Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when writing marketing copy. Use them next time you're writing to make your copy come to life.
1. Headlines are everything
In such a fast-paced and busy world, time is limited for your readership. You are competing against a huge amount of communications aimed at your potential readers. The first thing that anyone sees in a publication or on the web is an image or an eye-catching headline. Without a captivating headline, the rest of your copy might as well not exist as readers will not want to go any further than the title.
Suggestion: Start with a working title, keep it accurate but bring your words to life with some alliteration, or if there is scope, make it visual.
2. Don’t be sleazy in your style
Imagine you are on the phone or in person talking to potential clients, the last thing you want to do is come across as a pushy sales person. The same applies when writing copy and basic copywriting etiquette goes a long way. Stay true to the ‘voice’ and personality of your company brand. Everything you write should be a clear reflection of your brand image. Use words that provoke emotion and enthusiasm. Instead of using words like ‘we’ and ‘us’, use words such as ‘you’ and ‘your’ to provoke empathy and speak directly to your audience.
Suggestion: Be clear, concise and to the point – avoid using complex words. Write in a language that your audience will understand. Illustrate that you are being genuine and helpful. Avoid marketing jargon and wishy-washy sales talk.
3. Statistics are king
The use of words such as ‘hundreds’ or ‘millions’ can often make you sound like you are making figures up or exaggerating the truth. Us humans can be pretty hard to convince, so instead - use specific numbers and statistics to back up what you are saying. This will increase your overall credibility to potential customers.
Suggestion: Add statistics to your headline or first paragraph to draw attention and back up what you are saying.
4. Proof, check…then check again
There is nothing more irritating than reading an article full of grammatical and spelling errors. Basic proof-reading and checking before publishing any copy is a must as these mistakes can be costly for your business. Lack of attention to detail will make your business look unprofessional and your audience will either stop reading your article or, even worse, potential customers will be put off your company altogether.
Suggestion: Utilise the basic spell check and grammar check tools in Word before publishing copy. Whether it is your colleague, daughter, son or cousin, get someone else to proofread your copy before finalising it. It’s amazing what you can miss when you’ve been staring at a piece of writing for so long. A useful free app is www.hemingwayapp.com – it will check through your copy and give you suggestions for improvements.
5. A golden call to action
As much as the headline is important for attracting attention, your call to action needs to be clear, simple and to the point to let your audience know where you want them to go or what you want them to do. Give your audience a good reason as to why they should take your desired action but keep it short and sweet. Choose a CTA that is measurable for example a specific landing page, a telephone number or an email address so you can monitor results driven from your copy.
Suggestion: Words that provoke emotion are useful for CTAs. Focus on the benefits of your product or service and keep your call to action clear, concise and in an eye-catching position and size.