When I thought of the idea for this blog post, I was SO EXCITED to create it.
But before we dive in, have you downloaded my ever so popular FREE eBook – 108 Social Media Content Creation Ideas?
Well, if you’re struggling with social media, and content creation and ideas, this is the eBook for you – and hey it’s free! If you get it, read it, print it out and look at it all the time, it will change your life (or at least your social thinking challenges life!)
Now, back to this blog post.
I have been talking copy a little lately, with friends, with colleagues, in posts, on my podcast with Brenna – go listen to episode 60 if you didn’t catch that one.
And these discussions I’ve been having surrounding copy have had me pondering on ways to break through in our marketing because:
- Social media is so busy.
- Our inboxes are so busy.
- We are so busy and so are our clients or customers.
It does take a certain magic or certain power to stop someone in their tracks to stop, open, read, react, engage or take another action.
And you may well ask, “Why do I need good copy?”
The answer to that question is in those three dot points above.
We are aiming to get someone to stop, read and take action!
Otherwise, we are just writing emails and captions and brochures to tick a box.
If we don’t want the reader to feel something, react somehow or take some action, it’s a question of “for what purpose” are you doing it then?
They are literally three of the most powerful words in my business.
FOR WHAT PURPOSE.
In life, the three most powerful words are I LOVE YOU, but in business they are FOR WHAT PURPOSE.
Such a love hate relationship it has a podcast episode all of its own – episode 37 – worth a listen!
So, it’s the power or the magic in the words that I am writing about today.
There’s really three steps to writing good copy, I believe.
The hook, the first bit.
The hooks only job is to get to get the email opened or to stop the scroll on social media or to get someone to read the brochure and so forth.
It’s only job is to engage the reader – grab their attention straight up.
In an email: it’s the subject line.
On Instagram: it’s the start of the caption (so important here because we can only see the first few words).
In a Story (on Instagram or Facebook): it’s the words put over the video to capture those scrolling without sound on.
On Twitter: it’s everything!
On Facebook and LinkedIn: it’s the start of the caption.
Now, the hook can have helpers – like emojis or different fonts, or other tools used for the same reason – to stop the scroll.
I once heard Marie Folio say on a podcast that she writes at least 30 hooks before she get to the one she wants.
She writes down 30 iterations of a hook and says it’s only then that the gold comes…
While I admire that and strive for that myself, I haven’t done that.
However, if you are finding it hard to write good hooks or subject lines – perhaps consider writing more to find the gold!
Some examples that I have seen that I liked (and did the job of hooking me in!):
- It’s either me or the meatballs?
- I need a new face … or I will soon
- A bird pooped in my hair
- The juggle is a load of shit
- I’m in town, can we grab a coffee
I was recently doing a presentation talking about “hooks” in the rural town of Deniliquin – and I suggested a hook of “Deni is DEAD”
The room all took a breath at once in shock – but that is a perfect example – if everyone in the room saw that headline – they’d read on in curiosity or in disgust!
Either way, I had their attention.
So experiment with hooks – read captions and emails differently now and see which ones got you to open or engage and note down the why and what was said – build yourself a library of hooks used on you, and use these as a jump-point for your own!
Obviously, after the hook, comes the body.
Clearly once you have them with your hook you need to back this up and stake your claim of attention.
The body can go many ways, but the two I want to talk about today are:
- The value adding post
- The story post
I talk about the 3 E’s of social media – your posts on social media should always be either:
- Engaging with value or
Again, if your posts are not hitting those three things, then ask yourself “for what purpose?”
So, what is the value adding post? Well, it’s exactly as it says.
What value are you adding to the person reading this post or email or brochure or wherever the copy is?
Value can come in many forms, including
- Giving hints or tips or tricks about something they are interested in – like this – how to write good copy!
- Perhaps you’re telling them about a product you have that would save them time, money, energy, stress or so forth,
- Perhaps you’re adding value telling them about your sale, offering a discount voucher or whatever
The thing to remember about “value” posts, is that it’s not actually about you – it’s more about “what’s in it for the reader”.
The story post – now that’s a bit different.
It will commonly be about you, the story might be about you, but the lesson, the lesson behind the story and the reason why you are telling it, well that’s for your audience.
So basically, it’s a value post in disguise of a story!
Stories with messages are as old as the bible or as the children’s books we read as a kid, or read to our children.
The story might have been able how a big wolf tried to eat three little pigs, but the moral is that good will triumph over evil (eventually … you just need more bricks) – or something like that!
Again, watch for this in posts and emails that you come across. Start looking and reading things a little differently.
Look at them as a marketer (and yes, you are a marketer – if you’re in business, you’re in the business of marketing!)
THE CALL TO ACTION
Finally, it’s all about the call to action!
What’s the whole point of grabbing their attention, holding it while they read all about your value or your story only have to them scroll on when they are finished, or click out of the email for the next or put the brochure in the bin after reading it …
WHAT DO YOU WANT THEM TO DO NEXT?
I am a firm believer in starting with the end in mind, so this should be where you start.
I want my client or customer to do x.
So how do I get them to do that, oh, I know I’ll use this hook and this story and ask them to do x afterwards…. And Bingo!
It doesn’t have to be at the end – it just needs to be there!
I have put a number of calls in action in this blog already, and there’s more to come.
On Instagram – it could be as simple as:
- double tap if you agree
- comment below if this has happened to you too
- share with a friend who needs to hear this or see this
An email might be similar:
- click reply and let me know x
- forward to a friend
- come follow me on Instagram or Facebook or join my group
Or on any of your social media or marketing:
- Give me a call
- Come visit my shop/office/business
- Use this code to get x
All are calls to action.
Pinkie promise me after reading this, that you will never ever put another post up on social media or do another piece of marketing that doesn’t have a call to action!
You know that saying, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink – well you freaking can – you just have to ask and ask again!
Don’t leave your fans/customers/clients hanging wondering what to do next.
So, there’s my three step formula for writing good engaging copy – engaging being the operative word.
- A hook
- A value or story based body
- A call to action
I’d love to know what you think. Is this how you’ve always done it, is this concept new, do you use calls to action? Let me know inside the Like Minded Business Owners Facebook group.
If you’re enjoying this blog, can I please ask you to do me a favour or two?
- Subscribe to my podcast – and you never know when I will drop some exclusive content subscribers. Like episode 61A – only subscribers got to know about that content!
- Could you share with this a friend? Another superstar business owner who’s doing the daily grind and would appreciate someone making their business simpler, and
- I’d love you to leave me a rating or even a review if possible.
See you next week the next blog. But in the meantime, let’s hang out on social and get social on social – you’ll find me on Instagram, Facebook and my fave LinkedIn.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenn Donovan is a marketing strategist and social media extraordinaire, coach and mentor to savvy business owners. Owner and Founder of Social Media & Marketing Australia.
With a passion for making business simple, because it’s isn’t easy but it should be simple or at least simpler, she’s built a reputation for helping other small business owners simplify their marketing and businesses so they can reach their goals, be more profitable and live the dream (finding the freedom they set out to achieve when they started … the illusive small business owner freedom dream …!)
Jenn believes in giving before asking and that’s why she’s the host of the popular Small Business Made Simple Podcast