What is copywriting?

If you’re in the world of marketing, you might not understand this because we are so familiar with copywriting and its function. But, for the outsider looking in, there’s a general haze of confusion that surrounds copywriting.

Before I jump into my tips, let’s clear the air and focus solely on the definition and the ins and outs of this marketing function.

Essentially, copywriting can be defined as the technique of writing persuasive content that compels people to take action whether it’s to buy something,  request more information for a service, download a piece of content, etc.

Copywriting adds value to your content.

To put this idea into motion, here’s an example. Let’s pretend that you sell noise-canceling headphones that are meant for people who work in offices (very random and specific but let’s roll with it).

Your goal is to reach out to at least five people a day to promote your product in an effort to get them to buy it.

So, you decide to slide into the DMs and give it a whirl. Here’s a cliff’s notes version of the message:

“Hi, @idontwantobebothered – I think you should buy our noise-canceling headphones. They’re great and they get rid of the noise. Here’s a link to make your purchase: xyz.com.”

If you send a message like that, you’ll have people clamoring for a chance to make a purchase…not!

That message was likely met with a scoff and an eye-roll from the user and in the end did not translate into anything more than a missed opportunity.

Let’s switch gears and say that that same salesperson decides to get a little crafty. They’ve done their research and took the time to engage and build a relationship (context) with a user PRIOR to sending the message.

The new re-vamped message goes a little something like this:

Hi, @iminterested­ – After learning a little bit more about you and your work environment, I can only imagine how loud it can get at times (There’s always that one Chatty Cathy. Every office has one!). I’m not sure if you noticed or not, but I work for a company that makes noise-canceling headphones that are perfect for people like you who work in an office. Here’s a fun infographic that’ll tell you a little bit more about what sets us apart from the other headphones on the market. If you have any questions, let me know!”

Now THAT’S a message that’ll pack a bigger punch and increase the likelihood of engagement with that user.

Why? Because that message was personalized to that specific user, there was personality, and the goal of that interaction wasn’t a sale on-the-spot. Instead, the goal was to provide that user with value as to why the product could provide that user with value.

That’s the long and the short but you get the idea…Copywriting is used to tell a story and form connections!

Alright, now that we have a better understanding of copywriting, let’s get to the meat of this article and the reason you landed on this blog in the first place. Here we go…

Three Copywriting Tips to Give Your Content a Boost

Get emotional

Grab a tissue, solidify their laugh lines, or get their blood pressure pumping. Whatever the case may be, an important part of copywriting is evoking emotion in your audience.

The whole idea here is to flex your empathy muscles. You’ll want to take a walk in your consumers’ shoes and then create content that’ll have them feeling something because they can relate to the story that you’re telling.

When you can convey through your words a narrative that’s steeped in emotion, you’ll create content that packs a punch and resonates with your target audience and, in turn, is more likely to be shared.

Hit the nail on the head

The only time fluff is OK is if you’re making a recipe that calls for Marshmallow Fluff, other than that, save it. The rule is even more applicable when it comes to your content.

Nowadays, consumers are predominately skimmers. They want to get to the point and they want to get there quickly. Verbose content like I’m writing right now in this section isn’t going to cut it.

The lesson here is to write content that focuses on one messaging point at a time. The more focused you can become with your content the better off you’ll be.

Ditch the pitch

As consumers, we’re more or less numb to sales pitches. They essentially go in one ear and out the other because they’re not engaging and usually, the goal is to push a sale rather than form a bond between the brand and its consumer.

Your customers don’t want to be outwardly sold on something. Instead, they want to be told a story. Something that’ll strike a chord and make them feel something (refer back to copywriting tip number one).

Compelling stories help make your content become more relatable in that if done correctly, the user can actually see themselves in the situation that you’re describing. The better that you understand your audience, the better you’ll be at writing copy that speaks to their questions, pain points, interests, etc.

How do you do that? Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  1. Imagery: Have you ever read something and you could practically picture the scene that’s unfolding in your mind? That’s the work of imagery at hand that helps paint the picture of your story and transports your reader into the scene that you’ve created with your words.
  2. Metaphors: Sometimes to create a level of commonality between your brand and your reader, you have to provide them with an example that helps them understand the correlation that you’re trying to create with your content. Metaphors help us compare one thing to another in an effort to explain something better and create that “Aha!” moment in our readers’ minds.
  3. Anticipation: A good story has us feverishly reading to find out what happens next. The same goes for your copywriting. The goal of any piece of content that you write is to get your audience to read it from start-to-finish. Lead with something interesting and exciting to catch your audience’s attention and take them on a journey to find a resolution.

Making your readers feel something, keeping your content concise, and telling a story rather than making a sales pitch are three ways to leverage persuasive copywriting to help you better serve your target audience, build brand awareness and ultimately generate quality leads.

