Copywriting is one of the most misunderstood professions in the marketing and advertising world. Some people think it’s a one-stop-shop for all things design and marketing-related, others aren’t sure of the difference between copywriting and content writing. Most people think it’s to do with trademarking (copyrights)!
This guide will help define it and introduce an original framework, C.A.L.L., that simplifies how businesses can climb to the top of their game.
To understand what copywriting is and why it is undeniably essential to business growth and success, keep reading.
The customer journey should be your focus as a business
A “customer journey” refers to the shopping process a person goes through from ‘Step 1’ to ‘Step Buying’.
For online business-to-consumer brands (B2C) this usually goes something like this:
- First becomes aware of the brand through a blog, social ad, group, referral or by Googling
- Checks out the company website or page and starts browsing
- If they like what they see/ read they start browsing deeper
- Find products they like and add them to the cart
- Makes a decision to purchase or leave the site
- If they buy, they receive the product and either love or loathe it
This is HIGHLY simplified but it shows the average consumer shopping process in a nutshell.
Reading between the lines
What you CAN’T see here are the subtle things that gently move the customer through this journey, from awareness to consideration to purchase to loyalty.
And this is where most businesses fail. By not paying attention to this journey and how they can impact it, they are increasing the chances of a customer leaving their site/page. It’s not enough to simply have your products physically displayed on a website expecting them to sell and for customers to keep coming back by default.
So, what are these subtle things I speak of?
The C.A.L.L. framework
Think of your customer’s buying experience as an emotional rollercoaster. B2C customers tend to make purchases based on emotion so consider these C.A.L.L. actions as “emotional stages” in the customer journey.
The philosophy behind this emotional rollercoaster is this: when the customer first sits down in the cart (gaining awareness), they then start rolling forward and building excitement (exploring your company), as the ride gathers momentum and the big loops and drops start coming (excitement turns to joy) it’s at this moment your customer is most susceptible to make a decision. In short – Build the excitement and ask for the action (buy, enquire, download etc) when they are at the apex of their emotional journey.
Breaking down the emotional stages
Lets’ look at these 4 stages in more detail now, why they matter and how a copywriter addresses these emotional drivers.
The first emotional stage is curiosity. Now, a customer might already be aware of a problem or challenge they are trying to solve which prompts them to search on Google (or another platform) for a solution.
Or, a customer might not be aware or have identified a problem until they see your product or service, prompting them to think about it and explore further.
Either way, it’s your business’s job to make sure that the first impression is one that stands out and lands an impactful punch that gives customers all the feels.
You need to pull them into your brand and this is where copywriters can help:
- Research – copywriters dig deep to identify what your customer’s most common challenges are for your industry/ product or service type. We research competitors to see what works and what doesn’t, what demographics use these sorts of products/ services and so on. This information is used to create buyer personas
- Developing personas – using the research, writers narrow down their target audience by creating buyer personas and adapting the text (copy) to suit. In essence, we write in a way that sounds familiar, relatable, engaging and enticing to your customers. This separates the wheat from the chaff, your business is wasting time and effort trying to appeal to everyone and generalising, whereas being targeted gives greater success
Now that we know who we’re talking to and why we can create copy for marketing channels that bring awareness to your business and spark curiosity!
Think about your own experience here, which channels do you use or have sparked curiosity about a brand? Probably some of these:
- Google Ads – paid promotional adverts that appear at top of the search results page to drive traffic to websites/pages. The higher up, the more perceived credibility a company has
- Blogs – informative/ educational content that also shows in search results and is suggested or promoted on other websites. Builds trust and credibility, not focused on selling but does generate leads
- Social media & YouTube – acts like a shop window for businesses where people can get a sense of who you are and what you offer. Each platform has its own nuances that cater to the demographic
- Other types – podcasts, emails, banner ads, print ads etc – there are lots of channels that create awareness and copywriters can write for any of them using similar strategies
To sum up – your first job as a business is to spark enough curiosity for a customer to want to explore further. Copywriters help to do this across various marketing channels.
The second stage in the customer’s emotional buying journey is admiration. This involves lots of elements all working together, including:
- Visual design – graphics, images, colour palettes and typography combine to give your site/page a distinct yet familiar vibe
- UX/UI – user experience (UX) refers to how intuitive and enjoyable it is for a customer to navigate your site. User interface (UI) refers to the individual elements on the page like buttons, menus and the general layout
- Copywriting – how the brand sounds and feels to the reader. Tone, word choice and structure combine to resonate with the customer on a personal level to drive action
It’s important to note that I’m talking about copywriting here and that these other visual/ technical elements are the works of developers, designers and brand strategists. It’s worth seeking these folks out and having a conversation to see how they can help too.
For argument’s sake let’s say the customer doesn’t immediately take the desired action, there are still ways to gain admiration and pull them back in:
- Remarketing/ Retargeting – the former refers to advertising to people who have already visited your site/ page to generate interest and the latter is designed to reach new prospects with ads
To sum up – the second stage is getting your customer to admire your company by representing it in a way that connects deeply to your target audience. They need to like you.
The third stage is love. Assuming you’re successful in the first two steps, sparking curiosity and gaining admiration, the customer has now completed the desired action – buying, downloading, signing up – whatever the case may be and now it’s up to you to deliver on your promise.
Getting people to fall in love will happen in a number of ways, they’ll be different factors depending on whether it’s a physical product like tech or clothing, or a digital one, like software or a downloadable.
- Quality and packaging
- Delivery time
- Ease of use
- Meets the needs of the user
- Overall satisfaction and feeling
- Complaints procedure and customer service
I won’t labour these points because they’re largely unrelated to copywriting but again, assuming all has gone well here, you need to get feedback from your community and customers. And a happy customer is your best chance to sell twice.
This is where copywriters can help:
- Surveys/ testimonials – collect feedback from customers to see what works/ doesn’t and increase social proof for new prospects
- Follow up emails – capitalise on the good vibes and check in with customers to update, up-sell or cross-sell to other products and services
- Chatbots/ customer service comms – a complaint can turn to praise if handled correctly. Anticipate queries with FAQs and chatbot scripts
To sum up – the third stage is about delivering on the promises you’ve made. Getting customers to love you. Then it’s about showing you care about them!
The final stage is loyalty. The previous stage, love, overlaps here too with some of the same tactics being used to promote loyalty from your customers. But, there’s still more you can do.
- Remarket – advertise/ send emails to existing or inactive customers to reengage them
- Post-sale email sequences – the sale marks the beginning of a customer’s lifetime cycle. Send valuable and relevant content to stay top-of-mind
- Reward schemes/ Competitions/ Sharing – gamify customer experiences to improve retention, drive web traffic and gain new followers on social media channels
- Referrals – incentivise referrals to spread awareness and gain new customers
- Blogs/ Newsletters – stay top-of-mind with consistent and engaging content
Copywriting is the bridge between you and your customers
Hopefully, this guide has given you a better understanding of what copywriting is and how it can be used at each stage of the customer journey to drive growth and success.
If you’re interested in speaking to us about copywriting or content writing, get in touch below.