Copywriters are the public speakers (aka storytellers) of your brand. They know the ins and outs of your company’s persona and are eager to tell audiences about the many benefits of your business.
However, with public speaking, one doesn’t usually find their way to a stage and expect to engage the entire audience on their first go. Even the most effortless of speakers have learned to adopt a structure that keeps the audience emotionally and physically engaged (laughing and clapping, for example), while glued to the edge of their seats.
Not quite sure you believe me? If you have 18 minutes to spare, listen to this TedX talk by Nancy Duarte that breaks down the secret structure of great talks.
Just like public speaking, copywriting is a skill with unique and nuanced formulas made to keep your audience engaged and glued to your content. Let’s take a look at two of the most valuable ways to engage with your audience, and create a connection between the consumer and your brand.
Call out the problem
If we took every fresh piece of content we wrote and approached it as though we were initiating a new relationship with the consumer – intros, small talk, then happy “see ya laters” followed closely by “let’s do this again sometime” – the majority of what would find itself on the page would be a colossal waste of time.
Why? Well, the answer is two-fold.
- The average web user only reads 28% of what’s written.
- 95% of decisions are made subconsciously, meaning they are mostly emotion-based decisions that guide action.
When it comes to writing content, it’s important to capture the visitor's attention...quickly. Readers generally seek out the Cliff Notes version of the content, and one of the best ways to do this is to make sure you call out the problem.
Appealing to a visitor’s pain points and vulnerabilities might not seem like the most positive and effective content writing strategy at first, but it certainly is. With the rise in popularity of search engines like Cha Cha to Ask Jeeves to Google, consumers are seeking out the internet to answer every question under the sun. And, when your killer SEO strategy gets them to your site, it’s imperative you start answering them.
By skipping the formalities and jumping straight to the problem, you’ve already started executing the perfect storytelling formula:
- Acknowledge the problem
- Is your freelance copywriting gig struggling to take off?
- Agitate the problem with proof
- 37% of freelance copywriters still struggle to find clients.
- Provide a solution
- Fine-tune your elevator pitch and research your industry.
- End with a Call to Action (CTA)
- Download our free eBook for easy tips and tricks to get your business clients, in no time.
Run your own race
Once you’ve acknowledged a problem and adhered to a formula, you can enhance the appeal to the audience with more detailed content. But, always remember, your content should only be as long as it needs to be. No more.
Most often, the shorter version of any content is the most powerful. That being said, however, don’t sprint out the gate attempting a personal best time on writing your first draft. Keep the momentum going with powerful and relevant language, but don’t treat writing content like a marathon, either (even if you lean towards writing long-form content).
Essentially, always keep a critical eye on the goal of your content. Are you looking to capture leads? Is your aim to sell more products?
Keeping sight of your content goals will determine how long your content needs to be and the type of story you’ll need to tell the audience.
For example, with lead generation content, you might need to dive deeper into appealing to the emotions of the audience. Since the goal of lead generation is to build and nurture leads before transitioning them to sales opportunities, your content should act as a conduit of trust and value within your industry.
With sales and price content, it’s important to overcome objections over various pricing differentials, which takes a bit more time. Spending focused attention on spelling out the pros of your product versus the cons of another will benefit your company and it’s business goals.
Don’t fall victim to the comparison game. Run your race and write the exact amount of copy necessary to achieve your objective. This strategy will make your content more powerful and will ensure visitors respond to your work as a place of value in the industry.
Even with a clear and concise structure to work with, creating great content takes time. Play around with your strategy to see what works, what doesn’t, and what feels the most organic to you and your writing.
Eager to learn more about how great content marketing directly relates to the growth of your business? Schedule your free consultation!