Writers who craft worthwhile works of fiction are able to experience the emotions felt by their characters. Consequently, they’re better placed to produce material that engages the reader, and compels them to read through to the end (and perhaps go on to discover other publications by the author).
This principle applies to copywriting which, at its best, transcends mere advertising or promotional copy to become something that rewards, presents new opportunities, and galvanises the reader into taking positive action.
A key copywriting strength is the ability to put oneself into the shoes of the reader. Bearing in mind that we’re aiming to reach as wide an audience as possible, this is something that needs some thought. After all, no two people are the same; we each have our particular set of needs, tastes, beliefs and biases.
This means that a ‘one size fits all’ approach is likely doomed to failure. If your content is too non-specific, it’ll hold all the appeal of something written by text-generating software.
The advantage we, as humans, have over AI is our ability to think and feel, which makes us more qualified to produce content that strikes a chord. This is because we’re able to imagine ourselves into scenarios while logically and emotionally working through potential pitfalls, and conceptualising solutions.
Writing with empathy is the surest way to meaningfully connect with an audience. Let’s take a look at the factors which contribute to effective, empathetic copywriting services:
Who is your audience?
Okay, it’s impossible to arrive at a definitive answer, but we can at least narrow down the field. And the best way to start is with good old fashioned fact-finding because research is the bedrock on which articles of merit are written.
- Begin by understanding your core audience. This requires the examination of demographics, as well as requirements, preferences, perspectives, aspirations etc.
- Try to comprehend how the reader might feel about a given subject while identifying attendant pain points, those things that typically cause problems or frustrate.
- Provide the solution. This will be encapsulated by the product and/or service you’re writing about.
Write in a relatable manner, even if it’s about a subject that might seem obscure. In most cases, a friendly approach (as if writing directly to an individual), will strike the right note. Nevertheless, be mindful of diversity, and avoid creating content which might alienate the reader. And by refraining from making assumptions, you’re much less likely to sound patronising, out of touch and off-putting. Ideally, write in a way that resonates with as wide an audience as possible while managing to convey a sense of direct communication.
Introduce a narrative aspect to your article, something with a simple structure that tells a succinct story. Basically, illustrate the benefits of a product or service by describing potential paint points while sympathising with the reader over the issues that said pain points cause – before presenting the answer.
While we don’t write stories in the conventional sense, we nevertheless use words to evoke emotions, thus painting a picture in the reader’s mind. One way of doing this (and though not appropriate in all situations) is by relating a real-life examples; it’s a good way of demonstrating an understanding of one or more pain points. And at the very least, it should be possible to describe scenarios in which problems can be overcome.
Affinity, compassion… Call it what you will, empathy comes from an understanding of the needs of a fellow human being (or an animal – after all, household pets are consumers too!). It’s incumbent on us as copywriters to show concern to the reader and express a desire to make their situation better.
That said, it’s not up to us to promote some kind of magic cure-all remedy. As such, it’s best to avoid overly sales-driven content, the sort of thing that promises the moon on the stick – which leads us rather neatly to…
When you write what you believe, the reader is more inclined to believe what you write. For the most part, audiences tend to have a fairly well-developed sense of what’s right or at least plausible, versus the kind of empty promotional guff which is designed to generate a quick buck.
Building trust is of paramount importance to any organisation worth its salt. Ultimately, honesty and transparency are infinitely more valuable than exaggerated claims and false promises that can neither be substantiated nor delivered.
Facts + Empathy = an article worth reading
As we alluded to in the KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE section of this article, good copy is based on sound facts and accurate information. This, allied to an ability to comprehend and relate to the feelings of others, is what will help your writing to connect.
For more information on finding high quality copywriting services in the UK, get in touch with Minerva Creative today.