The Sleep You Deserve.” Give it a shot!

In Conclusion

I hope you’ve learned something from this brief blog post! Want to test what you’ve learned? Feel free to critique my call-to-action.

Marketing evolves fast.

Don’t get left behind.

Join Marketer Knows.

See you in Week 3 of RM101.

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