4 Tips for Content Creation: Writing Health and Wellness Copywriting That Sells Without Being Sleazy
Let’s be honest here. The health and wellness industry doesn't always have the best reputation. With a long history of perpetuating diet culture and being at the forefront of sleazy marketing, health and wellness has created just as many problems as it has solutions.
Don’t get me wrong. I love health and wellness. It is literally my life’s work. But like the Spider-Man quote goes, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
Copywriting has great power! It’s also an amazing privilege. So, how does this relate to great content? What makes great content?
Yes, I hear you. I’m getting there. Just stay with me for a minute.
In today's world, people can see the influence of the health and wellness industry and its copywriting on our society's overall mental and physical health. Back in the day, people never paid attention to how a message that implies skinny=worthy, may affect a teenage girl view of herself. They wanted to sell diet pills, and so they used every sleazy marketing tactic to do it.
No one ever considered the importance of having people of other genders or races on their billboards. Most advertising was standard binary, non-disabled, skinny white people. Now we can see that representation matters. Not just for the customer but also for the company’s bottom line.
Unfortunately, many companies have not seen this growing pattern over the last few years. They are still doing the same thing, expecting different results. Mark my words! The companies that don’t evolve their language will soon be out of business. The consumer is changing, and so should you.
1. Content with a Heart
If the last few years have shown us anything, it’s that our choices matter.
The content you put out does one of two things. It uplifts, or it shames. It’s either helping or hurting.
No matter what your content is, think about your reader. What matters to them? What will uplift them? What will hurt them? Because people remember how you made them feel, not what you said.
If your product or service is truly beneficial for your customer, then you don’t need to use shame-based sleazy marketing to get them to buy it. You can highlight everything that matters to them and speak directly to them. They will naturally see themselves in your copywriting or marketing. Like attracts like.
Inclusive language and diverse representation are great ways to show your company's heart. When you show your heart, your customers are more likely to connect with you and choose you over a competitor.
Why? Because you made them feel good. They saw themselves in you, your copywriting, or your advertisement. Do you see a pattern here?
This, of course, has to be done authentically and kindly. See some of this year's Juneteenth and Pride-themed marketing for examples of what NOT to do. You do not want to be the one making your customers cringe.
All your copywriting and marketing efforts should be aligned with your company's core values and reflect your customers' values.
2. Why Your Mindset Matters
Who are you? What does your business stand for? What is its greater purpose? When you are selling something, is it coming from a place of greed or service? What are your company’s core values?
Your mindset matters! For everything you or your company does, your mindset and the deeper meanings make a huge difference.
Let me use my own business as an example. I’m a health and wellness copywriter. I chose it because I knew health and wellness well and wanted the freedom to run my own business. But that's not who my business is. That isn’t its core values.
Do I want to make money? Duh! But my deeper purpose comes from a place of service. I want to make a difference in the world. I want to be part of the change for inclusivity and compassion in this world that seems so divided and harsh.
I want to take all the marketing content that hurt me growing up and change it in a way that uplifts a worthy company, its customers, and anyone else in between.
Before you create any content, whether your business is new or well-established, think beyond the dollar signs and go deeper into the heart of your business.
Can you make money without doing these? Sure, of course, you can. I could probably name a ton of big companies that do… now. But we are playing the long game here, remember? Just because these companies are getting away with being jerks and still get to roll in the dough doesn’t mean they will be doing this ten years from now.
3. How to Define Your Ideal Customer
Generally (definitely not all), large companies know how important this is. It often takes years for a start-up to see the impact this makes on your copywriting and marketing effectiveness.
Knowing who you are targeting is so vital. Don’t be one of those companies that underestimate the power of a clearly defined ideal customer persona.
Who is most likely to buy your product or service? What age range/generation are they in? What is their income level? What are their values?
These types of questions help you to determine exactly who you are speaking to and give you valuable insight into how best to market to them.
You can have the best product or service in the world, but if the right people don’t see it, you won’t be selling much.
Say you have a yoga mat company. You sell high-quality yoga mats that have a special coating that prevents slipping when you are super sweaty. Its retail price is $180.
