There is no perfect template for marketing copy, but there are rules that follow best practices. In this video, learn how to write copy that’s focused and effective.
- Writing is a very individual thing, and marketing copywriting is no different. But there are some general rules and tips that may help you as you write your marketing copy. Let's say Harrison is writing the basic copy for his flagship bicycle helmet, the HH1. His audience is consumers. He wants them going to retailers and asking them for the helmet and he wants them buying it when they see it or ordering it online. A few basic rules will make his writing more effective. First, you need to address the reader. Use you and your, not one and ones. Listen to these two descriptions of a single feature of the HH1. The unobtainium shell provides unbeaten protection for any cyclist in any conditions. Or, the unobtainium shell provides unbeatable protection for you, whether you're a commuter, a mountain biker, or a competitive cyclist. The second statement is a bit more engaging. Yes it's longer, but it points at me the reader. I've actually tested this online, and copy that addresses the reader works 25 to 30% better on average. Next, you need to remember that your customer is not an algorithm. Yes, I know you're worried about search engines and search rankings, but your customers don't care. Harrison's ultimate goal here isn't to rank number one for helmets. Truth is, he doesn't have a chance of doing that against the established brands anyway. A top ranking might get him lots of attention, but if his copy is awful, that attention is going to wander in a hurry. What if instead he only got 10 people to his website, but every one of them was so blown away by the HH1 helmet that they all started telling their friends who told their friends who asked the bicycle shops and so on? That's a marketing success. So don't worry about quantity just yet, worry about quality. Another important tip and one that took me a long time to learn is that sarcasm doesn't work. Try to stick to easily interpreted emotional tone. Copywriting is not a great place for subtlety. The only exception is where you're writing for an audience that you know will value that kind of humor. And those are few and far between. Next, tell me why. I'm a huge advocate of bicycle helmets, and so is Harrison. To help tell his customers why, he could point out the society spends x dollars on head injuries every year, and it's every cycler's duty to wear a helmet for that reason. Or he could simply say, "This helmet rocks." As a colleague of mine says, "So what?" Don't be abstract. Tell me what's in it for me. The consumer does have a need for a helmet. Your job and the job of every marketing copywriter is to turn that need into a want. Here's an example. Harrison could say the HH1's shell can withstand up to four tons of pressure. Great, I can use it as a jack stand when I change the oil in my car. But why does that matter? How about this instead? A fall from a stationary bicycle delivers the equivalent of two tons of pressure to your skull. The HH1's shell can withstand up to four tons of pressure, protecting you from impact injuries. That's the "so what?" It tells me why this helmet matters to me. Finally, you need to just say it. Be direct. Don't make folks interpret. We're all bombarded with information day in and day out. The last thing we need is marketing copy that requires a PhD on the part of the reader. Harrison shouldn't start the first page on his website, print piece, or even radio ad with, your brain is a very fragile spongy material floating in your skull. Yes, it's poetic, it also fails to even tell me why I'm reading. Instead, he might start with, you're a cyclist, you want to protect your head. The HH1 does that better than any other helmet on the market with style. There is no perfect template for marketing copy, but I encourage you to use these general rules to help you stay on track.
- What is copywriting?
- Writing the first draft
- Writing and testing headlines
- Structuring copy for print vs. online delivery
- Using typography effectively
- Rewriting copy
- Managing a team of copywriters