My first ever copywriting job was way back when writing 50 articles with the same keyword = a step up the SEO ladder.
At first I was thrilled to be writing articles that would actually be published on the internet, but the thrill lasted about three days. Let me tell you, trying to think of creative ways to write about “cavity wall insulation” in more than 10 articles (only 40 to go!) without wishing you had just about any other job was impossible, especially after being informed “car insurance” was the keyword up next…
Despite being pretty torturous, it’s what eventually gave me the confidence that with enough thought and a few tips, almost any subject can be made interesting to anyone – we just need to find that elusive emotional connection; not just for our readers, but to keep us sane as writers!
The people we make emotional connections with in real life are those who we can empathise with or share experiences with, right?
Everyone knows what an emotional connection with someone feels like, even if it’s just a short encounter like laughing at the same joke, making the same silent observation and catching someone’s eye across a room or expressing a similar like or dislike. It produces a feeling of instant camaraderie and understanding, like “ah, yes – you get me, we just shared something, me and you”.
This is what you have to achieve with your readers without meeting them. You need to spark a connection with your writing to get that metaphorical nod of recognition without coming across as desperate and needy.
So, how do you make an emotional connection through copywriting?
No matter how mind-numbing a subject seems (and no doubt you’ve encountered a few of these), there are ways you can appeal to your readers and make an emotional connection.
Research your customer
Copywriters don’t always (hardly ever) have the opportunity to meet real and genuine customers of the businesses they work with, so this is the kind of research you can do from your desk… You need to get inside the heads of your target readers and find out what the hell’s going on in there.
Visit chat rooms where people are talking about the problems your business or article is trying to solve. People aren’t as scared to say what they think when they can’t be called out on it face-to-face! This is why chat rooms are a wonderful source of unbridled and often highly emphasised opinions that are perfect for getting to know your audience.
Keywords and long tail keywords
Find out the most popular keywords on the topic you’re writing about then, type them into Google’s search bar and see what comes up as you write.
Often, people are searching for smaller details in relation to a bigger topics and want the answers to something specific. This will help further your understanding on what your readers are thinking.
Include emotional benefits
Never forget to narrow down the emotional benefits of the product or service you’re writing about. Don’t just write about the features!
Ask yourself deeper and deeper questions until you get to the crux of the emotional benefits of what’s being offered. For example, let’s say you’re writing for a website that rents commercial office space to startups – so far, so boring.
Now, ask yourself “what are the emotional benefits that the founders, CEO’s and others working for those startups will experience when they move to bigger or better office spaces in nicer areas of town?”
Feature = bigger office and meeting rooms
Emotion = The newfound “confidence” to invite clients for meetings because there are better facilities.
Feature = sharing office space with other startups
Emotion = feeling “motivated” and “inspired” to be working alongside people you can connect with personally and professionally.
Instantly your subject becomes much more interesting and you find an opportunity for emotional connection.
Start with an anecdote that highlights a common problem your product or service solves – something your readers will understand or have experienced themselves.
This way you immediately highlight a known problem in an amusing way, getting people’s attention and moving on to explain about how the problem has been solved by the new product or service.
One of my 40+ keywords was “power tools” for the company Black and Decker. I know nothing about power tools so I trawled forums for people asking questions about DIY. One of the most common problem amateur DIY-ers were having with power tools was putting up shelves straight, so the first article I wrote opened with a story about trying to use my new drill to put up shelves and failing miserably – followed by a step by step guide of how you ensure your shelves go up straight.
I don’t have the stats on how the article actually did (this was over 10 years ago) but I do know my editor had a good chuckle when he read it.
Tell a story
As a species, humans are natural storytellers and we just can’t help but be attracted to stories.
Myths and legends, campfire stories, poetry, religious texts, parables… they are woven into the fabric of every human society, so if you can write something using basic storyselling principles like these, you’ll have a head start when it comes to getting people’s attention and make that elusive emotional connection!
If you need help making emotional connections through your copywriting, get in touch here or just post a question in the comments. I love helping businesses connect with their customers through copy so I’d be more than happy to help!