Every business has to make sure content is top-notch on all channels and copywriting is a huge point of focus. It takes zest, research, time, and a lot of breath to craft a copy that engages, retains the reader till the end, and converts. In this article, we’re going to discuss the 3 step process to effective copywriting. But first, copy! (We mean, let’s define copy)
What is copywriting?
According to HubSpot, copywriting “is one of the most critical elements of any and all forms of marketing and advertising. Copywriting consists of the words, either written or spoken. Marketers use to try to get people to take an action after reading or hearing them”.
The way we see it, copywriting is the art-science of leveraging knowledge about your best buyer persona (pains, gains, jobs, language, etc.), the industry challenges and terminology, and the Search Engine best practices (organic keywords, content structure, link building, etc.). in order to create valuable, SEO friendly, and engaging content. You toss in some creative (but most importantly relevant) writing pieces that communicate your business values and messaging, while doing so in a unique style that positions your brand distinctively from your competitors on the market.
Hold on, doesn’t this seem to be like any other form of writing? You understand your audience and speak their language to connect with them, to intrigue them further about your content, and to showcase the value you might add to their lives… True! The Content Marketing Institute stated that 70% of people would learn about a company through articles rather than advertising. These copies don’t necessarily have to be about your brand: cohesive copies that prioritize bringing value to the audience, solving problems, and educating the customer are an absolute win!
Why do you need an effective copywriting process
Copywriting has become mandatory for any online business. No matter how big or small your company is, regardless of your industry or the type of products/services you offer. Hence, the short answer to that question would be: well, if you’re doing it frequently, you might as well automate it, right? Setting a copywriting process helps you create a clear guideline that you can constantly refer to (if you’re a copywriter). Or, if you’re a marketing manager, to your copywriting team or freelancers, as a way to harmonize your writing style and make the follow-up job easier for both of you.
There are a lot of processes out there. We’ve gathered the resources at the end of this article in case you want to read more. Ours is an easy 3-step process, not because we’re lazy, we just prefer a clear, simple process that everyone can understand. At first, prepare your tools and resources and make proper research, organize your draft, then smoothly initiate writing your copy.
A well-defined process will make you :
- Produce +67% more leads per month
- Upgrade your ranking enabling 434% indexed pages and 97% more indexed links
Sounds interesting? In this article, we will reveal how you can point the sail in order to take your copywriting to the next level.
- Research and examination
- The pain point
- Collect the research result
- Evaluate the competiton
- Planning and execution
- The headlines
- Body copy
- First draft
- Final result
- Succesful and good copywriting
- Secret ingredients to an effective copyriting process
Like any process, the discovery phase is an essential step to understand the client’s needs, the business in question, to assess the job to be done, and how to proceed. Taking this step meticulously will decipher your client’s demands in a prime way.
Research and examination
“Your job is not to write a copy. Your job is to know your visitors, customers, and prospects so well, you understand the situation they’re in right now, where they’d like to be, and exactly how your solution can and will get them to their ideal self.” – Joanna Wiebe
Start with having a meeting with the client and hand a questionnaire. Get to know their company and its products or services, their competitors, their customers and personas, their practices, their messaging, voice and tone to use in your copy, their SMART goals, their culture, values, and standards.
Prepare in advance a list of questions to create a clear overall understanding of the project. We like Dean Rieck’s direct questions list, posted in his 2008 Copyblogger article: “The 5-Step POWER Copywriting Method”.
The pain point
A crucial part of the research phase is to understand your ”hearer’s” pain points. Providing a solution to pains may your target audience is facing will come after a decent work of research based on the following :
- Go after reviews and comments: what is your target audience opinion and complaints
- Questionnaires and surveys: a direct path to dig into their problems and to review their satisfaction versus your recent offers
- Facebook & LinkedIn groups : Analyse and evaluate your target audience feedbacks and general experience
- Ask the sales team: they know your customers much more in depth and might refer you to some problems that you were missing
- Online forums (e.g. Quora, Reddit) : your audience might be hanging out there, asking questions and sharing their experiences, feedback and knowledge
Collect all information and answers, and now you have the right key point to start with. The next step is selecting the right tools to build your content structure.
Collect the research results
Create a detailed profile based on your client’s answers as well as your meetings or phone calls reports. Begin by evaluating and filtering all gathered information attentively, to elaborate an adequate space between their demands and your expertise. Then, scan their website, app, social media, and online store… In other words, analyze their online presence in order to be familiar with their writing style, their brand positioning, and their messaging.
Evaluate the competition
To finalize this phase, don’t neglect your client’s competitors. It is mandatory to check out what direct and indirect competitors have to offer. Analyze their keywords, the content structure, the tone used, their ranking on the search engine, and check what prospective backlinks you can acquire.
After collecting all the data required, it is time to present the first sample of the exploration work. That includes your content writing plan, where the type of copy, the voice, length, tone, and topic are eventually decided. Expect your client input to make sure you are heading in the right direction. Then, you can review your ideas and suggestions.
At this point, you have arranged all basic resources necessary for the content creation, including but not limited to the client’s vision. The following steps will enable you to plan the right assets in order to start your favorite activity: writing the content.
Writing SEO-friendly copy is a key element and a big challenge for every copywriter: you have to make sure you write clear, valuable, and high-quality copy, that speaks for your target audience and that is optimized for search engines. Your readers should be able to understand, enjoy, and take advantage of your piece: after reading your content, you should have solved a problem or guided them towards a better solution.
