If copywriting is salesmanship in print then all you;ve got to do is weave a benefit laden pitch that will persuade anybody to buy, right? Well, whilst that’s generally true, what you’ve also got to consider is that different people respond to words in different ways.
The trick is to write in a style that appeals to your target group, rather than to as wide an audience as possible. You have to give your copywriting a personality that resonates with their attitudes and aspirations. And you need to reflect the personality of your client at the same time.
Why is personality important?
The internet can seem a robotic, impersonal place, so web copy generally needs to be more chatty and friendly than its offline version. The attention spans of online readers are also akin to that of goldfish, so you want your copy to be lively and energetic if you want to engage their interest and stop them swimming away.
The words on your website also define how you speak to visitors. A picture might say 1000 words, but no amount of jpegs are going to make as much of an impression as your writing.
People gauge the attitude and personality of your business through the words that they read. Are you a serious corporate organisation ‘driven to exceed expectations’ Or a fun loving, funky start up?
Different copywriting styles appeal to different personality types (which I’ll discuss in the next post). So you want your copy to speak in a language your target market will be happy to listen to.
So how do I give my copywriting personality?
Moulding an impression of your target buyer is one of the key tasks you need to do before you sit down to write. It’s not just what you say but the way that you say it, and your copywriting’s personality needs to engage with the passions, desires and habits of its audience.
To understand how to pitch your writing, you should be able to get plenty of information from your client on the types of people they sell to. Whether it’s hardnosed B2B buyers demanding the ‘optimum solution’, trendy self-conscious types or the data loving technically minded, you need to match the personality of your writing to that of the person you’re trying to seduce.
A useful tip is to behave like a method actor and immerse yourself in the websites and magazines your target group reads. Analysing the style of writing, noting the language used and copying some of it out (for practice) will help you to develop your copywriting’s personality.
When copywriting personality becomes a differentiator
Innocent drinks are the poster child for many aspiring start-ups. Launched by a group of milkshake infatuated friends with limited cash, over the course of nine years they’re now one of the UK’s most popular soft drink brands.
Standing out from the crowd is difficult in any marketplace. One of the ways they differentiated themselves, from all the other brightly coloured labels, was through their copywriting.
Their copy presents them as fun, quirky and witty. They were the plucky upstart taking on the big corporate brands, with a new approach to business, and people loved it.
Innocent drinks now dominate the UK smoothie market, and it’s in no small part due to the personality of their copywriting.
So what’s your copywriting’s personality?