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Barry Feldman

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Barry Feldman

How to Write Copy that Sells Your Video Content - Part 1

The copy you write on your video website is just as important as the video content you upload, because good copy is how you get discovered and eventually sell your videos online. So understanding and skillfully executing the copywriting process will be key to selling your video content online.

Let’s begin with a definition of what “copywiriting” actually is.

What is Copywriting?

Copywriting is the act of writing text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing and media. The list of potential media is long. For the purposes of this lesson, the most important one is a web page. Everything you learn here can also be applied to your social media channels.

In the age of digital media, it’s challenging to draw the lines between what is advertising copy or journalistic copy. Blog posts present a classic example. Is a blog post (or online article) meant to inform, sell or do both?

We may not benefit from dwelling on the question. Rather, let’s go forward agreeing effective copy has persuasive power. The written passages are carefully crafted to inspire the reader to do something, to act.

In some cases, the action might be subtle: share, comment, write back, or even, just think. But the action you want from prospects is far less ambiguous. You want readers to trust your video content will satisfy their needs and demonstrate as much by giving you permission to charge their credit cards.

You want your copy to sell your product.  

Will you generate more sales by hiring a pro to write your copy?

Businesses of all kinds that are serious about driving sales via their marketing efforts invest in hiring professional copywriters. If your budget allows, or if you’re convinced you’ll struggle to write copy that sells your video content, hiring an experienced copywriter might be your best option.

However, you may have no choice but to recognize your budget limitations and do the best you can with copywriting. The lessons you’re about to take-in should help guide you through the process with more confidence and produce effective sales copy.

Start with a value proposition   

So important. Your value proposition is going to deliver a compelling “why” statement.

Want to arrive at your “why” statement fast? Take a look at the title of this article. It reads:

How to Write Copy that Sells Your Video Content

The best and easiest way to arrive at a why statement is to fill in the blank for a how-to statement.

How to {insert how-to action}.

Fill in the blank with what your potential buyer will achieve by purchasing your video.

How to write copy that sells

If you were to look at the covers of a pile of men’s health magazines, you’d find headlines such as:

  • Lose your gut
  • Build big muscle
  • Get six-pack abs
  • Get ripped now
  • Get back in shape

Each would fit perfectly into our “how to (blank)” exercise. Note that in the end, the “how to” is optional. “Lose your gut” is a tighter version of “How to lose your gut.”

And this brings us to a vital copywriting lesson…

Benefits are more compelling than features

Copywriting lore credits Harvard marketing professor Theodore Levitt for teaching this simple lesson:

“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.”

Transfer this idea to our muscle-building lesson…

Men don’t want a magazine (or a gym, or exercise equipment, or a video series about muscle-building); they want six-pack abs, sexy stomachs, and ooh-la-la’s at the beach from members of the fairer sex.

Herein lies the difference between a feature and a benefit. Effective sales copy may not entirely exclude features, but it stresses benefits.

Again, our “How to (blank)” exercise proves useful. See, you can’t place a feature in the blank.

  • “How to quarter-inch drill” makes no sense.
  • “How to easily create a perfect quarter-inch hole” does.

Let’s try it with a practical example of a Uscreen VOD product.

“How to puppy socialization course.”

Uh, bad.

“How to quickly socialize your new puppy to be gentle and approachable.”

Nice.

If it’s not clear, the examples thus far lend themselves best to a headline (the most important line of copy on any page), however, you’ll want to remind yourself to showcase benefits in your writing and apply the practice in as many places as possible.

Personification—Or… “Who do you think you’re talking to?”

Another old adage in copywriting states something to the effect of, “When you try to appeal everyone, you appeal to no one.”

If for some reason, this doesn’t translate clearly, understand:

A writer who knows EXACTLY whom they’re writing to will compose the most persuasive copy.

And so, yet another hurdle you must clear before writing copy to sell your video is to determine the person it’s ideal for. Note the use of the singular “person,” instead of persons or people. Yes, of course, you want more than one buyer, however persuasive copywriting takes the form of a 1:1 conversation.

If you’ve gone through Part 3 of Ideation, then you’ve already created your personas – fictional representation of the ideal customer(s). If you haven’t done that yet, take a break from copywriting and refer back to that lesson before you move on. It’s really important that you know exactly who you’re writing for before you start writing for them.

Style—Should you fail English?

While you’ll be far more credible and professional avoiding blatant spelling or grammatical errors, when you write copy you should give yourself permission to set aside the writing lessons you were taught in school.

Formalities ain’t cool. They’re cold. And boring. Impersonal. Lifeless.

Look how many times and ways English composition rules from college were violated in the paragraph above. Contractions… Incomplete sentences. One sentence started with “And” and in several places in this article thus far they ended with prepositions.

Will breaking the rules jeopardize your essay writing grade? Yes, but it’ll improve the accessibility and feel of the copywriting on your video sales pages.  

Writing marketing copy effectively calls for using a conversational tone.

Tone—Hit ‘em in the heart

Copy can be brainy or copy can be heartfelt. Care to guess which one wins more sales?

Rookie writers make the mistake of harping on rationale. Experienced writers may justify their points rationally but focus far more on emotions. Get this:

Every purchase is based on emotion.

Not every marketer is willing to buy this argument and not every writing teacher is willing to offer it. But it’s true. Parting with your money is always an emotional decision. The buyer wants something.

Remember this idea and when taking a second pass at your copy look for opportunities to inject emotional words, power words. Let’s return to our muscle builder…

This video series will teach you proper techniques to increase the definition of your abdominal muscles.

Vs.

Watch how to get a ripped six-pack that will inspire you to rip your shirt off.

Lesson 2:

Copywriting - Part 2

Go to Lesson 2
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