“When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.” – David Ogilvy.
What makes copywriting challenging is that the writer needs to pack together a lot of varied stuff – product knowledge, insights about the target audience, the ability to write, and the know-how for the given content format/ platform. All the while, writing to break the clutter.
Of course, yours is not the only content your prospects receive. They are being bombarded with more and more branding messages via various channels, in different formats, and via multiple mediums – online and offline.
Hence, the need for “out-standing” copywriting. This blog will discuss 11 practical copywriting tips to help you write better and reach wider. We will then jump into 8 popular copywriting formats that can.
11 Tips for a Digital Copywriter
We spoke to some of the most successful copywriters working behind the scene at our content agency and compiled these practical tips to cut the clutter and bring you some real value.
1. Start with Who and Why. Write what the Audience needs!
Unlike offline behaviour, digital consumer journeys are complicated, fragmented, non-linear, multi-tiered, and spread across devices. Start by knowing who you are writing for and what they care about.
Ask questions about your target audience – who are they, where do they live, how do they behave, what are their research patterns, the answers they seek, the stages in their buying journey, etc.
Pro Tip: Experienced copywriters intuitively understand the audience when they see a copywriting brief. Share your understanding with the client, and seek a nod.
One of the most important pieces of information while copywriting is knowing the purchase stage in which the potential reader is. Knowing this will help copywriters choose their words (and CTAs) wisely, create thoughtful conversations and help gradually push the consumer towards the relevant action (instead of aggressively pushing for a sale). Here is an example:
Knowing what your buyer cares for will help you create content that aids their research and nudges them forward. Eventually, turning a window shopper into a buyer.
2. Copywriting for the Medium and Channels
User behaviour differs across content mediums, channels, and formats – and hence the copywriting approach should too. For example, a newspaper reader can be assumed to have more time on her hands compared to a social media surfer who prefers byte-sized content.
Know who will use your content and the liberties you can take while creating the copy. Your aim is to get the user’s attention, hold it long enough with a story, and lead her to the CTA.
Hence, it is easy to guess that digital formats can afford less copy while you can take some liberties with print formats.
Pro Tip: Across formats, go with the thumb rule that “less is more”. Do your audience a favour, use the least no. of words.
3. Crisp and Concise
Chuck the jargon and get to the point. Like this
4. Write to a design
For a great user experience, design and copy go together. Copywriting becomes more manageable with a wireframe (or even a work in progress layout) for reference. When the writer knows how the content will be placed on a webpage/ infographic, she can structure her thoughts and talking points to fit the design.
Pro Tip: In the absence of a wireframe from the client, copywriters can use websites like elements.envato.com to get references for website home pages, landing pages, social media banners, and more.
5. Consider the Tone of the Message
Not every communication will be positive or will need to elicit a response. Some of it is only informative (FYI types), with no real action expected from the reader. Hence, it is essential to vary the tone of voice accordingly.
For example, we write service letters for a leading private bank in India. These are updates about banking rules, new guidelines, compliance requirements, and the likes. As per the brand’s content style guide, a warm and friendly tone of voice is maintained for such pieces.
In general, ensure that the content is conversational and polite. Be intuitive. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Understand their frame of reference, give a background to why you are writing, and keep the communications relevant.
Pro Tip: Irrespective of the message, empathy is always a good idea.
6. Optimize for Geography
Cultural nuances influence business decisions, including copy. Writing for a global audience (like that on the Internet) requires the copywriter to know the audience well. With enough experience and research, we learn what works, what is just flat, and what is a strict no-no.
Pro Tip: When writing for a global audience, be sensitive. Especially with genres like humour.
Here is a success story about creating e-learning content for a client operating out of Barcelona and catering to the world. Our copywriters needed to be mindful of cultural sensitivities and avoid references and connotations that could have multiple interpretations.
People from different age groups perceive and consume information differently. The style of writing that appeals to an 18-year-old may not necessarily appeal to a 40 or 50-year-old. So, you have to strategize to appeal to your target audience accordingly.
Say you are writing a copy to appeal to parents of 5-10-year-olds to get their child vaccinated. It is imperative to remember why they may be hesitant. So, ensure your copy quotes facts from scientific experts and their research. Make them feel safe without being pushy.
