The Writer’s Guide to Creating an Effective Copy

A diamond is forever.

This slogan we’ve all heard of and grew up with is an ingenious creation from the imaginative mind of Mary Frances Gerety. The American copywriter used the slogan to save the declining sales of diamonds for the company De Beers Consolidated Mines. Created in the midst of the Second World War, the slogan aims to encapsulate the eternal love of a couple by owning a diamond band. Soldiers and many lovers took notice of the piece of jewelry, which equates to a boost in sales for the mining industry and grew inspirations that affect popular culture across many ages.

 

Upon a good deciphering of the situation, the thought of diamonds as a symbol of love’s infinity may have marked our culture for years. But we can truly say that the hero in this situation is the marvelous formulation of words by Gerety.

 

The power of a good copy has been underestimated for quite a while. Apart from having an interesting design, copywriting is another marketing device that helps businesses make sales and garner customers through interweaving words. It is an essential factor for marketing a product as it holds much of its substance and is the best way to transfer information to your customers.

 

A copy can determine whether your advertisement campaign will sell or not. And with many things to consider – from tone, design, and platform – an effective copy is more than just sales-making by the end of the day.

 

Let us share with you some guidelines in writing a compelling copy by mixing the modern and the quaint point of views of David Ogilvy and Susan Gunelius, who, like Gerety, know the value of a good copy and the great benefits that come with it.

 

THE PRODUCT

The product should be at the core of your copy. It is the foundation and the reason why advertisement is needed. By exploring what your product can do can stir your copy to the right direction. Having an in-depth knowledge of what it offers and the benefits the customers will gain from it are the vital factors you need to reflect in your copy.

 

Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers and ask yourself, “What’s in it for me?” As said by Gunelius, your customers need to understand how your product or service is going to help them, so having the right information in your copy can help your customers choose the product you’re selling as it is the best and it is practical.

 

In a nutshell, understanding the benefits that your product holds and using it as a promoting device is the key to successfully sell your merchandise. In this way, you make your product more tangible and available to your customers.

 

THE COMPETITION

Business is all about competition. Whether in the operations and sales of big brands or small enterprises, every business strives to be the best and uphold industry standards. And in this case, the saying, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” has never been more necessary.

 

After delving into what your product can provide, having a conscious mind in knowing your competitions’ business can be a game changer for you. Find out what everybody else is doing and improve on it. Come up with ideas on how you can make your product more advantageous and superior. Realistically comparing your product to the others and listing the elements that differentiate it can provide ideas you can incorporate into your copy that might catch the attention of your customers, and can downright make them choose yours over the other.

 

There are no shortcuts when it comes to creating an effective copy, so an extensive research and sampling will do you wonders. Upon knowing the elements your product has the upper hand at, weighing the risks and the potential rewards when you add it to your copy is the next step. Using claims and false promises can put all your advertising plans to danger. Taking calculated risks and having pragmatic eyes on every factor that involves your copy can save you from many marketing troubles.

 

THE CUSTOMER

With many advertisements roaming around the world, it is your job as a copywriter to bring the product closer to your customers through your words. Narrowing down your audience to a specific demographic can help you sell your product directly to the people that will respond positively to it.

 

One way you can achieve this is by doing market segmentation. It is a process where you divide your customers into segments based on different characteristics, traits, and interests. Here are some demographic profiles that can help you group your customers:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Family status
  • Income
  • Occupation
  • Interests

By narrowing down your customers, you can now create a copy that would appeal to them. By speaking their language and knowing their preferences, you can generate a relatable copy that will resonate to their deciding factor, whether to buy or not. Doing this can take your copy from something generic into something personable and they can rely on.

 

Ultimately, your customers just want to know what your product is and how it can help them.  The father of advertising, David Ogilvy, once said, “A consumer is not a moron. She’s your wife. Don’t insult her intelligence, and don’t shock her.” Even the great Ogilvy knows his place when it comes to his relationships with his customers. Your copy should pitch them your idea, help them understand, and advise them to make the best decision.

 

THE COPY

More than anything else, what we have discussed above should be reflected in your work. It takes time and energy to produce an effective copy. Even some of the best in the business spent days in crafting their work. Keep in mind that professional businesses demand masterful ads. So your copy being free from any errors is a necessity. Sending out an ad corresponds to a business, introducing themselves to the people. And that process can fail by mistakes that may affect the image of a business in the eyes of the customer. Proofreading your work can help you dodge those mistakes.

 

Headlines are the first thing your customers see. So it is the best spot to put interest in. 80% of the success of your copy depends on your heading. No matter how compelling your copy is, if it is topped by a lousy headline, it will not sell. Captivating headlines are read many times than the body itself. Keep in mind that your headline is the magic key to your customers’ wavering mind. Lose the key and you’ll never be able to unlock it.

 

Avoid putting too much information on your copy. With our fast-evolving world today, nobody has the time to read a long advertisement. Having a copy that contains extraneous details can overwhelm your customers’ mind and lose their interest. Remember to keep your ads simple. Give them the necessary information they need and hold their attention by putting a spin on your copy. Considering the platform where your ad will be seen can help you in maintaining your audience engagement. Normally, informative platforms for selling products like e-commerce websites and blogs opt for longer copies while ads seen on social media, newspapers, and prints are better with short content. At the same time, your ad placement can directly affect the success of your marketing plan. A good copy in the wrong platform is a waste of advertising investment.

 

And lastly, you want your copy to be paralleled with your customers’ reaction. Including CTAs to your copy can be a great way to end it. Whether it is a push of a button, a link to an online shop, to download an app, your copy should drive your customers to the next process which is experiencing the product real time. Doing this can increase the product’s selling point, awareness, and activity.

 

THE WORDSMITH

The last factor to consider in generating an effective copy is you. It is your job to create an argument. Making sure that your message stands out rests in your hands.

 

You should always treat your copy as important and maintain that kind of thinking. Understand the importance of doing it right and correct. Commitment to excellence and the “go big or go home” mindset is important to a great copywriter. Some people may have the nick for copywriting and some may require undergoing many hurdles in constructing one. But if you do your homework, research your competition, know what you have, and scribble down things that run on your mind may result to something rewarding in the future.

 

Who knows, maybe some of your work can be aligned to the creations of Gunelius, Ogilvy, and Gerety.  We can never tell if love and gemstones can stand the test of time. But one thing is for sure, and that is good marketing lasts forever.

 

Still troubled with words? Contact us and we’ll help you jazz things up. With our talented pool of copywriters, along with graphic designers, animators, and web developers, MicroCreatives have everything your business needs in producing effective ad campaigns.


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