Copywriting Strategies: Soap Opera Marketing
For decades, soap operas have captured the attention—and lunch breaks—of viewers everywhere. From catfights and scandals to weddings and love stories, soap operas’ never-ending stories capture their audiences and always leave them at the edge of their seats, waiting impatiently for what’s to come in the next episode.
Sure, soap operas can be cheesy and overrated, but there are valuable lessons to be learned from their continued success. Soap operas feed their audiences. They give them a little taste of the drama and as soon as you know it, the episode has ended. But wait—
If viewers tune in the next day, they’ll receive yet another dose of the drama, and the cycle continues day-to-day, week-to-week.
You, too, can leave your audience at the edge of their seats with your copywriting, leaving your prospects interested and hungry for more. We call this soap opera marketing.
Here are simple, easily implementable copywriting strategies to strengthen your copy and hook your audience to keep them coming back for more.
Grab attention and create curiosity.
We are constantly inundated with messages coming at all angles. Whether we receive an inbox full of marketing emails, or simply walk through a shopping mall, marketing engulfs our day-to-day lives.
And that’s why so few people take notice.
It’s not because the product or service misses the mark, it’s because the message fails to hook the audience. Once you grab attention and create curiosity, you gain a more receptive audience.
When it comes to soap operas, audiences engage with cliffhanger stories that keep them tuning in. This audience resonance stems from an emotional hook that reveals a situation, but not how the character will respond to it… yet.
Will Carly escape being buried alive?
Will Debra get out of the burning building?
Find out next time on Days of Our Lives…
Most people know that Carly and Debra will make it out unscathed, but the audience still wants to know how these characters will escape the situation.
How do you apply the attention and curiosity technique to your copywriting? Use a hook and cliffhanger that pique immediate interest and keep the audience reading with emotional resonance.
For example, a standard message for an office-cleaning service may read something like this:
“We will clean your office (even under the couch cushions!) so you can concentrate on running your business.”
While this example taps into the benefits, it won’t generate interest or curiosity.
Instead, try a marketing email hook that plays on concrete examples.
Subject Line: How lemons escalate sales
A recent study from the Clean Office Agency shows that a clean office ramps up sales. How? Because employees become more productive when the desks shine, the windows are gleaming, and everything smells like lemons.
The subject line in this example serves as the initial hook that sparks intrigue. Afterward, the copy delivers proof and explanation that sells. The greater the intrigue you create, the more unique opens your emails will receive.
Don’t be afraid of mystery.
Good copywriting is honest and straightforward. But for the prospect to take notice, the copywriting also needs to be fun. Mystery provides an entertainment factor that keeps a reader scrolling down a sales page or blog.
Soap operas use the mystery technique to a great effect. In other words, when a person doesn’t have a nugget of information, they crave it.
Did Stephen really poison the casserole?
Is Shelly telling the truth about the father of her baby?
You’ll find out on the next episode of Guiding Light!
When it comes to copywriting, you probably should steer clear of hyperbolic drama. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use the mystery technique.
Here’s how you do it: Write only about benefits. And don’t reveal the product.
Here are a few examples of mystery copy that keeps your prospect reading:
Mystery Copy: Drink coffee and burn fat. Literally.
Actual Product/Service: Green coffee weight loss supplement.
Mystery Copy: You’re about to discover five ways to look at a girl and make an amazing first impression.
Actual Product/Service: Dating coaching program.
Mystery Copy: Revealed: The secret to looking ten years younger in just one hour a day.
Actual Product/Service: High-end skincare product.
Your audience can picture themselves enjoying the results of your product, service, or strategy without even knowing what you’re going to reveal or offer them.
They’ll keep tuning in so long as you keep them interested. Your customers want to be in the know, while you leave only a trail of breadcrumbs.
Keep it simple and relatable.
In soap operas, storylines are used quite repeatedly and the dialogue is typically less than Oscar-worthy, but viewers just can’t stop watching. Heartbreak and family secrets aside, soap operas’ storylines and characters are simple and easily relatable to their viewers. Dedicated fans know characters on a first-name basis.
That’s also what takes copy from good to great. Keep the language straightforward and allow your audience to connect to what you’ve written. Write thrilling copy thoughtfully; don’t just add fluffy language to make it sound better.
And make sure you’re allowing prospects to put themselves in the shoes of your current clients. Help them envision their business, life, relationship, health, etc. at the pinnacle of success. Take them on a virtual journey with the results that they so desire.
If your audience can relate to what you’ve shared, then they’re more likely to click through to Read more here! or schedule a free strategy call with you or buy your latest at-home study product.
Remember to think of successful copy like a popular soap opera: a little drama, a hint of mystery, and a dedicated fan base of loyal followers.
Hook, line, and sinker.
Find out more…schedule a call to discuss our copywriting services.