Do your Research to Write Great Copy

Why doing thorough research will help you write great copy and how to research before each piece of writing.


David Ogilvy once said, 'stuff your conscious mind with information.'

Doing thorough research before you start writing will help you put your best foot forward next time you write a piece of copy. Here's why doing thorough research will help you write great copy and how to do effective research before you start writing.

1. You need to understand your audience.

How many times do you hear that every time a copywriter talks about their craft? Though this advice may get repetitive, there's a reason why everyone has this advice for anyone writing copy in their business. To clearly understand your audience before you get started writing your copy, do some research to:

  • get an idea of the questions your audience is asking;

  • what problems they face; and

  • what kind of language they use.

From here, you'll know how to clearly communicate about your product or service in a way that connects with your target audience.

2. Understand industry trends.

To better understand your industry, make sure you're keeping up to date with industry trends and statistics. Sure, some if the reporting may be noise, but if you focus on industry leaders in your research, you'll be sure to find valuable information you can implement in your own business. For example, HubSpot's State of Inbound Marketing Annual Report is a great place to start for information on how your audience is consuming and reacting to content and marketing.

3. Don't reinvent the wheel. Find businesses that have done this before.

One of the most valuable sources of research is case studies. With a case study, you can see what challenges a business is facing, the solutions to these challenges, and how they successfully moved forward. For copywriting, you want to be looking for case studies about companies that have improved their results with better copywriting. Here are a couple of my favourites:

  • How Servio, a copywriting agency, used technology to overhaul Target's product descriptions. This project was estimated to take 9 months, but it was delivered successfully in just 3 months!

  • How Eloqua, a leader in content marketing automation, launched a successful marketing campaign within a few months. As a large organisation, Eloqua had a lot of work to do with getting internal buy-in on the new marketing strategy. The best part of this case study if you're a small business or solopreneur? You can take the lessons from this case study and start implementing them straight away — no corporate buy-in needed.

While it may be tempting to dive straight in with drafting your copy, investing some time before you start writing will arm you with all the information you need to better connect with your audience. As a result, your audience will be more receptive to your message and what you're offering.

How do you approach your research before you start writing? Let me know in the comments below. If you have any more questions about copywriting for your business, feel free to get in contact with me here.