April 23, 2017

Psychology-based copywriting: What, Why and How?

The cool thing about copywriting is it is as much science as it is art. Great copywriters understand this and that’s what sets them apart from mediocre ones. You don’t have to be a word wizard to craft an impactful ad copy, what you need is to find a way to tap into your consumers’ internal motivators and persuade them to react to your ad.

It is important to put the artist within you on hibernation and adopt more analytical and scientific approach to get into the psyche of a prospect. Once you understand your consumer’s psychology and know their mental triggers, it becomes easier to get them to indulge to your persuasion. Marketers, and copywriters in specific, who are aware of these mental triggers can activate them to influence a potential consumer, often without the consumer even realising this.

What is the process to adopt psychology-based copy in your marketing?

1. Research: start with the customer first. Try to figure them out as much as you possibly can, if you do that most of your copy is probably already going to be written for you because you find the kind of language they use, you are going to find the things they talk about, how they look at it and then you have a pretty firm idea of how to approach them.

2. Get to know the product as much as you can. Get to know the competitors. Understand markets. Find the fastener — the thing that can make your communication stand up.

3. Synthesize your research, prepare draft, get feedback and re-work based on the feedback if necessary

4. Focus on the headline and an initial couple of lines. That’s where your copy will never die.

Why is copywriting as much science as it is art?

Because it involves:

Research — By definition, research itself is a systematic investigation and study of material and sources to establish facts and to gather information. It is an integral part of the copywriting process because it helps in understanding the consumer, markets, product, and competitors.

Psychology — It is another branch of science that holds significance while writing an effective copy. While writing a good ad copy, the idea is to get into the brains of your reader and use their internal motivators to make them respond to your communication and push them to take action

Communication — Copywriting is not about using flowery language to communicate to your consumer. It is more about writing what the consumer wants to read. It is important to adapt to their language, tonality, and perspective to get across your message.

How can you activate the mental triggers of your prospects via an ad copy?

Focus on the benefits of the products instead of its features. A lot of copywriters get into the trap of describing the product, what they don’t realise is what they say about the product can be said about four or five other products from the same category! You don’t need to convey what your product does. You need to convey what the product does for the consumer. A consumer tends to make a purchase decision based on what value the product promises to add to their life instead of its features.

You are good with words, the reader might not be. At times, in the pursuit of increasing the credibility of the product, copywriters tend to cram the ad copy with intimidating and often useless jargons that confuse and deter the prospective consumer. Use simple, easily understood language in your headlines. Don’t put prospects off before you’ve even started talking to them.

Give them social proof. According to the Yale Attitude Change approach, customers are more likely to believe on persuasive claims if there is credibility that correlates with them. When you’re talking about how good your product is or seeking the trust of consumers, back up your statements with supporting proof to give yourself credibility. If it’s a long form of copy you can incorporate case studies, testimonials, and reviews to validate your claim. Shorter copy should include data/numbers from happy customers, opinion leaders and trusted icons and the likes to establish reliability and authority.

There it is — a handy guide to writing impactful copy. Use these tips to psyche out your customer and nudge them to take action.