Master your copywriting skills: Complete Guide

Master your copywriting skills: Complete Guide

David Ogilvy’s 1958 ad campaign for Rolls Royce was a supreme hit, with the headline- 

 “At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise comes from the electric clock”

This simple line set the brand apart from other car manufacturers and made Rolls Royce a timeless must-have for its buyers. 

This famous headline was followed by an emotional and detailed body copy, making the readers feel a part of the prestige and tradition of the Rolls Royce family.

This is an often-cited example of effective copywriting, and efficient copywriting skills.

What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘Copywriter’? 

Some think of copywriters to be journalists with typewriters, others think it has something to do with copywriting intellectual property for pay. 

However, the art of eliciting a targeted response from your customer, with the help of written words is called Copywriting.

It is the process of writing persuasive marketing and sales material. A copywriter is paid to paint the brand’s image with his excellent copywriting skills of constructing clear and concise content with captivating words.

A brilliant example of words attracting customers is of Nike, the sports apparel brand that gained $6 billion worth of market value with a bold, offbeat ad featuring a closeup of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick with the tagline “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything”. 

Writing an enticing copy helps you to convert your readers into customers. Instances of copywriting can be found in brand brochures, website landing pages, blogs, advertisements, product sales pitches, and promotional emails. 

Copywriting Skills: The perfect tool for successful digital marketing

Copywriting skills are a perfect tool for a successful digital marketing strategy. A well-written copy of your product can connect your business to your target audience by tapping their mindset and needs, as well as define its identity as to how you’re different from your competition, in a very short span. 

Copywriting is also important while promoting your company, advertising the product, and educating your customer about your niche. 

In 2010, Alec Brownstein- was seeking a new job as a copywriter. He set up a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign for his favorite creative directors so that every time they would google their names, their names would appear along with the headline: “Hey (name), googling yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun too”. 

His idea of targeting the directors’ most egotistical moment combined with the simplicity of language, and a 100% audience-focused copy made this marketing campaign a hit on the internet, as well as Brownstein, landing his dream job with one of his favorite directors. 

How does copywriting boost your business?

“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.”David Ogilvy

What makes your copywriting skills the best way to market your business, is the fact that you can put yourself in your audiences’ shoes, and carve out the content accordingly. With your words, you can engage and assure your customers that you know exactly what their needs are, and your service can fulfill them.

A ‘killer’ copy is a digital sales pitch for your business, for the masses. 

A memorable instance of copywriting boosting trade is Pepsodent Toothpaste during its low sales period of 1929. 

The company wasn’t in a profitable position that year, because of a low, unaware audience. To grab attention and spread awareness, the copywriter Claude Hopkins wrote a copy on the “film” on the teeth and offered Pepsodent as a solution. The campaign skyrocketed the sales of the brand to 65% within that decade. 

Although graphic designing, content writing, SEO, social media are parts of the digital marketing package, copywriting is what holds it all together. A copy lays down the basic required points for content marketing and gives your design and SEO purpose. 

Types of Copywriting

Since copywriting is a vast field, with many types, all requiring a varied style of expression, to become an expert copywriter, you might want to add Juggling writing styles and tone and Identifying the marketing best suited for your customer, in bold to your list of copywriting skills. 

Where can your copy be used?

  • Websites
  • Product Brochures
  • Email Brochures 
  • Speeches/Sales Pitches
  • Product youtube channels/ Product reviews 
  • Blogs
  • Advertisements 

The most known types of copywriting are:

Marketing Copywriting 

This is the most familiar kind of copywriting with the market. Display Ads, Youtube Videos, Flyers, Direct Mail, and TV commercials are marketing examples of brand campaigns that are promotional, thus summing up Marketing Copywriting. 

The greatest example of marketing copywriting is the Volkswagen advertising campaign. In the period of popularity of big cars, Volkswagen published a copy of tangible benefits of owning a small car, with the simple slogan “Think Small”. The clever copywriting skills increased the sales of the brand’s cars. 

Brand Copywriting: 

Copywriting opens your brand’s communication channels with your customers. The copy contains everything your company is, along with the consistent brand image you want it to portray. From the logo to the products and services it offers, the copy says it all to your customers. 

Social Media Copywriting

With the essential copywriting skills under your belt, you have so many social media platforms you can market your business on. You can tailor your content by using the right captions, emojis, and puns based on your target audience, and their most used platforms. 

KFC UK is famous for its humorous tweets, for all ages. Their relatable content, memes, and videos market the products and the company effectively. 

SEO Copywriting: 

With the fundamental copywriting skills, SEO copywriting also requires using apt keywords and phrases for search engines, so that your copy is listed at the top of the search results. 

