Copywriting 101: Everything Your Small Business Needs to Know

When you think of quality marketing collateral, vibrant and well thought out visuals are probably the first things to come to your mind, right? Well, a fundamental (and perhaps equally important) part of it all are the words each brand uses to craft their stories and pull customers and clients in—a.k.a copywriting.

Marketing copywriting fuses elements of a company’s brand voice with language that will move a client further through your sales funnel.

Here’s what we’re covering—click one of the below to navigate:

So, What is Copywriting?

Copywriting is one of the most important elements of advertising and marketing. It’s the process of writing persuasive words, known as copy, that inspire or motivate people to take a specific action.

When you open a magazine and there’s a full-page advertisement selling clothing, the words on that page are the result of copywriting. When you go to a website that prompts you to buy something, the words on that page are the result of copywriting. Essentially, copywriting is almost everywhere you look and listen.

Here’s a quick run-down of some of the most common types of copywriting that businesses of all shapes and sizes utilize:

  • Content marketing, like blogs and downloads: Typically, this kind of writing is search engine optimized, so it appears in search results (we’ll get into that later).

  • Websites: Combine SEO styling with everything there is to know about your business, and that content is the bread and butter of just about every website on the internet.

  • Emails: This one speaks for itself! Emails typically take the form of newsletters.

  • Social Media Posts: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even TikTok posts – everyone’s on these social media platforms, so it’s so important to make sure your business is, too!

  • Scripts: Think TV ad scripts, radio scripts, Instagram story scripts, etc.

  • Ads: Power-packed phrasing and precise imagery come together in both the digital and print spheres of the universe. This kind of copywriting is made to prompt people to act.

  • Print: Brochures, client magazines, pamphlets, etc.

  • Press Releases: Through uniform structure and a journalistic voice, this kind of copywriting aims to inform the public and media publications with a pointed directive of promoting a business, product, or service.

What Can Copywriting Do for My Small Business?

Simply put, clever copywriting keeps your brand fresh, which is integral to any successful marketing strategy. Graphic designers tell your brand story through imagery. Copy tells your story through words. Together, great graphic design and great copy can make or break your business.

Many businesses hire an in-house copywriter on a contract basis to help their business grow and connect with their audience. However, smaller businesses typically tackle their own copywriting to cut costs.

If hiring a copywriter isn’t in the cards, don’t worry – Red Egg’s clever creatives have plenty of copywriting basics to share with you and your team so you can best connect with your customers.

Identify your Target Audience

Regardless of what you’re selling, your clients or customers are coming to you because they have some sort of problem that needs to be addressed. You need to show them that your business is the one for the job. Knowing your business, target audience, and competition like the back of your hand is a crucial first step to the copywriting process.

Let’s dive in.

First, think about you and your business

  • What does your business do?

  • What is the main problem you solve?

  • Who have you worked for before?

  • Does your team have particular skills or unique knowledge?

Your answers will be a big part of the blueprint that will lead you to your target audience.

Pro Tip

A target market is the set of consumers that a company plans to sell or reach with marketing activities. A target audience is the group within that target market that is being shown advertisements.

Analyze your Audience

Now that you’ve thought a little bit more about you and your business, it’s time to dive into the nitty gritty details of who makes up your audience.

Consider the following:

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Education

  • Socio-economic status

  • Job role/decision-maker status

  • Industry

Now, answer these questions:

  • Who are they?

  • What are their biggest difficulties, problems, desires?

  • Where do they look for information online?

  • What draws their attention negatively?

  • How can your product help them?

  • Who do they trust?

Once you understand the core needs of your customers you can start to discover the kind of content your business needs to churn out.

Pro Tip

A great way to flesh out your audience and gain an even better understanding of them is to develop a few buyer personas before you start writing. Trust us, it makes the process a heck of a lot easier.
Okay, But What’s a Buyer Persona?

Who’s your Competition? What does the Market Look Like?

The next step in the copywriting process is to understand your market and competitors. Your business operates in a dynamic marketplace where trends, influences, and competitors are changing all the time. You must outcompete and outsell your competitors if you want to grow and stay in the market.

