Mastering Copywriting During a Pandemic | Article – HSBC VisionGo
Copywriting creation is a challenge.
Creating copywriting that is engaging is an even bigger challenge.
Creating powerful copywriting can be one of the most cost effective marketing tools to attract visitors.
But where do you get started?
All businesses regardless of size or form rely on words to sell: whether that be words on social media, words on a website, face-to-face sales, or any other form of words. And now more than ever, these words are key in a virtual world to build a successful brand in all aspects of the online world - website, blog, and social media.
Discover below the few simple steps you can take to optimize your copywriting skills.
Expressing Your Message in Five Easy Steps
1) Don’t Overcomplicate It
A study done bye Forbes showed that when a writer makes things overly complex the reader will generally perceive them as less intelligent. When you attempt to overcomplicate your work, your writing will appear choppy with no flow. Read your writing out loud and ask yourself the following questions: Does it flow? Am I pausing in appropriate places? Do I sound natural?
2) Use Coherence Markers
Coherence markers are words and phrases that connect ideas, phrases, and paragraphs. Coherence devices used in writing can be: repetition, synonyms, linking words, and clear back referencing. This is key to make your writing flow naturally, when you do not connect your writing it may leave the reader guessing what you are trying to say.
3) Diversify Word Choice
If you find you are overusing certain words, hop on thesaurus.com and find another word. But don’t over do it, don’t pick words that may “sound fancy” and have the same meaning, choose words that you have heard before to ensure that you are using the words correctly.
4) Everyone Loves a Good Story
Marketing has evolved from brands shouting their message out to brands telling us a story to make us fall in love with their product or service. Why do stories work? Stories make people feel things and when people are emotional it propels them to take action. When you write, make it a powerful story that strikes emotion and you will find that your content automatically becomes much more engaging.
5) Be Authentic
Just be yourself when you write! Write how you would talk to someone, when you are talking to someone you don’t over complicate your speech -- you just speak! Stay clear to your message and don’t ramble on about random crap. When you are authentic your writing will convey trust and integrity to the readers.
Most Common English Grammar Mistakes to Keep an Eye Out For
This part may get a bit dry and technical but pay attention!
1) Apostrophes: don’t overthink it, they are actually a fairly simple punctuation.
There are only two instances when you should use an apostrophe:
Ellipsis: to make up for a missing character in a word.
Cannot → Can’t
I am → I’m
It is → It’s
Possession: to indicate that something belongs to something else.
The dog’s tail → The tail belonging to the dog
Rachel’s car → The car belonging to Rachel
Socrates’ students → The students of Socrates
2) There vs. They’re vs. Their: this one confused a lot of individuals so let’s break it down.
There = place
In Hong Kong there is delicious dim sum.
They’re = ellipsis of they are
They’re great people to work with.
Their = belonging to or associated with whatever was previously mentioned.
The café knew that their dim sum was the best.
3) Unreferenced This and Unreferenced It: what are you referring to?
This: I took my dog for a walk on a sunny day, this made me happy.
What made you happy, your dog or the weather?
It: I took my dog for a walk, it was cold.
What was cold, your dog or the weather?
Copywriting and SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. There are three key aspects of SEO:
Content Incorporates Key Phrases - words and/or key phrases that your target audience writes in a search engine to look for information that they are interested in.
Higher Rankings - by using key phrases and/or words your content will rank higher in a search engine.
Quality Traffic - when the key phrases and/or words you use are catered for your target audience you will avoid random traffic to your content.
Even though it is important to incorporate key phrases to strengthen your SEO don’t let it take away from the quality of your writing. They shouldn’t be repetitive, make your writing difficult to read, or lose your message. When you have high-quality content along with key phrases incorporated your content will likely rank higher in search engines. So write content that will engage and educate your readers but also content that appeases search engines and competes with content on the same subject matter. If you are not confident in your writing skills read a few books on writing, take a course to improve your skills, and most of all practice, practice, practice.
Decide what topic you will be writing about and research keywords that are associated with your topic. Use a keyword tool to quickly find words, phrases, and their rankings. Think of variations of the words that could be searched (pull out your thesaurus tool here as well)! Get in your target audience’s head: What will they be searching? What are they interested in? How will they find your content?
Put Time Into Your Headline
We are all guilty of putting in hours of writing a piece of content and then spending less than ten seconds on what the title will be. If you don’t have a captivating headline first off nobody will click through to your content and second off your content may not make its way to the top of a search engine. If you can, create authority over the subject matter you have chosen to write. For example, capture your audience’s attention through a catchy title and be clear about your knowledge on the subject.
So What Now?
Copywriting is a science and as a result it should be approached this way. By making a few small changes you can engage your audience and improve your SEO through copywriting. Successful copywriting is one of the most inexpensive ways to increase traffic and get your brand’s name onto a national or even international scale.
Director of Global Strategy