Direct Response Copywriting:

This includes any form of copy that encourages the target audience to take the desired action immediately. The examples of Direct Response Copywriting can be seen on website landing pages, pop-ups, and Limited offer ads. 

What does a copywriter do?

The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.”David Ogilvy 

Copywriters are professional content creators and product salesmen who sell their products and services through written copies to hundreds of customers at the same time, around the world. They understand what converts the audience from readers to customers, as well as how to market through various platforms such as Instagram, Google, and Brochures. 

A list of copywriting skills always come in handy to an aspiring professional in the field: 

Writing Skills

To produce different types of content, ranging from articles and research papers to short descriptions and slogans, the ability to write to make the audience take action based on your content is an indispensable copywriting skill. 

Communication Skills

The ability to speak up, collaborate with colleagues and clients, share ideas and initiate sales pitches requires effective verbal communication skills. 

Researching Aptitude

Researching is one of the most significant copywriting skills for complex writing projects and promotional materials for brands and businesses, to come up with appropriate and creative slogans and copy bodies, that help in outlining the product and reaching the targeted customers. 

Creative Thinking 

Writing content takes a lot of imagination, out-of-the-box thinking, and a creative bent of mind. Coming up with new and innovative concepts and ways to promote brands and businesses helps copywriting professionals be successful in their fields. 

Technical skills

Being tech-savvy is always an important plus to your job profile if you want to be an efficient copywriter since the position involves working around digital advertisements and marketing on various social media platforms.

What separates you from a content writer?

Copywriting is content written to aim at making sales, and promoting businesses. While content writing has different intentions, which might and might not target sales, it focuses more on educating the audience.  

On the other hand, copywriting is more direct and precise leaving very little room for interpretation. It tells the reader what the product is about, how it can benefit him, and how he can avail the product the soonest

8 STEPS TO A KILLER COPY

The mark of a good copywriter is that he’s able to reach and connect with his target audience and drive sales with his words. A killer copy is not complete without thorough product research, understanding customer psychology, and market analysis. 

Spreading customer awareness is the key to product sales. A copy is a killer when the content makes the client think, take immediate action and share further. 

Below are the 8 easy steps to an absolute killer copy to boost your business-

Know your Audience 

Understanding who exactly you are writing for hugely affects the content of the copy. Determining demographics, location, and general information is the obvious first step for outlining your target reader. 

While creating the outline of your target, ask yourself questions like:

  • Who do you aim to sell to?
  • What is your product?
  • What problems do your customers face, and how can you solve them?
  • What will the customer like about your product?
  • What’s so different about your product?

 Answering these questions in depth will alone carve out half of the content for your copy. 

Tone of Copywriting

The ability to maintain a continuous flux in your style of writing is a must-add to your copywriting skills list. As a copywriter, you’re required to be no less than a chameleon, in the world of content. Adapting to new situations and being versatile in your writing is the mark of a true copywriting professional. 

Being flexible whilst thinking creatively and out of the box is one of the most priceless copywriting skills for blogs, social media releases, web pages, and product copies. Each work expects a different and appropriate approach and tone. 

Being a polished writer doesn’t guarantee success as a copywriter. But adeptly playing with grammar rules, words and phrases, focusing on your readers, having a conversational and easy style, and having a great flow assures you an engaging copy. 

Coming up with new styles of writing for often used topics on the web is a challenge all copywriters face daily. The need to adopt a new tone every day can create a massive writers’ block for you. 

To overcome this, here are some things you can do:

  • Consider reading other blogs about the same issue. 
  • Take a little walk or some off-time for clarity, and come back later with a fresh mind and ideas. 
  • Explore, and develop deep know-how about the industry. Absorb the often used tone in the content posted. 

Unique Value Proposition

Volkswagen in its ad campaign cited all the features of its car that made it different from other car manufacturers. The brand was going against the fad of big cars and wanted to promote small vehicles. 

The copy of the ad contained all the advantages of having a small car. 

The copy focused on what set Volkswagen apart from other brands. 

Your copy should focus on highlighting what makes your brand a class apart from your competitors, and why you’re the perfect fit for your target market. 

For instance, Airtel, a mobile network company focuses hugely on its great network quality, since its rates aren’t the cheapest in the market. The brand targets audience who can afford high rates for nationwide, exceptional network strength.

Search Engine Optimisation

Thanks to the Google algorithm, the demand for exclusive, supreme quality content is everlasting. 

SEO copywriting is about optimizing your web page content by picking out frequently searched keywords and key phrases. 

Albeit keyword research is important, however modern SEO is more about constructing fascinating and relatable content that the audience wants to share and promote. With the rise of social media, one click can make your content go viral if the quality is exceptional. 