If you think your copy is missing the mark and you need help crafting compelling content, contact us today!

If you’ve landed on this blog post, you want to know the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing.

And I am here to tell you that the difference between both forms of marketing is that one is digital and the other is traditional.

Hopefully that answered your question! Thanks for stopping by!

I am totally joking.  However, in every joke there’s some truth and in this case, the truth of the matter is that the format of each of these styles of marketing is what sets them apart.

But before we get to the meat of this blog post, let’s lay the ground work.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Digital marketing, as defined by Hubspot, is “…all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and their websites to connect with current and prospective customers.”

Traditional marketing is commonly associated with print advertisements, television and radio commercials, direct mailers and billboards.

Digital marketing is…digital and traditional marketing is more, well, traditional in that the methods are “tried-and true.”

Let me pause for a moment…

This is when I come in stage right and put a plug in that Flying Cork is a digital marketing agency and we offer digital marketing services that include digital strategy, digital marketing, digital advertising, and design and development.

Now we’re back to our regularly-scheduled programming…

No matter how big or small your business may be, there always seems to be that inevitable tug-of-war between people who reside in two overarching camps.

The camps to which I am talking about are the people who favor digital marketing and the other people who believe in the power of traditional marketing. Of course, there are some people who have their hands in both pots.

Regardless of which side of the spectrum you’re on, it’s important to know that you’re not wrong. And in order to provide you with the most value that I can in one blog post, I put together a high-level  pros and cons list of digital marketing and traditional marketing.

Pros of digital marketing

  • An obvious pro of digital marketing is that the vast majority of consumer attention is focused on the internet, namely social media. When you let the market be your guide, you’ll realize that there’s untapped potential when it comes to Facebook advertising and organic content creation to build and strengthen brand awareness with your target audience.
  • So, you have the attention.  Now it’s time to measure your results. Digital marketing offers a plethora of data that can be mined and leveraged to help tweak and deliver a refined marketing strategy.
  • Digital marketing is fast. And by fast, I mean that it can be done with the simple tap of a button. All that it takes is a status update, a helpful blog post, or a quick-witted comment to stay in front of your target audience and build brand awareness.

Cons of digital marketing

  • Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. While some people believe in that quote, for digital marketers, the copy, tweak, and paste effect can pose problems for our campaign efforts. What do I mean by all of this? Digital marketing campaigns can be easy to imitate (copy) by your competitors which can then be manipulated (tweak) to fit their narrative and posted to their social channels (paste). That being said, make sure to keep tabs on your competitors and be in tune with conversations that are swirling around your brand and your industry.
  • Just as the internet offers unbelievable amounts of opportunity, it also invites a lot of noise and chatter that can make it harder to reach your target audience. However, it’s a problem that’s faced by all marketers and it’s one that’s solved by creative and empathetic marketing. When you take the time to truly understand your customers’ pain points, questions, and topics of interest, you’ll in turn create content that’s relevant and will resonate with them.

Pros of traditional marketing

  • Traditional marketing as a whole isn’t extinct. However, the way that we approach this form of marketing has shifted in some respects. For example, at one point in time, traditional marketing was the only way to do marketing, and now it has become supplemental to our digital efforts and vice versa. While online marketing can help increase your brand’s exposure if done correctly, digital and traditional can build off one another. Why? Because it’s important to remember that your audience doesn’t consume content the same way. Some people turn to the internet to discover products and services while others rely on the mail, TV/radio, etc. to get their information. To cast a wider net, you can supplement your traditional methods like billboards and mailers with digital advertising by serving the same information based on location of the traditional advertisement. This helps build brand awareness and encourages brand recognition.
  • If you’re a local company trying to reach your local market, then radio advertisements could be a good use of your marketing budget. However, just like with any advertisement, you need to consider a few different aspects like who makes up your target audience, what channel best aligns with who you’re trying to target, and what message are you trying to articulate? Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, radio can be a good way to tap into and reach your local target market.

Cons of traditional marketing

  • Traditional marketing is more or less a monologue in that there’s little to no interaction between the brand and audience. Traditionally speaking (pun somewhat intended), traditional marketing is focused on selling the consumer on a product/service. In some cases, this type of marketing can feel intrusive and forced which can lead to consumers simply tuning out your content.
  • Traditional marketing can be very expensive. From billboards to purchasing TV and radio spots, the fees associated with traditional marketing can stack up fairly quickly and eat up most of your marketing budget.
  • In the world of marketing and business in general, every single dollar counts! Think of it this way: when you’re in a car if your eyes aren’t on the road, they’re unfortunately more than likely on your phone. This means that your attention isn’t focused on the billboards on the side of the road. Translation, you could be spending a decent amount of money on a billboard that not many people will see. Likewise, the introduction of DVR and online streaming has affected how we consume television shows. How so? We don’t want to be bothered by commercials anymore. Time is the most valuable commodity and commercials inherently take away from what we’re trying to do – watch a TV show. Think about how you consume TV for a second. When you’re watching a show and it goes to a commercial break, what do you normally do? More times than not, you’ll grab your phone, take a bathroom break or get a snack in just the right amount of time to be situated when the show comes back on. Again, depending on your target audience, these two examples can be seen as wasted marketing dollars that could have been allocated to another resource within your marketing budget.

