Words are still the best way to convey your message – Use it right.
Copywriting is inevitable even in the age of visuals. Images and videos may capture our attentions quicker and easier, but we require words to provide us a deeper understanding of a message. We need text to specifically inform, educate and tell; it works as a fundamental aspect that ties any marketing effort together.
Words have the power to compel action, but so can they annoy and vex a reader. In today’s saturated content market, copywriting takes more than just piecing words into a coherent sentence; Readers are ever more discerning and demanding. Here are 4 essential copywriting tips every content marketer needs to create attractive, striking content.
1. Keep it Short
Most of us probably skimmed through a couple of words in the introduction before landing here. The truth about written content is that not everyone reads your work diligently, especially online. In fact, only 16% of web users read word-for-word; the rest of the population ‘scan’ content. Likewise, most readers online only manage to go through 60% of an article before clicking away. All that effort for naught, don’t you think?
It happens to the best of us. Honestly, reading takes too much cognitive effort and attention, and we want to get right down to the important stuff. Its important for marketers to be able to write copy that gives what the readers want as quickly as possible.
Here are some tips for writing concisely:
– Use Bold, Italics or underlines to highlight crucial information
– Write shorter paragraphs for easy digestion
– Add images/visuals to break up big chunks of text
– Don’t underestimate your reader. Avoid ‘over-informing’ them by going into too much detail.
– Cut out redundant phrases and words (e.g filler words like ‘very’, ‘most’; Adverbs like ‘cheerfully’ or ‘happily’)
– Use bulleted lists (Like we do!)
2. Keep it Simple
Yes, copywriting is about having a good command for language. But writing well does not mean peppering your content with fancy, flowery words to showcase your linguistic abilities.
Content writing isn’t the same as drafting a novel. If anything, difficult copy only takes us further away from our readers, and affects the clarity of our message. Using simpler words helps readers comprehend faster and keeps us as writers relatable to our audience.
Here are some ways you can write simpler:
– Write purposefully. Are your word choices adding value to the overall message, or fluffing up for word count?
– Avoid using jargon, industry terms or corporate phrases (e.g. terms like ‘EDMs’, ‘synergistic’, ‘core competencies’)
– Use positives over double negatives; They confuse a reader (e.g. ‘She accepted the offer’ vs. ‘She didn’t reject the offer.’)
– Replace abstract descriptions with specific ones. If it’s a clothes iron, use ‘a clothes iron’ instead of ‘ a household appliance that straightens out clothing’.
3. Don’t Focus on Yourself
One fatal mistake most writers make is focusing too much on describing how ‘special’, ‘different’ or ‘powerful’ their content is against others. This form of copywriting isn’t effective, because it doesn’t tell readers how their information can benefit them.
Ultimately, readers don’t care about who you are; They only care if you are useful for them. Are you able to help them solve a problem? Enrich their lives? Help them achieve their objectives? If you know your content ticks all the right boxes, illustrate your points by writing in their shoes and creating content that is relevant, appealing and helpful to them.
Here is how you can become more consumer-centric:
– Use words like ‘you’ to address your readers directly.
– Integrate scenarios in your copy that your readers might often come across, and tie that in with how your content can benefit them in those incidents.
– Write in a conversational style, which is more relaxed and engaging for the reader.
– Lean towards active over passive voice. This type of sentence structure emphasises on directing action towards the user, making it easier to comprehend.
4. Be Humble and Honest
We are a cynical bunch these days – Any piece of copy littered with superlatives is bound to cause suspicion than awe in readers. Are you really sure drinking cold pressed juices can solve all my health problems? In this overcrowded media climate, readers are looking for content that builds trust and integrity to guide their decisions.
Though incredible-sounding descriptions might catch a reader’s attention, they may reek of over-promotion, which turns consumers off. Especially when people can easily suss out the credibility of your claims with just a click, it pays to come clean and be objective about what you are writing. In fact, your audience will thank you for it.
Here are some pointers in improving content credibility
– Cite your information sources from reputable sites or materials.
– Show humility in your writing style. If there are limitations, recognise instead of ignoring it.
– Refrain from utilising too many superlatives, such as ‘Most Amazing’, ‘Perfect’, ‘Super’.
– Practice what you preach. Strive to produce content that is consistent with previous works. For example, if you are writing about how bloggers should use images on their posts, but your blog posts aren’t showing the same, readers will be conflicted by the impression you are trying to make.
– Use scientific research, data, statistics or quotes from renowned sources or individuals to back up your claims.
Written by: (www.script.com.sg)
Edited & Illustrated by: Script Consultants Pte Ltd