by Steve Kellas
“With half a loaf and a tilted cup, I got myself a friend.”
The Havamal, Old Norse Poem
Sharing is an age-old form of persuasion. Even the smallest amount of sharing goes a long way to winning a stranger over to you. The Vikings knew it. Dale Carnegie knew it. Copywriters know it too.
As a web copywriter, I see many pages of boring website content; copywriting that describes a business or product but never engages by telling me why the business exists and why I should use them.
I didn’t invent these copywriter techniques, I picked them up from some of the best in the business. I learned from these talented people that copywriting is more than just listing what something does, or telling people facts. It’s about connecting on an emotional level to the people that support a business.
#1 – Tell a story
“Make your copywriting about the audience.”
One of the easiest ways to do this, is to tell them a story.
That’s because we have been telling each other stories since we first spoke to each other around the fire. It’s a natural way to get across a point of view and to relate something to others.
Copywriters have used storytelling techniques for ages to help their target audience relate to the message they are trying to deliver – to win them over.
Web copywriters are no different, though them medium is non-linear, a story can be told on every page. This is why blogging is such an effective marketing tool.
In their Introduction to Business Blogging, Hubspot shows us the evidence for compelling storytelling through blogging:
- B2B companies with a blog get 67% more leads (than those who don’t)
- B2C companies with a blog get 88% more leads
Looking across all segments, they point out that companies that blog get 55% more web visitors than those that don’t blog.
Whether you are a copywriting agency, a roofer or FTSE 100 company, your story is interesting, unique and can be very good at selling your expertise in your market niche.
Tell stories about your business: why you started it; why you believe in it; what it does for people. Tell stories about your products or services: why you created them; what happens when people use them; what people need to do to use them too.
#2 – Anticipate objections
The two most powerful words in marketing belong to your customers:
When your customer is able to get away from your page, website, brochure or newsletter saying “yes, but…” you have lost.
Whenever I begin any copywriting project, I ask for all the “yes, buts.”
What are the main objections the target audience has to using your product or service or business? Make a list and then construct your story in a way that deals with each objection in turn.
- Are you more expensive than a competitor? Explain why.
- Could your customer do the service themselves? Tell them why you can do it better/faster/cheaper than DIY.
2 and half – Share
I revealed this technique right at the beginning of this post, so I’m just giving it a ‘half’ here in the list.
This is sometimes called ‘reciprocity’ in marketing circles.
Whatever you call it, sharing your story, sharing valuable information, sharing insights, and sharing failures too, are all ways of bringing your audience closer to you emotionally.
It will surprise people.
Like a good plot twist, surprising your audience is a great way to keep them engaged right to the ‘end.’