It is common knowledge that Google blacklists websites that overuse the keywords, just to boost their engagement. Subtly sliding your keywords into your content is the new cool and additionally a copywriting skill for you. 

Research

Research is an integral part of copywriting skills. Nearly 60% of a writer’s work hours consist of researching and surfing the world wide web, looking for appropriate content that can attract your audience and lure them towards the product you’re writing the copy for. 

A copywriter should have plenty of resources under his belt, offline and online. The ability to search for answers you have the least idea about is the key to successful copywriting. 

Staying up-to-date with the latest trends, current affairs, and social media helps copywriters to create fresh content all the time. 

Studying the audience and product essentially counts as ‘research, for product salesmen and copywriters alike, for producing appealing content online and face to face. 

Most of the time, a copywriter has to produce expert-level content without any previous knowledge of the topic at hand. The research process in those cases takes longer than the expected time. However, deep-diving into the information by asking yourself questions using “What, When, How, Where, Why and Who”, is a good trick for finding answers. 

David Ogilvy took 3 weeks of uninterrupted and deep research to come up with the concept of the famous 1958 Rolls Royce ad campaign. 

Persuasive Content 

Copywriters have to consider a lot of points while creating online content, to make it interesting and alluring. The persuasive writing style is another significant tool in the copywriting skills set. 

Recent research shows that 60% of the links are shared without ever being clicked.

This highlights the important role headlines play in your content. 

The headlines of your blog should scream why the reader should give your article his time of day. Including a benefit for the reader, and being clear and upfront is the most effective way to do so. 

  • “How to lose 10 kgs in 10 days”
  • “Top 5 Essential Copywriting Skills of 2021”
  • “Earn up to 2 Lakhs per month with simple freelance writing hack”

Choose your words carefully, each word in the headline should urge the reader to read further. 

Additionally, sub-headings should specifically sum up exactly what you’re about to say in the oncoming paragraph, in 2-5 words. 

Understanding user experience, and writing according to the expectations and capacity of your readers is a great way to engage your audience, and thus a fundamental element of your copywriting skills list. For this, using reader-savvy keywords, and creating tailored content along with understandable headlines and bullet points for fast reference helps you boost your engagement online. 

A crucial part of producing a persuasive copy is giving your content purpose. Writing for the sake of it is an epic fail because it does not have the conviction and confidence that your audience generally looks for in the content, to purchase the service you’re offering. 

Most customers reading your product copy will be looking for answers, and not just praises of the brand and telling them its success story. Your copy should speak to them as to why they should invest in your product. 

Strong Objection Handling

Stating the benefits of your product is quite an easy task. Writing about how amazing your product is, and how much the customers are going to love using your product is quite basic. However, positioning your brand in a way it solves your customers’ problems is a valuable copywriting skill. 

The pain points should be the focus, your copy revolves around. 

There are times when the customers aren’t even aware of the pain point. Spreading awareness about the problem and then providing the solution to it – your brand, pushes the market towards you. 

This is because, when you introduce a pain point, the first reaction of the reader is panic, which converts him into a customer by the end of the sales copy. 

This is exactly what happened with Peposodent in 1929. People were not aware of the problems associated with not brushing their teeth. So when the copy mentioned the “film”, the initial panic itself attracted most of the audience, dragging the others towards Pepsodent eventually.

Easy to spot Call-Of-Action

At the end of every sales copy, you might have noticed an eye-catching action button namely “Subscribe now”, “Order now”, “Book a call”, along with a benefit of the action. 

These call-of-action buttons are an invitation to the customer to take the desired action, after reading the sales copy. Once the brand has made all its points, as to why it is perfect for you, they include a call-of-action at the end.

A blog puts its “Subscribe Now” button at the end of an interesting read, while a trading company will invite its readers to browse its products or input information for a demo on their homepages or at the navigation bar.  

The benefits are often discounts on products, freebies, additional information if the customer takes the action via the button. 

CONCLUSION

A powerful and persuasive sales copy attracts business in huge numbers and helps in the growth of the brand. It is a result of well accumulated copywriting skills and creativity.

The best of products tend to fail if your copywriting skills are not on point. 

Top Consultants providing copywriting services often use these strategies to provide the best results to their clients

The complete guide is your way into the world of copywriting, to help you produce a copy that converts readers to customers in minutes. 

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Pooja Bhargava

Head of Operations at italics
Pooja is the head of operations at italics, a content marketing agency based in India. She manages content development and marketing for clients belonging to a wide range of industries. She is more than 8 years of experience in SEO content writing, copywriting, thought leadership and article writing. She is also a certified psychologist and an expert in analysing consumer behaviour to generate winning content

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