The reach of compelling Copy, or written content, is often understated. If copy does not present an organisation in the same manner as its multimedia, you might as well not have bothered. Simply put, an organisation should present a consistent message. Copy is a key instrument in doing so, a tool that ties together written content, design and digital media. This underlies a key aspect of business presentation – the aesthetic should never hold primacy over the message.
Here you will find Adjust Media’s take on Copywriting; our 5 step guide to producing effective written Web, Advertising and Marketing content.
Step 1: Being an expert on your chosen topic before you write your copy
Be informed. If you want to sell a product or advertise a product your copy must resonate with the market. The marketer must hold and intimate sufficient knowledge about his product to enable him to effectively sell to the consumer. So, whether it is an App business, a Web service or a consumer product you must completely immerse yourself within the service; use it, talk to friends about it, research its origins and production methods. Only then will you find the right angle from which to sell the product.
For example, Joseph Sugarman, a successful American copywriter, did away with prior marketing techniques, in researching a watch. By highlighting the laser technology in producing the watch as a primary focus and fully understanding his product and the market, he was able to innovate with his copy.
2. Identifying and researching your customers
It is intrinsic to the success of your copy, that you understand your target market – how they think, what they like and most importantly what they respond to. How do you capture their interest, demand their loyalty and appeal to them in their own language? People respond to companies as they do people, customers seek out relationships with brands with which they can relate.
3. Put pen to paper:
Writer’s block is a much-maligned condition and plagues many copywriters. You could spend hours aggressing over that first line, when, in fact, it is far more beneficial just to get started, make mindmaps or even draw images. Don’t let your creative capacity be lessened by the desire for a pithy sentence or over-complicated grammar. Just get your ideas down first and come back to arrange them later.
4. Get your opening sentence read!
It is very easy to miss the point of your first line. This is your hook, without which any hope of the consumer reading or interacting with your piece is lost. It is very easy to get caught up with the beautiful design or the layout but if the first line doesn’t get read, the design, the layout and the photos aren’t doing their job.
5. Compel the consumer to keep reading…
This is known as the slippery slide – your readers have to be so compelled to read the content you give them, that they cannot stop reading. Each paragraph or statement must captivate them enough to read from one to the next. This somewhat negates arguments regarding the relative advantages of short or long passages of copy, the content you provide needs only be as long or as short as it needs to be to hold the reader’s attention. Thus, the slippery slide.
Bearing all this in mind, it is important however to remain focused on the purpose of compelling copy, as Sugarman writes, “to cause a person to exchange his or her hard-earned money for a product or service”. The marketer must then match up the demands of the customer and his hard-earned income, with the copywriter and his hard-planned copy.