Impactful copywriting: hooking your target audience

Bang! Wham! Pow! Got your attention? Good! impactful copywriting

Impactful copywriting is one of the best ways to get your copy noticed. It’s much harder than typing a bunch of comic-book phrases, but don’t worry – we’re here to help.

Why do I need to think about impactful copywriting?

The internet is a busy place. 73.9 million posts are published each month on WordPress – just one of many CMS’ available – so you can only imagine what the global total is!

Your content needs to penetrate all that noise to reach your target audience. Your written content needs to stand out, be proud and loud. It needs to make such an impact with your reader that they keep coming back for more.

Your message must speak directly to your ideal customer and appeal to their needs. Don’t be afraid to write about competitive topics. Take a stand, choose an angle and write with authority – this is Lesson One of impactful copywriting.

Getting to know your target audience

Lesson Two is: know who you’re talking to. If you don’t have a very clear idea of who your readers are, your writing will seem aimless and vague.

By focusing your attention on a specific demographic, you will become their go-to source for information in your industry. They will also associate you with the solution to their problems.

But how do you know who your target audience is?

First, think about you

Counter-intuitive as it may seem, the first step in defining your audience and considering how best you might reach them is to look at yourself.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What exactly is it that you do?
  • What is the main problem that you solve?
  • Who have you worked for before?
  • Do you have particular skills or unique knowledge?
  • In what subject(s) are you truly an expert?

Your answers can help you visualise an audience for your impactful copywriting and start thinking about how you can cut through the noise with your unique expertise.

Next, analyse your reader:

You already have a general idea of which audience you’re addressing, but now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. To create really targeted, impactful copy, you need to understand as many details as possible about your readers.

Consider:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Socio-economic status
  • Job role/decision-maker status
  • Industry
  • Point in sales funnel

After that, check out the competition

It’s always worth knowing what your competitors are up to. Look at who they’re targeting, and if they’re doing a good job.

Is there a gap in the market you can slide into? Or can you do what they’re doing better?

Finally, talk to them!

The only way to really get to know your audience is by talking to them. Ask existing customers to fill out surveys, and send out polls on social media. Conduct focus groups and interact directly with your customers.

Subscribe to the same blogs and magazines they do, and set-up Google alerts for any news topics they follow.

Another avenue for discovery is your sales team: they meet clients (and prospective clients) every day. They should know what they want and what they’re looking for from your brand.

Also, make the most of your content marketing analytics software. It can reveal a lot about your existing audience, helping you to focus your content with the art of impactful copywriting.

Examining your content marketing analytics can reveal your readers’:

  • Location
  • Language
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Searches
  • Favourite posts
  • Keywords

TIP: Create buyer personas that your whole department can use to target their work. This way you get used to focusing your content for a ‘real’ person, not an abstract concept.

6 ways to hook your audience

So, you’ve identified your fish, how do you reel it in?

1.      A truly brilliant headline

80% of readers never make it past the headline, so this is an important hurdle to clear.

A really good headline can make or break your copy, so make sure yours:

  • Creates intrigue
  • Is very specific
  • Highlights the benefit for the reader
  • Teases the content without giving it away

2.      Provide value

Copywriting will only be impactful if it’s of use to the reader, so make every word count. Don’t fluff your piece up with irrelevant information, and make sure that the piece is well-written and compelling.

A key element of impactful copywriting is demonstrating that solving the problem costs less than not solving it. Play on the stress, emotional upheaval and the risk to reputation that comes along with the problem you can solve. By appealing to the emotional side of the reader, you are sure to make an impact.

3.      Use evidence

Hundreds of blog articles are posted every second. It’s likely that several of them discuss much the same ideas as yours. You need to persuade your audience that you are the best of the bunch, and they should stay on your site.

Use storytelling, case studies, testimonials and statistics as proof of your authority. Make your audience understand that you are the only solution for them.

4.      Personalise your content

Not everyone in your target audience will like the same things. A high-level executive in his 50s will have different interests to a new graduate in their early 20s. So, get out those handy buyer personas and segment your lists into groups by age, location, net worth, role, industry and more to create a more personal angle and draw your reader in.

5.      Push your USP

The ‘Unique Selling Point’ may be one of the oldest phrases in marketing, but it’s still relevant today.

This is what makes you different. It establishes you as the unique solution to solve the problem. This is what will make an impact with your readers, so don’t forget about it.

6.      Drive them to conversion

Whether it’s downloading an e-book, signing up to a newsletter or even making a purchase, any conversion is a sign of impactful copywriting.

Use strategic keywords to entice the reader to convert, and move on to the next stage of the sales funnel.

After you’ve written your piece, there are a couple of other things to consider:

Impactful copywriting has a lot of benefits. You will develop a key following of people who are actually interested in purchasing your product, your traffic and conversions will increase. Perhaps best of all, you can build your reputation as an industry  thought leader and edge out those competitors with their boring headlines and generic copy!