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We are in an age where the average website is expected to have great English throughout. Any little flaw, even subtle grammar issues or phrasing, will influence customers and ultimately sales. But it’s not all about avoiding basic errors. I have a great example of something valuable good copywriting can provide beyond a professional appearance. It’s called the human element, and I always jump at any chance to use it.
Good copywriting can help people in many small ways that add up to a greater whole. The human element is one of the most essential pieces of that puzzle. All it really takes is to make the reader think about people, but how you do it is where the skill is involved. Let’s take a look at a few of the best methods for making a personal connection in copywriting with the human element. I’ll explain what each one does, and you’ll soon see exactly why no business should pass it up.
Image via Flickr by Donkey Hotey
Things almost anyone can agree upon make for a great human element in some cases. Helping others, like customers or people in need, is one of the most commonly seen examples. Fairness is also a universally understood concept. Revealing a competitor’s unfairness has become a common tactic in commercials, as it presents the contrast some other business offers, such as phone companies condemning each other over contract plans. Almost anything can be phrased in a way that inspires others, digging down to a universally agreeable concept like fairness or getting more for less.
Morals also make for good comedy, whether drawn all the way out to skits in commercials or short, amusing lines in written ads. People often find it funny when some universal reality is proven right, like when characters who antagonize others are bested, or certain disliked people are exposed in a humorous, lighthearted way. Humor is memorable and sharable, so a good piece of comedic content can go a long way.
Copywriting, especially content marketing, with the human element can often be used as a point of engagement with customers, clients, etc. For instance, a magazine can get more feedback on what topics their online followers like the most, so they can provide more of that content. Inviting people to contact you or share their opinion in a poll seeks out those who care passionately enough to share their opinion. These are usually some of your best customers and clients. But just asking everyone with a simple email or putting up a few blog posts won’t grab their attention.
The key is to ask often, but in a natural way and from a place of offering value. Sometimes we get too shy or indirect in our copy, unknowingly burying the important call to action or link in filler words. Cutting to the point and asking for engagement more directly, but without bothering anyone, is deceptively simple. A copywriter with enough experience can more easily, and from a neutral perspective, discern the most natural way for your message to encourage customers to engage.
Image via Flickr by ZapTheDingbat
Storytelling is not necessarily always about distraction or escapism. Apart from thrills, stories can also make people visualize what your message is, what your business offers, or other ideas more vividly. People who are new to selling products on a website, for instance, could be shown how easy it is to sign up by having it described or shown. Companies who sell emergency products can illustrate that their item is safe and easy to use in a tense moment. It’s particularly brilliant for teaching the intricacies of a new feature. You can even get true stories from happy customers!
There’s also another side to storytelling: the stories of your business. One way is forming a human connection with valued employees at your company, shining a light on what they care about and why they work for a business like yours. You can also use stories to communicate your way of doing business, such as with a friendlier style compared to competition. There are quick but impactful stories everywhere if you look, and helping people get familiar with your brand will make them feel more likely to buy, recommend, or share.
With a bit of clever targeting, you can also express the human element with the opposite of universal morals. In this case, your connecting element involves sending a specific message to the right people. The goal is to establish to the audience that their frequent problem is both understood and easily resolved with your product or service. Others with that problem will naturally connect with you as the solution, and this is another great chance to get testimonials.
Sometimes businesses are afraid to go this specific in their messaging to customers. Just remember that people are ultimately individuals, but they better understand themselves through groups. They like to say, “I’ve been in that situation.” Specific use cases can also appeal to people who might need other things, but are impressed by the described issue you can resolve. You may get prospects who ask if you can do something a little different from what’s advertised, but easily arranged.
You may have thought of using these things in your copywriting at one moment or another. Usually people know what they need to communicate to get the right response from an audience of people, but their judgement gets clouded with the different perspectives and blitz of information that most entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and marketers know all too well.
At the end of it all, just remember that with enough time, anyone can write copy that is free of errors, especially if you get it proofread. What’s rare and valuable is someone who uses the right words to give people an emotional connection to a person, product, cause, business, or anything else. Get a great copywriter who uses the human element to draw more people to your business, and you’ll be glad you did.