Who doesn’t enjoy a good question? A wise man once said, “Question everything.” But did he really mean everything? And did he mean out loud, or in your head? If you started to literally question everything, wouldn’t you be arrested and/or possibly slapped within a day?
These are all pertinent questions. And far too profound for this blog. So instead, let’s get some answers around using questions in copywriting.
Should You Use Questions In Your Copywriting?
Absolutely! The obvious thing about a question is that it demands an answer. Questions are immediately engaging, which is exactly what you want from your copywriting. They demand that your audience read on – and read on they will, even if they’re not particularly invested in either the question or the answer.
Think about it. How many godawful television shows have you seen through to the bitter end, all because you wanted to find out who the killer was/if the hero would survive/if Craig from Norwich would win a million pounds? Questions are inherently dramatic. Which means we, simple humans that we are, can’t get enough of them.
How To Use Questions Effectively In Your Copywriting
There is, of course, a fine line between engaging your audience and irritating them to the point of them putting their fist through the computer screen. Do not go overboard with your questions! You’ll come across as annoying and desperate. Not a good idea to put more than three in a row without some definitive statements to break ’em up.
So how can you best utilise questions to optimise your copy? Good question. (You’re getting the hang of this.)
1. As an opener
You have all of five seconds to grab a reader’s attention. A few questions in your opening gambit can pay dividends on that front.
2. As connective tissue to get your points across
Try laying out a problem before asking a question that hints at a solution. Then give your readers the solution in the next paragraph. This should develop a subconscious bond of trust and respect along with a little intrigue…all essential elements when starting a new relationship. (We’re strictly talking about a writer/reader relationship here, not giving dating tips.)
3. As a home for long-tail keywords
These bad boys are going to form a very important component of your overall SEO strategy, and questions can be a great place to get keywords of all kinds into your copy. For example: “Have you ever dreamed about skydiving over Niagara Falls? You’re not alone!”
4. As call-to-actions
Questions can also be a great way to round off a piece, urging your audience into action. For example: “Want to know more about skydiving over Niagara Falls? Get in touch with us today!”
The Right Questions
Our final note: you have to ask the right questions. This requires knowing your audience a little, or at least knowing who you’re aiming for. You want to ask questions that your audience can empathise with. You want them to think, “Is this person talking directly to me?” To which you can answer, “You bet I am!”.
Your best bet is to focus on the reader’s own needs and self-interest, as with any element of copywriting. Make it impossible for them to click away. Keep it direct, straightforward and simple. Oh, and think like a lawyer – never ask a question you don’t know the answer to.
Got it? Good. Now go forth and question everything but this advice.