There are many ways to write compelling copy. You can be direct and straightforward, with very little linguistic flavoring sprinkled in along the way, or you can be an extravagant wordsmith, wielding words like weapons that combat against the mere possibility of your readers abandoning the page prematurely. Both direct and artistic forms of copy can be compelling and effective in the context of internet marketing, and you can even mix the two styles together within the same landing page.
However, there are definitely situations in which advanced writing methods – such as the use of analogies and metaphors – are valuable assets that can influence a reader’s decisions and improve their perception of the brand or writer that the content represents. To get started on your journey to becoming a graceful and proficient master of utilizing analogies and metaphors in your sales copy and blog writing, check out the tips in following this quick guide:
Use Analogies to Make the Content Resonate with the Reader
As a copywriter, you probably already know what an analogy is, so we’ll skip the rudimentary jargon and let you know how you can use them within your copy to facilitate better results in every project. The greatest value that analogies provide when it comes to writing compelling copy is that they make it easier for the writer to relate to the reader and explain concepts that might otherwise seem foreign or difficult to grasp.
Throwing in an analogy adds a familiar context that the reader can use as a basis for their understanding. Thus, try to use analogies when you see an opportunity to elaborate in a more meaningful manner. Here’s a short example of how you can use an analogy to explain a concept more effectively:
Suppose we’re trying to convince the reader that they need to be more conscious about the foods they eat, presumably to pre-sell them on the idea of purchasing a supplement or other health-related product/service. A common analogy used by many copywriters in this niche is the comparison between the way a vehicle relies on the proper type and amount of fuel to run properly.
Thus, a quick analogy to convey this comparison could be: “Even the best vehicles still need to be given the right kind of fuel and maintenance to perform optimally. Since your body is essentially a biological machine, it makes sense that you also need to consume the right foods and take regular exercise to maintain your physical fitness.”
In that brief analogy, we can see that the reader is being compelled to consider the similarities between the needs of their own bodies and the upkeep requirements of automobiles. Ultimately, this simple analogy helps to convince the reader that focusing on their health is imperative if they want to perform optimally.
Use Metaphors for Subtle Stylistic Touches That Also Aid Comprehension
Metaphors can be used to squeeze a lot of meaning into a single phrase by incorporating words that create a visual or parallel representation of the concept or point you’re trying to convey. Metaphors can also be used powerfully within headlines. Many marketers have even coined metaphoric terms that describe popular strategies, such as the Skyscraper blogging technique.
A guide that describes the Skyscraper technique in detail might have a headline that looks something like: “The Skyscraper Technique: How to Get Higher Rankings by Overshadowing the Competition.” If we analyze that headline, we see that the metaphoric use of the word “skyscraper” is what sets the tone for the visualization of the word “overshadowing.”
Even within that relatively short headline, the point is clearly conveyed that the method involves writing a post that stands taller than all other blog posts in its niche (like a skyscraper) and subsequently outdoes (overshadows) the surrounding top-ranking pages for similar keywords within search engine results, the same way a skyscraper would overshadow shorter buildings that are located on the same city block. Of course, such succinct yet potent meaning can also be added to sentences through the use of well-placed metaphors.
Analogies Capture the Reader’s Attention
Analogies are useful when you can tell that the copy might be getting a bit difficult to follow for the average reader. You have to remember that many people have very short attention spans and limited patience. So, analogies tend to work best when they’re incorporated into the beginning or middle of the copy, as they can also be used to set the tone for the closing.
Metaphors Impress Readers and Keep Them on the Page
Metaphors are particularly useful for adding punch to headlines, sub-headers, and key sentences where you want to emphasize the meaning of a specific word or phrase. An example of a common metaphor used in business copy is the “corporate ladder.” You’ve probably seen countless headlines and sentences that make use of the phrase “climbing the corporate ladder.”
Of course, there is no literal ladder to be climbed, but the word “ladder” is used to emphasize the fact that career advancement is a gradual ascension that usually starts from the bottom step and becomes increasingly difficult or risky to balance as you approach the top step on the ladder. When you start to break down and expound upon the meaning of even seemingly simple metaphors like the corporate ladder, it’s easy to see how just how much extra meaning and emphasis they can add with the addition of just one or a few words.
How to Practice Using Analogies and Metaphors
The best way to practice using all of the tips and techniques mentioned above is to simply take some time to write out example sentence and paragraphs that utilize common analogies and metaphors. Coming up with at least 2-5 unique phrases during this process is a good rule of thumb that will help you exercise your own creativity instead of simply regurgitating clichés that most experienced readers have already encountered. Eventually, after you’ve written about 100-200 sentences containing example analogies and metaphors that you found online, plus about 25-50 of your own uniquely brainstormed metaphors, using these tools in your writing will start to become second-nature.