What is marketing copy and how can you make it engaging? Marketing copy (also called content or text) is interesting information containing specific words about a specific niche market problem or challenge. This copy grabs a prospect’s attention and holds it using various writing mechanics.
Why does engaging copy hold the attention of a select audience? Because it answers questions that can improve their unique and usually unwanted or what’s missing life scenario.
Engaging copy also aligns with a person’s natural likes, dislikes, belief systems, cultural traditions and/or nature. But more importantly, people are uniquely individual. Specific types of words will connect more fully with a person’s own individual thinking style.
Lastly, copy can engage with a person by presenting uniquely opposing viewpoints to what is familiar to a person to elicit a response from them. The intentional negative polarization of a life story situation can magnetically engage a person to want or desire to find a solution. With your copy, you are engaging the brain’s problem-solving nature by giving it a negative or lack scenario, or challenge to work on.
What is the value in learning how to genuinely engage with others? You could ask yourself, why develop friendships and exert the necessary energy into maintaining them? When it comes to writing engagingly, when you understand someone, you can help that person see a new way of solving their problems.
Think about this …
When the x-ray machine first came out, people considered it to kind of be new agey. They didn’t want anything to do with it. Yes, it is true some people who agreed to be x-rayed died due to radiation over exposure. However, eventually specialists who use this technology figured out how to harness this power. Now, when you have a broken bone, you probably think nothing about getting the affected area x-rayed, right?
By learning how to write engagingly, you share information that can help greatly improve lives. So, if you want to attract new clients, learn about new discoveries, develop a meaningful relationship, invest energy into it. Engage!
Marketing copy persuades, motivates or inspires the reader to want to take action, to want to DO something, to improve things in that ONE life story. This story greatly matters to your target audience. You copy contains important information like that a good friend would share with you to help solve your problem or issue. Your marketing copy really connects and makes sense to the target audience reading it.
For example, suppose your copywriting customer sells training on how to ride a bicycle. A bicycle is a transportation tool. For most people, before they can successfully ride a bicycle, they need to be trained. So, it’s logical that training helps them solve their problem and achieve their goal of wanting to expertly and masterfully ride a bicycle.
As a copywriter, your project might be to write sales copy to sell a bicycle riding program. You’re tasked to write copy that excites, inspires, and motivates the ideal prospect to FEEL like buying this training is the perfect choice.
(Headline) Do Your Child Feel Frustrated Being Unable To Ride A Bicycle? (This headline grabs the attention of the ideal prospect in this specific scenario. The copy in this headline is addressing unwanted FEELINGS about a pressing concern to the target market. Your target market is parents of children who want to confidently ride a bicycle.)
(Write the body of the marketing copy by describing what the frustration FEELS like. You are using descriptive, engaging words so the prospect FEELS what’s really important to him or her. Your copy is a visual description of what you see happening as if YOU are the person actually experiencing the situation. In the copy, using the right words that stimulate a mental image in the reader’s mind. Your words should sound like the exact words the prospect thinks and says.) Here is the copy sample below in blue.
You watch your child enthusiastically stand on the left side of his shiny new, metallic blue bicycle. He grabs onto the handlebars. You smile as you see him look at those rainbow-colored streamers hanging out of each plastic handlebar grips.
He’s got this!
Oh no! Disaster strikes. His bike crashes down on the ground. Whew! Riding a bicycle is harder than he thought!
What would you give to see him easily hop on his bike and effortlessly ride? Instead, you can see his frustration and embarrassment. Not to mention the bruised knees and elbows.
Right now, he’s given up. He just doesn’t want to get on the bike again.
Usually marketing copy is designed to engage the reader in conversation about a situation for which you’re going to offer a solution. But notice in the blue script above, first we talk about the problem in a negative way without a solution. It keeps the reader emotionally stirred up. We focus on what hasn’t been achieved or owned so far.
When you write copy, it is necessary to “connect the dots” in the process of making things better for the prospect. In other words, you start by describing one unpleasant scenario in which the prospect finds him or herself.
A copywriter, you use written words and may also include photographic or clip art images in the sales pieces. You’re seeking to create want/desire for change, to improve one’s life.
