As a business owner or marketing manager, you’re probably no stranger to the constant barrage of copywriting hype flooding your inbox and social media feeds.
It’s easy to get swept up in the wave of promises and guarantees that come with every new marketing trend (hi, ChatGPT!) But before you jump on board, take a step back and evaluate whether these tactics are truly worth your investment.
What does hype look like?
Let’s be honest here.
When business is slow, it’s hard not to be drawn in by the promises of quick results and more conversions. But it’s essential to learn how to spot hype so you don’t get taken in by it.
A common one is the promise of overnight success through some ‘one-size-fits-all’ tactic. For example, using headlines bordering on clickbait, long-winded sales pages, fake urgency through pre-recorded webinars, or aggressive sales language.
Some marketing “gurus” will claim these tactics will give you an immediate boost in sales or website traffic, but this is usually a false economy. Like buying the cheapest possible version of an item to save money in the short term, only for it to crap out on you in a matter of days.
Context is important here, as the cheap tricks may actually work for some industries — but it’s equally off-putting or downright inappropriate for others.
At the moment, we can see the overuse of buzzwords and trendy phrases like “growth hacking” or “disruptive innovation“, but what do they even mean?!
To avoid falling for copywriting hype, focus on strategies backed by data and research. Get to know your target audience with market research, craft content that speaks to their concerns, and try different messages to find out what works best.
Effective copywriting takes time and effort, and there are no shortcuts to building a successful brand.
The ABC approach is outdated — ignore it!
Please tell me you’re not still following the ABC approach to copywriting — i.e., Always Be Closing!
If you don’t know what this is, this approach involves using aggressive sales language and tactics to push customers towards buying a product or service by any means necessary. These days, this approach is outdated and can be detrimental to your business.
Today’s consumers are savvy and can easily spot when they’re being sold to. They don’t want to feel like they’re being pressured into making a purchase. Instead, they want to feel like they’re making an informed decision based on their own needs and preferences.
I mean, when was the last time you bought something after being hassled by a persistent salesperson on the high street?
You can use copywriting to sell without being too aggressive. Instead of trying to make sales, work on building trust and getting to know your customers. Speak to their needs directly, answer their queries and concerns, and be direct about your products or services.
By taking this approach, you’re likely to increase the likelihood of repeat business and referrals. Your customers will appreciate the value you provide and will be more likely to recommend your business to others.
Being authentic doesn’t mean oversharing
This one might ruffle a few feathers, but it’s an especially significant point for small owner-managed businesses.
Being honest is key, but don’t get too personal. We’ve all seen it on Instagram and LinkedIn.
Oversharing can lead to a self-centred approach to marketing, where the focus is on promoting yourself (or soothing your ego) rather than providing value to your prospects — and this can be off-putting for potential customers.
To avoid turning people off, keep your messaging client-focused:
- Get to know their problems and needs, and use your copywriting to speak to them in a way that answers their questions.
- Avoid using too much industry jargon or technical language that may confuse or alienate your audience. Make sure your messaging is clear and understandable, but also emphasise the value of your products and services.
- Keep an ear out for customer feedback. See what people are saying about your brand on social media and review sites, and use that to up your marketing game.
Remember, the key is to provide value and build trust with your prospects, rather than just promoting yourself.
In a world full of copywriting hype, it’s easy to get lost in the noise. But there’s no need to buy into the salesy ‘ABC’ technique for your small business.
Instead, take a soft approach that builds sustainable trust and establishes a relationship with your audience. Remember, being authentic doesn’t mean oversharing — it means keeping your focus on your prospects’ needs and preferences.