When thinking about succeeding as a small business owner, effective copywriting probably isn’t at the top of your list of strategies. However, effective copywriting can make a huge difference in your business, attracting customers and increasing sales.
If you’re not sure what “copywriting” means, essentially it’s writing you do to promote your business or otherwise contribute to your sales process. For instance, blogs, social media posts, long form content like ebooks, prospecting emails, and the text on your website are all examples of copywriting. When done effectively, copywriting can impact your business in a major way.
Don’t be scared by the “writing” portion of this topic. You don’t have to be a great writer or a professional copywriter to write powerful content that converts. Below are 4 examples of how effective copywriting can increase your small business sales.
1. Emotionally connect with prospective customers.
One of the most important facets of copywriting is connecting with your target customers. Many entrepreneurs and rookie writers make the mistake of writing about why their company/product/service is great—rather than writing about what the prospect really cares about (what’s in it for them). Yes, those can be one and the same, but it’s critical to frame your writing toward customer needs, challenges and pain points.
So rather than saying, “ABC Company is releasing a revolutionary new feature, X,” instead write, “Save time and dedicate staff to essential business needs by taking advantage of X, the newest feature announced by ABC Company.” See the difference? Start by sharing the benefit to the target customer: how will it make their life easier, what problem will it solve, etc.
Here’s a tip: One of the best ways to start thinking in the shoes of your target customer is to create one or more buyer personas. Learn more about creating and using buyer personas here.
2. Get found easier online.
Besides speaking to and emotionally connecting with your customers, it’s important to consider SEO (search engine optimization) when discussing copywriting. This pertains mostly to the copy on your website, including blogs and other articles.
The main goal of SEO is to have your website (or any page from your website) show up early in Google or other search engine results. This can be extremely valuable, as someone who searches for a topic related to your product/service can find you organically. Now, SEO is a giant topic in itself, but there are basics that anyone can apply to their business:
- Find out what people are searching for, otherwise known as keyword research. Don’t assume you know what your target customers call your type of product or service. For instance, you may market your consulting group as “business consulting” but people may be searching for “business coach” instead. Here’s a free tool to help you discover what people are searching for.
- Once you determine the words people search for, incorporate them into your website—naturally. Your goal is to get Google to recognize that your website is relevant to “business coach” searches (or whatever your topic), and show your site in top results when people search that term.
- Blog, blog, blog! Google tends to favor sites that have a lot of relevant content AND have new content published on a regular basis. Develop blog topics around the keywords you identify, and blog on a regular basis, incorporating those key terms.
If you want to learn more about SEO for your business, check out this free ebook.
3. Move customers through the pipeline.
We’ve talked about blogs and web pages in relation to copywriting, but effective copywriting doesn’t just apply to longer written pieces. A short email, landing page or even just a call-to-action (like the one below) all incorporate copywriting.
Again, no need to be a writer. The best way to nail down these areas are using your knowledge about your customers (and speaking to them directly in the copy), and testing different language, format, colors, etc., to see what performs best. Great copywriting in an email or landing page can entice prospects to read your blog, download a content upgrade, start a free trial and even purchase a product or service.
4. Grow your brand and become an influencer.
Of course, there are many ways to attract customers and grow your small business (and most of them include some form of copywriting). This tactic isn’t as direct as writing a sales email or promoting a free trial, but can be just as effective.
Use your knowledge and expertise about your industry or niche to establish yourself as a trusted source of information. Your goal here is to become recognized in the industry as a thought leader or influencer, which will attract more prospects to you. This doesn’t have to be complicated; most of the time it simply means translating your expertise into a blog, social media post, guest blog or other content (for example, video and other media can also grow your online footprint and reputation).
Hopefully these tips inspire you to examine the copy your business uses, and explore ways to improve it. For even more inspiration, check out these examples of effective copywriting in action.