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Creating Compelling Copy Part 1: The Importance of Compelling Copy

In today’s digital landscape, what you say and how you say it is more important than ever. 

You’ve probably heard a lot recently about shrinking down your content in the face of dwindling attention spans. Many businesses misunderstand this as an invitation to cut down on their written copy or even ignore its importance altogether. But it’s not about saying less – it’s about saying more but in a concise way. It’s about capturing attention and engaging your audience as quickly as possible. Connecting with them on an emotional, subconscious level. And these major coups can all be achieved through compelling copywriting

What is compelling copy, and why is it crucial for online success?

The written word still holds a lot of power. Alongside visual elements and branding considerations, any communication with your customers must resonate with them immediately. 

Like most things in marketing and PR, copywriting is a specialist skill. You’ll find plenty of social media posts and articles which allege it’s possible to use ChatGPT to take care of all your copywriting needs – and whilst AI can play an integral role in supporting your content creation, it can’t be relied on to produce marketing collateral that consistently hits the spot (more on that later on in this series.)

The need for copy that captures not only our attention but also our hearts and minds hasn’t changed. But what has changed is the way in which we construct compelling copy to inspire and interact with consumers on a deeper level. 

Some key benefits of compelling content include:

Increased social media followers and engagement: The importance of content excellence on social media cannot be overstated. Not when there’s so much to distract from your message. Well crafted content is the only solution to grab attention in such noisy rooms. 

Longer time spent on your website: The benefits of this are two-fold. More time on your site gives potential customers more time to engage with what you offer, and eyes on your content makes Google happy (more on this below).

Increased conversion rates and lower bounce rates: Great copy, which is strategically situated throughout the buying process, can help increase conversion rates by retaining user attention and encouraging increased engagement. 

Improved SEO performance: Lots of people think SEO copywriting is all about keywords. But whilst they do play a key role, the real skill is weaving them seamlessly into an article that satisfies your audience’s need for information. Google now prioritises both the relevancy of your words and the quality of your content based on how long people spend on a page. So more people reading your content for longer = improved SEO. There’s a delicate balance between quantity and quality to be struck here, as Google also favours regularly updated, relevant and informative content. That’s why many businesses use blogs and articles to enhance their SEO. 

Brand memorability and salience: As mentioned below, great content leaves a lasting impression. Consistently shared quality content helps to improve the public profile and keep your brand front of mind for your target audience. 

Copywriting vs content writing

Before going any further, we want to highlight that copywriting and content writing are technically not the same.

Copywriting: Written text designed to sell or persuade – such as ads, headlines, emails, etc.

Content writing: Written text designed to inform, educate and build relationships. More widely used for long-form articles and SEO. 

Although the terms’ content’ and ‘copy’ are often used interchangeably (we’ve done so in this article for ease), they do actually refer to different types of written text. But a blend of both is important when employing an effective digital PR and marketing strategy. So when we refer to either, we’re talking about both copywriting and content writing. 

Now that’s cleared up, let’s get stuck in!

How does compelling content differ from ordinary content? 

Compelling content causes you to take action or influences you to take action in some way. You’ll know you’ve encountered this type of content when:

  • You can’t stop thinking about it. 
  • Reading it caused you to change your mind about something (including a brand, business, person or product).
  • Reading it convinced you that you need something you don’t currently have. 

In essence, compelling content doesn’t just convey information. It invokes an emotional response which triggers a change in behaviour or action of some sort – such as making a purchase, signing up for a mailing list or choosing to follow a brand on social media. 

It’s worth noting that the average person is almost continually bombarded with ‘content’ – whether it’s display ads on websites, billboards, outdoor advertising or sales notifications in our inbox. We come into contact with thousands of pieces of content each and every day. 

Even in one scrolling session on social media a person could consume hundreds of pieces of content. This makes the need to stand out and say something that gets you noticed all the more crucial. 

Statistics that highlight the impact of compelling content

The importance of carefully written content is consistently backed by studies and research on consumer behaviour and marketing techniques. This makes the strategic sharing of influential content one of the most fundamental factors that separate successful brands from those that struggle to be seen and heard. 

According to SEO heavyweights SEMRush:

  • 97% of businesses surveyed said content marketing generated positive results
  • 53% said focusing on improving the quality of their content made them successful
  • 42% said updating existing content has boosted their content marketing value
  • Content quality and frequency are top-of-mind in 2023

CMI discovered that ‘content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing but costs 62% less‘, whilst Outgrow found that ‘compelling copy draws 7.8 times more site traffic and produces better brand recall‘.

The tools and techniques we use to craft compelling copy have also been studied extensively. According to Psychology Today, using the word ‘because’ and then giving a reason results in significantly more compliance, specifically from 60% to 94%.

How to write compelling content

Now that we’ve covered the basics of compelling copy and why it’s so important when building your brand’s visibility, you may wonder how to create it yourself. If so, we’ll be releasing Part 2 of this mini-series next weekSo subscribe to our newsletter to be alerted when it lands. 

Carefully written content involves a considered approach that assesses various aspects such as tone of voice (TOV for short), market research, and the implementation of various expert tools and techniques. In this mini-series we’ll dive into the different aspects and approaches of content writing you’ll need to discover and develop, such as storytelling, readability and co-creation. We’ll also cover some pitfalls to be aware of when crafting compelling content, including neglecting the basics, misunderstanding your audience and missing the mark on messaging. 

Check out Part 2 of this mini-series on Creating Compelling Copy when it comes out next week.

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