Starting to write copy and keep staring at a blank page? Let’s try to find ways to be inspired. Writing copy can sometimes be a daunting process, but it can also be a fascinating and inspiring one as we try to peer into the psychology of our readers. For the sake of this article, let’s use retail insurance as an example of a client.
While required insurance for your retail business is one of the most necessary financial products a business owner can purchase, writing a compelling copy for it is not easy. Or, at the very least, it can feel that way.
There are a few caveats with retail insurance:
- Retail insurance can use technical language, even though it is a necessity for an everyday businessperson.
- Some institutions will have a specific set of compliance rules that a writer must follow when discussing their products.
- Since retail insurance is a very personalised product, it is best to avoid generalisations.
So how can your copy for a retail insurance company stand out? Let’s take a look at a few short tips for getting your copywriting on the right track in an era of personalized marketing.
Know Your Audience Well
Before embarking on your copy project, remember that the most critical work begins before you type a single word! You have to know your intended reader … really well. Do your research and get to know what is important to them. Here are some sample questions that you must be able to answer before starting:
- What makes by target audience happy?
- What makes them upset?
- What problems are they solving on a daily basis?
- What are their biggest concerns?
- What are their goals?
It is best to narrow down your audience and make it specific and highly targeted. It is simply easier to talk to a single, particular person than to cast a large net with a single message. If you are not sure where to start, simply consider the most likely buyer of the product or service, and speak directly to that person. In the case of a retail business insurance buyer, this can be a small retail business owner. Choose a specific business, and target its fictional owner.
The Power of One
To ensure that your copy is tight and compelling, it’s best to have one main idea that intertwines throughout the whole piece, regardless of the size of the copy. If you get off track, the length will increase (not the worst of sins, however, as you can always cut later). The question is—how do we find that one main idea? Well, a good starting place would be to identify the biggest issue or problem that you are solving for your target audience. Then stick to that idea without distractions. Keep your stories to a minimum by shortening and paraphrasing when possible. On the other hand, if it flows and elevates the copy as a whole, keep it. At the end of the day, cut anything that doesn’t help your assertion of being able to solve their biggest issue.
Cut Out The Fluff
Here is a rule of thumb, once you’ve finished, go back and replace any words that are above junior high school level. We are not asserting that your readers can read past an 8th-grade level, it’s just you are competing with too many distractions, and your copy needs to flow as smoothly as possible, making it easy to read and digest. Take out any unnecessary words such as “really,” “very,” etc., and avoid wordiness as much as you can. Keep in mind—revisions are your friend!
As with anything, testing your copy is key. It will help you identify what works best (and what doesn’t work!) for your target audience and make the process easier next time. Sometimes, testing can bring out the smallest of changes—altering a font or a single word in a headline—that will have the biggest consequences.