Though we’re a digital marketing agency, we understand that elements of digital marketing and traditional marketing can be leveraged to create a holistic marketing strategy.

Which type of marketing do you prefer?

I think it’s safe to say that we all understand just how important data is in guiding our social media marketing efforts. Not only does it help us create content that’s based on the interests, pain points, questions, etc., of our target audience, but it also helps us understand how and when our target audience consumes our content which helps us become better marketers.

While we know it’s essential, sometimes we can get lost in the influx of data that we actually neglect the numbers that really matter to us. Instead, we find ourselves staring at our screens as if we were trying to decode hieroglyphics on the wall of a cave.

Trust me; I’ve been guilty of doing the same thing. However, my goal in this post is to demystify and simplify the data so that you can focus on the social media metrics that pack the biggest punch.

The trifecta of social media metrics is comprised of three components (hence why it’s called a trifecta). They are, reach, engagement, and conversions.

Collage with business-centric photos and a banner overlay that reads, "Three Social Media Metrics."

Reach

The long and the short is that reach is essentially a social media metric that measures your potential audience size and helps you understand the big picture of the context of your content. Is your content striking a chord with your audience? How big is your audience?

Now, what value would I be bringing to the table if I left the explanation there? I’ll answer that, not very helpful. So, let’s break it down a bit more.

Reach is defined as the total number of people who see your content. This is to not be confused with impressions which is the number of times your content is displayed (clicked on or not) to a user.

Basically, reach is how wide of a net that you’ve cast with your content. How far is your messaging spreading and how big is the audience that’s receiving your message?

Its power in numbers and reach alone can only take you so far. Reach is most effective when it’s compared with other engagement metrics. This shockingly enough leads us to our next social media metric, engagement.

Engagement

So, we’ve established that reach is defined as your potential audience size. Now, it’s time for the rubber to meet the road and pair that metric with engagement to start getting more bang for our buck.

This is an important social media metric to pay attention to because it’s essentially the lifeline that connects your brand to your target audience and helps you understand if people are talking about your brand on social and engaging (hence, engagement) with your content.

At its core, engagement is based on the number of unique people who have engaged with your content. Now, based on the platform, the definition of engagement varies. On Twitter, a good gauge of engagement would be a retweet/retweet with a comment while on Facebook and Instagram; engagement could be defined by comments and replies.

You might have noticed that I didn’t mention anything about likes. That’s because I don’t believe that they are a good measure of engagement and they are more or less a vanity metric.

Hear me out.

I want you to think about it for a second and think about how you use social media. Let’s say it’s your lunch break and you are mindlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed. Nine times out of 10 you’re probably absent-mindedly double tapping as you speed scroll through your feed. By the end of it, you can’t even name five pictures that you liked because you did it without thinking.

Your target audience is probably doing the same thing for your content. They are blindly going through their feed and liking pictures on a whim. With that being said, do you think that a “like” is an accurate depiction of your engagement?

Sure, it makes you feel cool when your post racks up a decent amount of likes, but at the end of the day, do likes translate into relationships and revenue? Odds are the answer is a hard no.

Which brings me back to the crux of this section that engagement should be based on your goals. Are you interested in creating interactions through replies and comments or are you more concerned with building brand awareness and spreading your message via retweets and conversations on social? Make sure that you establish a goal from the beginning so that you can accurately gauge if and how to tweak your strategy moving forward.

Conversions

I have (in my opinion) saved the most important social media metric for last and it is, as you could already tell by reading the header of this section, conversions.

Why is it the single most important social media metric to consider? It’s essentially the proof that what you’re doing is working or in some cases, not working. A conversion is the primary action that you want a user to take from your social media efforts. It can be associated with organic and paid efforts.

No matter how big or how small your brand is, odds are that an overarching business goal is some sort of acquisition whether it’s lead generation, email newsletter sign-ups, product sales, etc.

As the old saying goes, “The proof is in the pudding,” and conversions give us the hardcore proof that our efforts are either working or need to be improved.

Reach, engagement, and conversions, these are the three social media metrics that I pay attention to on a daily basis. What metrics do you focus on?