Your ideal customer might be…
A millennial yogi with a regular heated or vinyasa yoga practice (sweaty yogi). They would likely be a person with a higher paying or professional job because they have to be able to afford to go to a yoga studio several times a week.
This is good information to know because your yoga mat is a higher-end yoga mat, so you wouldn’t want to be marketing to people who are uber beginners. Will some of these beginners be customers? For sure, but that’s not who we are banking on.
Using some yoga-based language may work well for this customer because they may see it as a sign that our company is as serious about yoga as they are.
Quality and longevity are probably essential factors to your ideal customer because they go hard in yoga and want something that will be able to handle the journey for a while. Stressing the quality of your yoga mats and adding on a 3-year warranty helps ease potential objections for your ideal customer.
When you focus on what matters to them, and you align with their values, the right customer will not only gravitate towards you, they will become loyal and refer your company to their friends.
4. Copywriting basics
All of the above means very little if you don't cover the copywriting basics. Here are some fundamentals of copywriting to make your DIY copy better.
What are ways you can stand out? Brand voicing, style, advertisements. Think about companies that you can spot a mile away.
Dollar shave club has a unique brand voice. They are quirky with a no-B.S. approach that their customers appreciate.
Oatly took the world by storm with their unique style of advertising. It’s simple, blunt, and funny.
Obviously, your company size, product/service, and how established your company is, make a difference in what works best for you. My point is, don’t just follow what everyone else is doing. Take some creative liberties and make it unique to your company.
A quote I love is, “learn the skills like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” This is exactly what I’m talking about. The combination of skillful marketing with creative copywriting makes for some serious marketing magic.
The next crucial copywriting tip is to make your copy readable! Big fancy words, long, complicated sentences, walls of text because your writing in complete paragraphs… chuck ‘em.
This is not your English Literature class. I know you think it makes you look smart, but really it makes you look snobbish.
Keep to short paragraphs, even if they aren’t complete. Make sure your reader doesn’t see a wall of text and say, “F that, too long, too much effort.”
Remember that white space is your friend. It splits up text, so your copywriting is easier to read and more aesthetically pleasing.
Try to keep the reading level of your content at a middle school level. The average American reading level is an 8th-grade reading level. Not to mention, when people are on your website, they are likely doing something else. Maybe they’re tired or just feeling lazy as they read.
They don’t want to use a ton of brain power, so keep it simple. Make everything as easy as possible (instructions, buttons, formatting) and do a lot of the thinking for them.
Talk to your customer, not at them. You want to make your reader feel like they are in a conversation with you. Like you are an approachable authority figure or a friend that they can trust.
Pretend It’s a Date
When you are talking to them, don’t sound desperate. A lot of start-ups make the mistake of giving off a “LOOK AT ME. I’M AWESOME,” kind of vibe. That’s not cute.
Think of it like dating… if you go out on a date with someone whose vibe is, look at me, I’m awesome, love me, you’re probably going to run the other way. Well, your customers feel the same. If they don’t like you, they will go to someone they do like.
With these copywriting basics, if you have to write your own copy, at least you won’t make the common mistakes I see when working with new (and a surprising number of established) companies.
By creating content with a heart with a service mentality aligned with a higher purpose, your content will automatically be more emotional, connect with your audience more, and be of higher quality.
After Google changed things up in 2011, it has become more and more important to produce quality content over quantity. 1,000 meaningful and relevant words are always going to perform better than 10,000 words that don’t align with your company or ideal customer and are purely put on there for the sake of having 10,000 words.
Trust me. You want to make google happy.
I truly hope this is helpful information for you. Remember that your copywriting is the voice of your company. It's the primary source of communication with your customer and is a major factor in expressing who your company is as a whole. It is beyond important to have good copywriting, especially in this day of so much content on the internet.
There’s a lot more competition now than there was even 10 years ago. Copywriting is one of those areas that bring in a high ROI (42:1 last I read), so it is well worth the investment, whether that be an investment of your time to get it right or money to pay someone to get it right for you.
If you need copywriting or are curious about how it can elevate your company, click the link below to book a call with me. Our call lasts about 20 minutes, and I promise you won’t leave empty-handed. I’ll check out your site and give you recommendations. If you like what you hear, I will create a proposal that best suits your needs.