Crafting words into compelling copy is one of the most effective elements of successful marketing.
No one is born a copywriter.
Whether you’re writing for children… dads… tweens… new mums…. or grandma, there is never a RIGHT or WRONG way to go about it.
That’s the beauty of copywriting.
We can all agree, that in the big wide world of business, content is essential (and unfortunately content doesn’t write itself!)
Ever caught yourself staring at a blank computer screen, watching the blinking cursor, and waiting for the words to appear on the page?
This isn’t an uncommon scenario and happens to copywriters more than they like to admit.
Getting started can be a daunting task, particularly if you aren’t familiar with the industry, audience or subject matter that you’re writing about.
The secret to pushing though the initial creative roadblock? Do your homework.
Don’t dive in! The power of knowledge is unbelievably valuable when it comes to creating good copy. Do what you have to do to access the background information you need before even sitting down at the desk.
“Before you even open your pad, open five other things. Your ears, your eyes and your mind.” – James Lowther, M&C Saatchi/Saatchi & Saatchi.
Gain as much information as you can – call your 14-year old nephew to find out the latest lingo in the schoolyard, visit a nursing home to chat with the residents, or listen in on a mothers group.
AIM? Convince your audience that you know WHAT you’re talking about and WHO you’re talking to.
WHO is my audience?
Tradies? Medical professionals? Single parents? Having a comprehensive understanding of your target audience can be a great place to start.
If you aren’t able to track down any friends or family to help, joining LinkedIn groups can be an effective insight into the lives of different target groups. Writing for accountants? Join a LinkedIn accounting group and you’ll be flooded with industry speak and trending topics.
Once you’ve worked out a bit of information about your target audience, Hubspot’s MakeMyPersona.com http://makemypersona.com/ let’s you generate an individual personality to represent your group.
WHAT information do I already know? What do I need to know?
Be investigative. Immerse yourself within the product – buy it, use it, test it. Sign up for the company’s e-Newsletter, read their social media comments.
Do whatever you can to gauge information on the product or service you’re writing about.
WHY am I writing this?
Whatever you do, don’t tell your reader something they already know! If you’re developing copy for a new phone advertisement, we don’t want to be told that the phone can take photos…. tell the time… or set a timer.
Instead, try uncovering a problem that your audience faces and provide them with a solution.
Stuck for ideas? Typical personal problems include: money, time and work/life balance.
WHERE is the copy going? (Mediums/channels being used).
Every media form has its own personality. A handwritten postcard will portray a totally different meaning to a flashing website banner.
Forms of media should always be considered when writing copy. Be aware that different mediums require different tones and styles.
However, being conscious of this doesn’t mean you necessarily have to play it safe.
Want to create a viral campaign? Think outside the square. Use mediums that stray away from traditional media.
Be humorous, be fun, be controversial, start a social conversation!
Now you’ve done your homework, it’s time to get those creative juices flowing. This is where the fun really begins, and we’ve got you covered!
Stay tuned for next week’s blog – Foolproof Formulae for Creative Copywriting.