Connect Emotionally With Your Prospect/Reader
Think about yourself and your own life stories. The thing that makes you aware that a change is necessary in that story is the emotional intensity of being without what you truly desire. For some, their “private hell” is being embarrassed, or shamed, harshly criticized, or unfairly judged as incompetent, etc. The awareness of being without the emotional feeling you want or need, is like being in your own “private hell.”
Copywriters that do NOT write in a way that proves they understand what really matters to a prospect write unengaging copy. Why? They haven’t written the copy in alignment with their prospect’s emotional concerns, desires and needs.
This is How You Make Marketing Copy “Go Wrong”
Your target prospect needs a new car. Your repelling headline is:
Are You So Fat You No Longer Fit In Your Compact Car?
(Note: This headline would be sure to turn people off!)
Maybe you’ve outgrown your car. Come to Bill’s Buy Here Pay Here cars. We have lots of cars. I’m sure we’ll have one to fit you and your needs!
This copy is uninspired and for some highly insulting. Note also pushing the car company before engaging the client is unproductive.
Note to copywriters: Think about WHY the ideal prospect needs a new car. Let’s suppose in our car buying example, the family needs a van now that they have grown in size. So, you would address what really matters to THEM in your copy.
Example of engaging copy for buying a car:
(Headline) New Baby, Toys and Rover Don’t Fit In Your Compact Car?
Body of ad:
Being without a van means Rover thinks every toy is his! You dislike dog slobber on your children and their toys. Life’s been chaos with children stacked upon each other like sardines. How long can you continue living (if you call it that) like this?
Now, imagine traveling to the zoo, school, play groups, or the doctor’s in a roomy, new van! Nirvana!
Rover’s in the far back. Woof! Your children are peacefully watching their own video screens, wearing ear buds.
You can’t remember when life was this peaceful. But you can imagine the future with a new dream of serenity. Togetherness happens without chaos in your new van!
Dealing With Sales Objections
Sometimes people say they want to experience a certain life story event. However, they may hesitate to adopt change that makes a different life story become real for them for various reasons. If your copy is NOT triggering sales, you have not yet found the keywords or keyphrases that effectively motivate your prospect to take action.
Common reasons people resist change include but are not strictly limited to:
- Fear and/or anxiety about making any changes
- Worrying that change may undermine their relationship(s) in some way
- Obsessive worry about perfectly making the “best” choice
- Thinking all change is bad or may have a negative, disappointing or unknown outcome
- Close-minded people generally being resistant to making any change
- A strong desire to please people instead of being true to yourself
- Fear of success
- Fear of failure
- Fear of being socially outcast, unacceptable or shunned by a group or someone perceived as very important to them
- Misinformation, incomplete or inaccurate information
People can think in these self-limiting ways and actually sabotage their own best interests. As a copywriter you are interested in improving people’s lives. You can help prospects be open to change that truly does benefit them. Do this by addressing the above issues as appropriate.
To help others discover new ideas that truly can better their lives, copy may need to contain one or certain aspects of any of the following concepts:
- Emotionally relevant
- Evergreen (meaning timeless)
- Personally meaningful
- Visually stimulating
Strategically using some of these viewpoints in your copy in the right places helps make marketing copy engaging. Specifically using certain writing mechanics helps prospective buyers confidently see the value in doing what’s necessary to achieve their goals or be happier in life.
3 Ways To Make Engaging Marketing Copy
- Engage your prospects mentally and emotionally with storytelling.
- Show how change is useful and valuable for your niche market.
- Storytelling can powerfully create change. People love stories.
- Your story begins with a negative scenario. Oh, No! There’s a problem!
- You continue the story revealing the perfect solution for your prospect’s issue. Now you can celebrate the solution! It’s a victory! Everyone wins!
- Engage your readers by befriending them. You copy shows that you are real, that you genuinely care. Caring builds client relationships. Then the story becomes all about your clients’ outcomes and solutions; value and benefits. It’s all about THEM. You’re caring about THEM and sharing those caring feelings in your copy.
- Engage with words that are meaningful to your client. Your copy is meant to inform, educate and interest prospects. Your copy is meant to inspire or motivate customers to take action to buy useful products and services. Writing effective marketing copy is a skill and an art!
Practicing will make your copywriting words skyrocket your message. People will be inspired and motivated to take action. By using nouns, verbs and adjectives to actively and descriptively engage your reader, he or she will feel completely understood and engaged. Goal accomplished!