Successful advertising is all about communication; verbal communication in particular. Whether you’re advertising in print, on radio or television or on the web, copywriting is at the core of your marketing efforts. The way that you get your message across is just as important as the message itself.
As an internet marketer, you’re using the written word almost exclusively to get your message out. Even if you’re using online video ads, podcasts or other multimedia formats in as part of your marketing strategy, you still need to carefully craft your message to have the maximum impact on your audience.
Copywriting is a skill which it behooves every internet marketer to develop; if you simply don’t have the time to devote learning to become a better copywriter, you’ll need to find a talented writer to work with to ensure that you’re saying what you want to say in a way which appeals to your target market.
For internet marketers, the importance of strong copywriting begins with their website before going any further, take a look over your site and try to step back and read your copy the way that a visitor might. Is it compelling? Does it get to the point? Does it effectively convey the benefits of using your product or service? Is it concise? Most importantly of all, could someone with absolutely no knowledge of what your business is about stumble onto your site and understand within a matter of seconds exactly what it is you’re selling and why they might want to do business with you? If not, it’s time to brush up on your copywriting skills and refine that website copy.
Let’s go these questions one by one to give a clearer understanding of what they mean for your marketing message. First of all, is your copy compelling? This is something of a subjective standard, but you (and your readers) know compelling when they see it. Does it draw you in right from the headline and make you want to read further “ and keep you wanting to read to the very end? This is important; especially your headline and first sentence. People have very short attention spans when it comes to reading a webpage; you have 30 seconds or less to grab them, so make the most of it or they’ll leave, likely never to return.
The questions of whether your copy gets to the point, is concise and is easily understandable are all closely related. The copy you use on your website and in your advertising needs to immediately let the reader know what it is that you sell in as few words as possible. The man from Mars? test is applicable here.
Someone with absolutely no idea of what your business is about should be able to read your copy and instantly understand what it is that you’re selling and what your product can do for them.
Getting across the benefits of your product quickly is vital. Everyone wants to know what’s in it for them and in fact, if there’s one takeaway I’d like everyone reading this to remember it’s that the most powerful word in all of advertising is you?, as in the potential customer reading your copy.
Remember that you’ll never go wrong by keeping it short; while the marathon sales letter was very effective for Dale Carnegie, people simply don’t have the same kind of patience for long form copy in internet marketing. Keep it short and to the point, make it clear and outline the benefits of your product and make sure to get your reader’s attention immediately; once you’ve captured their interest, half the battle of making a sale has been won.