We recommend using a variety of tools to understand the market of your client’s competitors. This usually involves looking at various Google products and studying their analytics. This information can help you understand seasonality, market shifts, and can provide an overview of how your product or service works in the current market.

Here are a few questions you will need to have answered by the end of this stage:

  • How are your competitors optimizing content to get found online?

  • What makes your company unique? How can you stand out from competitors on the market?

  • How do customers see your competitors?

Researching your competition and your industry’s is time consuming. However, it is a great way to figure out what strategies work and which ones fall flat. Your discoveries in this stage of the copywriting process will do wonders in influencing your future copywriting projects and will ultimately help your business stand out and generate more leads.

Whip Up Great Content

Whew! Now that all of the research is over, let’s get into the fun stuff – content creation!

Finding your brand voice

Now that you have your preliminary research out of the way, it’s time to get a rough idea of what your brand voice is so your copywriting can be consistent and recognizable.

In a nutshell, brand voice is how your business comes across through any form of written communication.

There are four parts to any brand’s voice:

  • Persona: This is essentially the personality of your brand. If it were a person, would they be friendly, quirky, serious?

  • Tone: The tone is the ‘vibe’ of your brand and how you want it to sound. For example, if your persona is quirky, the tone may be humorous, whereas if your persona is more professional, the tone might be direct.

  • Language: The language you use feeds into the above points. What kind of words are you using in your copy? The quirky, humorous brand mentioned above is far more likely to use fun and simple language as opposed to something more complex.

  • Purpose: Finally, what is the purpose of your brand? Do you exist to educate your audience, provide entertainment, inspire, or simply sell a product?

Inserting your brand voice will help with recognition and will also let your audience get to know you and your business, which equates directly to connection!

Speaking of connection…

Appeal to your Target Audience’s Emotions

Connection is king in the copywriting world. Many novice writers make the mistake of writing about why their company/product/service is great. However, they should be writing about what the prospective customer cares about – what’s in it for them. In other words, how does your business solve a problem?

Now, we understand that “connection” is a bit of an ambiguous word. An entirely other aspect of it, at least for copywriting’s sake, is emotion.

Contrary to what many believe, it’s the thing that carries the most weight when we’re making decisions. Desire, love, fear, guilt, and anger are powerful motivators.

Coca Cola is a great example of a brand that utilizes emotive copywriting to drive home that their product evokes happiness. Who could forget the adorable Polar Bear commercials? Here is a great example of how they appealed to their audience’s emotions through their social media copywriting:

copywriting in social media

Fancy, over-the-top messaging is nowhere to be found. Why? People tend to respond better to short, simple words that echo the way they speak to friends and family.

While you may not want to utilize the same style as Coca Cola, writing emotive copy is the key to unlocking your audience’s emotions and provoking motivation to interact with your business, buy your product, or use your services.

If you’re still not quite sure how to appeal to your audience’s emotions, here are some great articles to review:

  1. Six Tips for Writing Emotive Copy
  2. 8 Emotional Triggers to Use in Your Copy and Connect With Your Customers
  3. How to Incorporate Psychology and Emotions into Your Copywriting

Nail Your Headlines

You can’t talk about quality copywriting and not mention the importance of the headline.

Source: CoSchedule

The right headline is integral to ensure your copy reaches the audience you want. Here are a handful of tips we’ve used in the past for several of our clients:

  • Try targeting a keyword with high search volume: Not only does this ensure that your headline is optimized to drive targeted traffic through organic or paid search, but it proves that people are actively looking for information related to the topic.

  • Make a bold statement: Introducing a shock factor via your headline will almost always ensure high click-through rates. Think about ways to spice your title up, and word it in a way that instantly draws readers in. Making a bold, opinionated, or controversial statement is a surefire way to do this.

  • Ask a question: Questions are a great way to grab someone’s attention in a way that leaves them wanting more, creating a curiosity gap. Why? Because the instinct is to want to uncover the answer, which can’t be done unless they click on the headline and visit your website. If used correctly, this method guarantees traffic.

  • Create a sense of urgency: FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real thing, and it works tremendously well when writing headlines. Instill a sense of urgency by giving a date when a special offer expires and using urgent language.


    Example: Hurry! Book Your Flight Now & Get an Extra $15 on United Airlines.

