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Something I often hear from business owners is that they can’t find the time to write copy and blog posts for their website and marketing materials. And even if they can find the time, they have no idea where to start.
I get it.
Writing effective copy and content does take time. I love it but I still find it draining and I’m always shocked at how much faster the clock ticks when I’m copywriting.
And I know only too well how easy it is to start writing and lose direction.
Like most things, it’s all in the planning and in this three-part series I’m going to share some copywriting formulas that will not only save you time but help you get organised and write copy that packs a punch.
I’m going to start with an oldie but goodie: AIDA.
If you’re a copywriter or marketing type, you’ve almost certainly heard of this one. It’s the first copywriting formula I learned when studying The Complete Copywriter with the Writer’s Bureau. (I later went on to study Breakthrough Copywriting with The Copywriting Academy and Hubspot Inbound Marketing).
What does AIDA stand for?
“Okay” you’re thinking “But what does that actually mean?”
Here’s a breakdown:
Attention pretty much speaks for itself.
It’s the first opportunity you have to get the reader/potential customer’s attention, so it has to be good.
Usually, the headline is the first thing to catch attention, although increasingly superb imagery is needed too, particularly for on-line copy.
Avoid click-bait headlines that don’t deliver on their promise. Probably the best way to get the reader’s attention is to think about what your ideal customer wants to know, so that your headline offers help.
There’s nothing wrong with a headline that ‘does what it says on the tin’. At least your reader know what they’re getting from the off.
You may choose to be controversial or humorous, but think carefully about how this will translate to the reader. Shock-tactics might get you the wrong sort of attention and do your business more damage than good.
So the reader needs to have a reason to keep reading. The mistake many people make is to instantly start talking about themselves and what they do.
Bit of a turn-off, yes? But easily done.
A better strategy is turn the attention round to the reader and work out why they should keep reading.
Look for their point of paIn. What problems are they having? What impact is this having on them emotionally, physically, financially? What are their fears? Hopes? Dreams?
You will need to have a pretty good idea of who your ideal customer is to be able to tap into these emotions. If you’re unclear about who you’re trying to attract, you might want to take a step back and get really clear on who you’re writing for first.
Be clear on your ideal customer. Who are they?
Desire This is the point at which you influence your reader to want what you are offering.
Again it’s easy to start talking about what you do. Of course your reader does need to know what you have to offer, but you need to move swiftly on to what your product/service is going to do for them – how it will benefit them.
You want your reader to spend their hard-earned money on your product or service.
Think about this from their point of view.
Why should they?
What’s in for them?
For example, if you’re a massage therapist, don’t just tell them you offer great massage therapies and waffle on about all your massage qualifications. (You can always do this on a separate About page).
Help them visualise why they should get a massage. What are the benefits of having a massage? How are they going to feel after?
Avoid words such as ‘amazing’ and ‘brilliant’ to describe what you offer (if it is, they will tell you in reviews and testimonials). Instead, paint a picture of how it will improve your customer’s life.
- Get a great night’s sleep
- Feel less anxious or depressed
- Get relief from back or shoulder pain
- Feel more confident and focused
- Enjoy some time and space away from their responsibilities
- Feel happier and healthier
And finally, Action.
This relates to Call to Action and it’s super important because if your reader has decided they do want to get in touch, you need to make it easy for them to do so.
Make sure your contact details, preferably a telephone number, are clearly see on every page of your website, not just the contacts page. And make sure they are clear and easy to read.
If you have a contact form, make sure it’s right there in front of them. (I’m going to write more detailed blog posts about calls to action in the coming months so look out for those.)
AIDA is probably the most well-known copywriting formula around. Some consider it old-fashioned and cumbersome.
I think it’s pretty good but in my quest to consume as much copywriting know-how as I can, I’ve discovered some other formulas which I believe to be easier and more effective than AIDA.
I’m going to share these with you in parts two and three of this series – coming soon.
Until next time.
I do hope you found this blog post valuable.
I’m always open to constructive feedback so please get in touch if you want to discuss. And feel free to share with your friends, contacts and social media.
Want to hand over all that time-consuming copy to someone else? Drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the simple form below and tell me about your project.
I’d love to work with you.