What Is ‘Proof’ In Copywriting And How Can Proof Improve Your Copy ?

There are lots of aspects to consider when writing a piece of copy. An increasingly important one is when and how use proof.

Proof can be a really fascinating tool to make use of, and can add a lot of credibility and value to your copywriting.

Here’s essentially what proof is: Showing people that what you’re saying is true, not just telling them it is.

Because here’s the problem: There’s so much content about today. Literally millions and millions of items of content are published every week. On top of that there are so many scams out there in the online world.

You could probably write without proof in simpler, offline times. But nowadays, if you don’t, there is always the risk that the impact of what you write could be diminished.

On the other hand, using proof will gain your reader’s approval, set your copy apart from those who don’t use proof and get it remembered. Above all, proof will gain your reader’s trust.

So, how to use proof in your copywriting ….

First think about what people might doubt or question in your copy. For example, that the product has the features you claim it has. That the product will offer them the benefits you claim it does. Or even that you are even a genuine business and not a scammer.

Now address these doubts or questions in your copy.

Think: If sounds too good to be true is it probably is, is a much repeated mantra that people really believe. If you are writing good, powerful copy it’s very easy to make your product sound too good to be true.

Next, there are lots of devices you can use to demonstrate proof. Some of these are copy devices but others are visual. (In fact, I’d always recommend you collect together these devices before you write your copy, so you can draw on them as necessary.)

Here are some ways you can demonstrate proof:

* Use facts, figures, statistics. Compile your own or better still collect them from a well known and trusted source.

* Use testimonials. From customers or from people who are well known in the relevant business. Ask for these if you need to.

* Refer to mentions in the press your product might have had.

* Provide details of the standards your product/service/business meets and any certifications it has.

* Include reviews. Ideally from a trusted source or review site.

* Mention awards that your product/service/business/staff might have won.

* Use photographs and videos. A picture paints a thousand words as they say.

* Even a simple illustration can serve as proof. For example, a diagram or flowchart showing how your product works.

Which and how many of these you use will depend on what you’re writing about and what you are writing for. I’d recommend you use them sparingly – too much proof can be overkill. Try to be selective, use your best sources of proof.

Should you include links (or footnotes) to your proof in your copy? Again, it depends what you are writing for. If you have a lot of proof using too many links to it can be overkill. (But where you don’t link always be in a position where you can produce that proof if you’re asked to.)

Social proof

Social proof is another aspect to consider when copywriting. Here’s what that means in simple, practical terms: Increasingly today, people will search for your business, product or service – or even for your proof – to see if what you say adds up. So, it can be a big benefit if the proof you use in your copywriting also exists somewhere within your social media presence, as well as the wider online environment, too.

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