You only get 10 seconds to leave an impression before a potential customer will leave your website or social media page. Make those seconds count!

Even if your content is truly unique and powerful, a weak headline will eliminate its chances of being successful. Stringing together the words of your headline in a meaningful, thoughtful way is one of the most powerful ways of convincing audiences to read on and get interested in whatever you are offering –whether it’s a product, a how-to blog post, an event, or the opening of your business.

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!

There’s nothing that yanks audiences away from your message or product as swiftly as a spelling error glaring them in the face.

It goes without saying that spelling and grammar go a long way towards creating a good impression for your brand and business, so make sure you proofread your copy and ideally get some extra eyes on it before you press publish.

Pro Tip

When editing, revisit your company’s brand voice. For instance, say your company is in accounting – strict adherence to traditional writing rules may be the better move to exude professionalism. On the other hand, maybe your company is in the creative sector. In that case, you can typically allow a bit more freedom when it comes to utilizing non-traditional writing practices, like passive voice or slang. The bottom line is to make sure your copy uses your company’s brand voice!

Don’t Forget About SEO

Work smarter, not harder. You can pour all your energy into well-done and persuasive social media posts, blog posts, and even website copy, but no one will read it if they can’t find it in the first place.

We’ll let the numbers speak for themselves:

Source: Red Egg Marketing Infographic

SEO copywriting means writing content that Google can understand. At the same time, that content needs to be the type of content that people want to read, link to, and share.

We have a few secrets for integrating SEO into your copywriting projects…

Understand and Match Keyword Intent

Keywords are terms that people search for on the internet to find information. Your copywriting should include keywords related to your company’s service offerings so it reaches the right audience.

Pro Tip

Using a tool like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and KWFinder will help you find the best keywords that interest your target audience.

Keep it Easy to Read

Big blocks of text are intimidating, no matter how well-written and informative they are. People will scroll past your content if it is jumbled up into huge blocks of text.

So how do you give your copy eye appeal?

  • Break it Into Sections: This way, your content is scannable and easy to read.

  • Write Short Sentences: This helps ensure your readers don’t get lost. Longer sentences make content harder to read, so use short sentences to maintain your reader’s attention.

  • Use Short Paragraphs: Limit your paragraphs to only 2-3 sentences each. Browsers put white space between paragraphs, and this white space helps guide the eyes of readers and makes your content look more appealing compared to a large block of text.

  • Use Bullet Points: Bullet points make it easy to quickly scan different content like services, prices, benefits, and locations. Use bullet points throughout your content (especially in the first lines of a blog post) to summarize important information.

  • Add Images: Try to space out images throughout your blog posts to catch readers’ eye as they scroll through your content.

  • Bold Words: Bold fonts and quote blocks keep your readers engaged for more extended periods. They help direct readers to essential concepts and ideas.

Here’s an example from a recent website project of ours:

Optimize Your Header, Meta Title, and Meta Description

The first thing readers see when looking at Google’s search engine results pages are page titles. Thus, it’s important to make sure that it has a killer headline with rich keywords embedded in it. You want the title to be enticing and offer the reader information that they need. All of this can and will boost your organic click-through rate (CTR) and increase page views.

Google and other search engines want to promote content that is helpful for your customers. When done right, SEO copywriting will boost your content rankings and drive more conversions.

Pro Tip

If you haven’t created a Google My Business page, do so as soon as you can! This crucial tool should be a focal point for any small business – especially if you want to maximize the power of search. Here’s a quick guide so you can get started.

Keep in mind that SEO is a multifaceted and ever-changing sect of digital marketing, so make sure your small business is keeping up with the latest trends and strategies to keep your content relevant and fresh!

Ready to Get Started?

Remember, generic content may produce more traffic, but it will also produce fewer sales. Know your audience, stand out from your competitors, never forget about SEO, proofread, and be creative! Experience is often the best teacher, so don’t beat yourself up too harshly should your copy not get too much engagement at first.

If you’d prefer to leave your business’ copywriting in the hands of professionals, we’ve got your back! Red Egg’s talented team of copywriters are more than happy to give your business’ copywriting the sparkle it needs to reach your target audience.