Regardless of size, stature, product range or industry, every business has one thing in common:
They all need to use words to sell.
Words are the ammo that companies use to convince and convert. And no matter how good your inventory is, if you don’t utilize the power of copy, then you have an issue.
At best, you’ll never realize your potential and you’ll struggle to make ends meet.
At worst, your business will go bust.
Now, huge brands are extremely good at copywriting. They know how to use words in subtle ways, so that they can influence us.
These brands manipulate us in ways that we sometimes don’t even notice. They understand that, as consumers, we have needs, wants and desires…
… but more importantly, they get that we’re human.
And that’s the key point.
You see, human nature is pretty predictable. So by embracing human psychology and tailoring copy accordingly, it’s easier for businesses to convince and convert.
Which leads us to the crucial question:
How do the biggest brands use copywriting to get us to buy?
Well, today I’ve got 5 different techniques to reveal.
Tactic 1: Big brands understand that the ‘why’ is more important than the ‘what’
If you haven’t already seen it, watch this thought-provoking presentation by Simon Sinek.
In it, he talks about how consumers think. Basically, we buy stuff not because of what it actually is, but more due to why we want it.
This might be over-simplifying it a bit, but take a TV for instance. We buy a TV so that we can watch programmes, not because we want to mount a 50” piece of hardware up on our walls.
By way of another example, consider this advert by Apple:
Apple understands that people don’t just want a gadget that can do loads of different things. It’s also important to them that a device is light and easy to carry around.
When you’re writing sales copy, tap into your audience’s pain points and talk about why they would want what you’re selling.
Tactic 2: Big brands use active, inspirational words, rather than static, dry copy
All things being equal, getting someone to take out their credit or debit card and make a transaction is the hardest thing to do in business.
You can have create content with stunning visuals and have an attractive brand ethos, but essentially, all that counts for nothing if you can’t turn a browser into a buyer.
Quite simply, if you’re not using engaging copy, then you’re making life really hard for yourself.
Nike is a company that always uses sharp, motivational copy in all of their ads.
Tactic 3: Big brands offer a consistent, seamless experience wherever it speaks
One of the reasons that copy is so impactful is because people can look at it again and again.
However, the trouble is, if your copywriting isn’t up to scratch, tiny issues can take on huge importance.
Massive corporations are usually consistent. That is to say, the messages they communicate are of a similar nature everywhere you look.
Nike doesn’t talk a certain way on their website and another on Twitter, Facebook or in shop windows.
Creating powerful copy is hard enough. When you do, don’t butcher the effect by being sloppy in another marketing channel.
Believe it or not, people will notice. And remember when I spoke about generating actual customers being the hardest thing in business?
Well, one of the barriers you have to know down, certainly online at any rate, is trust. And to build trust, honesty and integrity into a brand image, you need to be consistent with your copywriting.
Tactic 4: Big brands leverage the power of emotion in their copy
As humans, we’re hard-wired to love stories.
From nursery rhymes as kids, through to page-turners and movies, stories are important to us.
In business, storytelling is an incredibly effective way of connecting with a lead.
After all, if you can make a reader identify with you and feel that you’re speaking directly to them, that’s going to make them likelier to buy from you.
The best examples of corporate storytelling don’t even resemble sales copy.
Surely the best example of storytelling comes from Lego.
Not only did they manage to create a story that people wanted to hear, but they also turned it into a movie with Lego characters (or merchandise).
It was one big advert under the disguise of a children’s flick.
Tactic 5: Big brands develop a style that resonates with a specific audience
There was once a time, many years ago, when creating shouty marketing campaigns was the only way a business had of communicating with consumers.
Because of the lack of opportunities to engage with a person, companies had to be really aggressive.
Adverts weren’t very sophisticated:
But things have changed. Thanks to the internet and technology, potential customers are always really accessible.
But that accessibility comes at a price.
As a consequence, people are pickier about which messages they listen to. If they don’t like a particular word, phrase, character or message, they’ll tune out.
Or click, switch or swipe away.
Successful businesses work hard on understanding their niche and developing a brand that resonates with their audience.
Rather than trying to be all things to all people and being too general, great brands aren’t scared of being very specific:
Therefore, when working on your copy, try segmenting your audience and creating more bespoke messages. It’s much easier to become more impactful.
There are many types of marketing and plenty of different strategies to try. But here’s the thing:
If you don’t know how to communicate the value of what you’re selling, every marketing campaign will struggle.
Get to grips with copywriting, learn how your target audience likes to behave and you’ll be on to a winner.
Matt Press is an experienced copywriter who has written words for some of the UK’s biggest brands, such as Sky, Three and Vodafone. He created his company Splash Copywriters in 2012 and is on a mission to simplify SEO for businesses in London.