As a small business owner or entrepreneur, one of your biggest challenges is creating compelling marketing content that speaks directly to your audience and motivates them to buy from you. Unless you have it in your budget to hire a copywriter to create the content for you, then writing your marketing pieces is up to you. The challenge is that you might have no idea where to start. In this 7-step approach, you’ll learn how to create compelling marketing copy, every time you have to write it, no matter what type of marketing piece you are creating. 

Step 1: Identify Your Clients

Your first step is to know and fully understand whom you are writing the piece to reach. You are trying to reach your ideal clients—those that are the most likely to buy what you are selling. Before you can write copy that speaks directly to your target audience, you first to have a complete understanding about who they are, where they work, what they do for fun, and any other identifying characteristics.

Some find it helpful to assign a name to their ideal client, such as Sally Spender. Then, write out a description fully describing Sally. Include what she likes, what she dislikes and all relevant information you have on Sally. Place this description in a prominent place so you can refer to it each time you sit down to write copy.

Step 2: Focus on Your Marketing Purpose

Each marketing content piece you write has a purpose. Before you can create the copy, you have to know what you intend to use the piece to do. For example, you might be writing a marketing email to promote a special event you are hosting at your business location. The purpose of the piece is to make readers aware of the event and to draw them to attend the event. The purpose of a press release is to bring the event to the attention of reporters, journalist and writers that might have an interest in covering a story about the event ,and indirectly about your business.

Knowing what you intend to do with the marketing piece directly affects the way that you write copy. The marketing email is a direct sell to try to get people to come out to your event. The press release is a soft-sell approach, so you are trying to make the event newsworthy enough so that a reporter covers a story about the event and indirectly draws your audience to the event as well.

Step 3: Craft Your Attention Grabber

When it comes to writing marketing copy, the attention grabber is typically a headline. Whether you are writing a marketing email that needs a subject line, an article or press release that needs a headline, or a whitepaper that requires a title, you have about two seconds to grab the attention of the reader. When you create an attention grabber, you catch the eye of the recipient and encourage them to continue reading what you have to say. If you fail to do this, then no matter how great what you have to say is, the reader will never know because they don’t read it.

Step 4: Create a Compelling Message

Now it is time to write the copy that delivers the promise you made in the headline or attention grabber. While the attention grabber is the hook that reels in your ideal client, you also have to deliver the information that supports the headline. For example, when you read the title of this article, you expect to read on to find seven steps that are going to walk you through the process of writing great marketing copy. In other words, while you want something that grabs their attention, the rest of the copy needs to hold their attention. 

Step 5: Package the Benefits

One of the biggest mistakes small business owners and entrepreneurs make when writing marketing copy is to write about the features of the product or service they are selling. Your clients and customers are selfish. They don’t care about the features; they care about how the product or service benefits or serves them. Find a way to illustrate how the product or service you are talking about makes it a product or service that resolves an issue they have or solves a problem they are experiencing. 

Step 6: Call on Them to Act

As you wrap up your marketing copy, tell the reader what you want them to do next. Do you want them to call you? Tell them. Do you want them to click on a link? Tell them. Do you want them to visit your business location? Tell them. Whatever it is that you want them to do, tell them at the end of your marketing piece. In marketing-speak, this is also referred to as a “call to action.” The end purpose of the marketing piece is to get your client to do something, so tell them what it is you want them to do.

Step 7: Just Market It

The final step in the process is to get your marketing copy out there to do its magic. While you want the copy and content to be as perfect as possible, the marketing piece only serves its purpose when you send it out to the recipients. Now it is time to “just market it.” Get the marketing content in front of your ideal clients and let it serve its purpose.

So there you have it—the seven steps you should take when you sit down to create your marketing content and copy. Follow these steps for each type of marketing piece you are trying to create. It’s the path that will lead your business to success, but you have to take the first step to get the process started.