Your goal as a copywriter or any business is also to ensure higher Google rankings among the competitors to:
- Generate more qualified traffic at minimal cost
- Become trusted and perceived as an expert in your domain
- Influence and convince the readers to take action
Here are some ways to find keywords for better SEO copywriting :
- Find the right keywords : Using Semrush or any other SEO tool, you can apply filters by search volume (you want to have high volume keyword). By keyword difficulty (you want a keyword with low difficulty). Or search intent (you want to find specific keywords that match stages of your customer journey – or the intent : informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional intent)
- Find what people are asking for : Google, AlsoAsked, Quora, or Reddit are great sources to start with.
- Check your competitors : Are they using the same target keyword you’re using? If yes, how are they using them? And how much traffic is it granting them?
For more SEO effective copywriting process understanding, visit Yoast SEO ultimate guide.
Headlines are those one-sentence concise descriptions of your post: the title, including the topic and benefit you’re providing to the audience. They’re crucial in a blog post as they are the hook that attracts readers, picks their interest, and invites them to read your post. This is why you should dedicate considerable time to creating converting headlines.
The ultimate goal behind the headlines is to convince the potential reader to continue reading the article. Some best practices to writing headlines include the following elements :
- Key-value solution
- 1 or 2 specific keywords
- Numbers and data. The headlines with statistics had a 37% higher click-through rate 162% more impression
- Convey sense of urgency
There are plenty of formulas to writing outstanding headlines, Orbitmedia 2021 creative headlines are an amazing inspirational source to produce successful headlines that attract readers.
Subheadings are defined by Merriam-Webster as an additional headline or title that comes immediately after the main headline or title. Well-crafted subheadings can play a tremendous job by carrying complementary information to help complete the headlines.
Headings also make room for multiple sections in your copy. An airy, sectioned, dynamic, organized, and well-structured content allows for easy-to-read paragraphs that would be shorter, one-topic, and concise, allowing readers to focus more on each section of the article.
Now that you have your headlines, subheadings, and optionally a relevant image that goes well with the topic, it’s time to expand your writing. Normally this phase of the process becomes much easier since you have the key elements to open the door for your creative mind.
- Factual. To give your reader more descriptive information about the product/service
- Narrative. To give your readers extra information by telling stories
- Human interest. Make readers the center of your writing using emotions and storytelling
- Testimonial. Use testimonials by your previous clients to convince your readers of the credibility of your offers
- Institutional: To promote your brand reputation by sharing your values and philosophies.
- Add relevant quotes : they can be funny or business-y, according to the topic and the tone of your article
- Improve with data : the latest statistics, studies, research results from official data centers
- Include SEO recommended links from your favorite SEO tool (we love our Semrush)
- Support your content with an inspirational story : human beings love them, and they stick much more in their head !
- Add visuals : pictures, infographics, Gifs, videos that match your content
First draft copy
You’ve done all the previous work and you’ve succeeded to assemble a form of copy that looks cohesive, relevant, and presentable. Great! Now screen the first draft and rigorously examine the content in a final read, self-assess your writing, correct accordingly and give yourself a pat on the back for the tremendous effort you made, your patience, and the fact that you’ve made it.
But don’t jubilate so much! The marketing team still has to review your craft and give constructive feedback for further optimization trials.
We often go through this process multiple times before sending the final copy to clients, who also might have feedback. Important note: making a great well-made copy takes time, so be patient!
Once the content is reviewed, edit it as many times as needed, share it with the client for the last time, and call out your design team to add a creative visual touch and make the content even more captivating.
Successful and good copywriting
If your clients are happy with the final copy, proceed into the posting, and keep updating consistently an ongoing job: you want to check the content sources, the keywords, the quality of your backlinks (follow – no-follow), etc.
Displaying the date when the article was modified also gives authority to your article, it means you are following up with your content and making sure it is valuable for your audience. Moreover, people can credit your blog article more as we often search for recent data when looking for resources online.
Secret Ingredients to the effective copywriting process
“Every writer I know has trouble writing.” ~ Joseph Heller
The writing process isn’t easy, it is completely hard work that requires endurance, continual research, and constant knowledge refreshment. It also requires a lot of analytical thinking and planning: if you don’t know the topic that you’re going to write about, the persona profile and the tone of voice, in addition to the key messages you are trying to pass through the copy, there is no use of sitting in front of your laptop and creating that new white page (unless you want to stare at it for a good moment or write a copy that doesn’t speak to anyone).
The key elements are constructed even before you start writing! Layout your article outline, list your resources, check your list of keywords and silence your phone 🙂
This post covers the process of copywriting in a non-exhaustive way: our process involves research, competitive analysis, and examination till the production of the resulting information. As mentioned above, these chronological steps are essential to better understand what to write about, but more importantly, to get more instruction before beginning writing.
The second key point to head up in the right direction is to go for your target audience’s pain points, it is the only thing that will make your copy valuable since you will be providing the solution to a specific problem.
Don’t only stick to writing good lines and catchy titles: add creative images, well-designed infographics or illustrations, and meticulously filmed and edited videos, including the latest data, enrich your writing with quotes, examples, and tell stories. Put the puzzle pieces in their right spots, and Voilà! Your outstanding copy is ready! However, keep in mind that the main mission of a blog article is to provide value, in order to engage your readers, to educate them, inspire them, and appeal to them enough so that they want more of you.
If you have any feedback about our process or simply want to chat, leave a comment below and send us an email, we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have!
Do you like our copywriting process? Reach out to work with us!
The 5-Step POWER Copywriting Method – Copyblogger (January 24, 2008)
How Do You Research the Pain Points of Your Target Audience – Copywriter
The 7 Secret Steps That I Use For Writing Awesome Website Copy – Strategybeam (July 28, 2020)
How I Write Copy in Seven Steps – MichelFortin (April 16, 2015)
Copywriting 101: 6 Traits of Excellent Copy Readers Will Remember – Hubspot