8. Don’t be afraid to bend some grammar rules
It is acceptable, often even fun, to bend some grammar rules to pack a punch in the communication and appeal to the target audience. Here are a few tips that can come in handy:
- Ending the sentence with a preposition in the interest of readability
- Beginning a sentence with words like ‘but’ or ‘and’ in the interest of readability
- Fragmenting sentences in the interest of readability
- Using gender-neutral pronoun – they, interchangeable with he/ she
- Using ‘an’ before words that are not nouns when appropriate
- Writing one-sentence paragraphs
- Going multi-lingual
- Purposely misspelling words to add some tongue-in-cheek humour
All the best!
9. Use of relevant icons
Icons can simplify an idea and get the message across faster by aiding comprehension. Unlike copy, an icon usually requires no translation. Copywriters have been helped (to a great extent) by mobile-first social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter – that have the entire user experience driven by intuitive icons.
The popularity of operating systems – right from Windows and Android to iOS have also strengthened users’ understanding of icons.
10. Ensure you have a call to action
The call to action (CTA) is an unambiguous declaration of what you would like the consumer to do. One of the most vital copywriting tips is not coming off as outright salesy in your call to action. You need to be subtle.
Give value to your content. Ensure that you sell a product that consumers can benefit from and want to possess. Engaging your potential customer with impactful, valuable content means there is no need to be salesy. Your content will help you reach your goal.
11. Cite credible references
Use the footer section (or hyperlinks) to provide links to the source of your data. This applies to data and images (those that have not been licenced). Linking back to sources is not just good copywriting practice; it also helps build credibility, aids SEO, and allows your readers to read more. Overall, you come across as a resourceful content creator.
Pro Tip: Links to videos, books, reports, other free resources make your copy bookmark worthy, engaging and shareable.
8 Types of Copywriting Formats
Now that you know the nuances of writing stellar copy, let us get more specific and hands-on about this. Below, we will look at some popular copywriting formats and identify their best practices.
1. Scripts for Chatbots
Chatbot scripts are crafted to provide an authentic, helpful, conversational experience. One of the most important copywriting tips for chatbot scripts is to draft high-performing, effective, and engaging templates for users to have a seamless conversation that is human-like.
2. Copywriting for Emailers
Writing a compelling email copy is a great way to connect directly with your targeted audience and build personal customer relationships. Some copywriting tips for emails include writing a great subject line, an engaging preview sentence, and an intuitive Call to Action.
An email copy can be both sales-oriented and educational. People who subscribe to your emails are your most valued prospects as they wish to stay informed about your business’s latest products and services.
3. Content for SMS
Even though SMS marketing is largely despised for being spammy, it could be very effective for advertisement if done correctly. Making the text concise, highlighting important words in CAPS, using urgency, and incorporating a strong CTA are effective copywriting tips for SMS marketing.
4. UI/ UX Copywriting
User Experience (UX) describes how and why consumers interact with a service or product. It determines their experience with the service or product.
Copywriting is an essential part of the User Interface (UI) as well. The goal is to develop techniques and methods of copywriting that will be engaging and informative for users while supporting the visual design of the screens or pages.
5. Social Media Copywriting
Besides product visuals, brand aesthetics, engaging videos, and classy graphic design, copywriting is one of the most effective means of compelling followers to action. It is an essential part of a company’s digital marketing strategy.
6. Copy for WhatsApp Bots
Reaching out to the target audience through WhatsApp adverts is becoming a widely accepted means to grow the customer base. And with it comes effective copywriting aimed to get the consumers hooked. Keeping the copy concise and conversational are two practical copywriting tips for WhatsApp advertisements.
7. Service Letters
Quality copywriting plays a vital role in drafting a service letter.
8. Content for Landing Pages
Brands work tirelessly to optimise their website’s landing page. Great copywriting can lead to more traction on your landing page. One copywriting tip for landing pages is to make the words more conversational to engage the web page visitor. Also, having social proof on your landing page could increase subscriptions by almost 20%.
Common Copywriting Mistakes
A high-quality copy will get you more traction and bring immense value to your brand. But writing it is not as easy as it seems. Here, we will explore some copywriting tips that make your content compelling to the customers and illustrates what your brand stands for. Avoid making these mistakes for better results:
- Not making your copy SEO friendly
- Failing to understand what your target audience cares about
- Lacking consistency
- Not having a clear goal
- Not writing copy based on the design of the platform
- Not explaining how your product will be beneficial to your target audience
- Ignoring copywriting content for mobile devices
- Not Optimizing for Scanability
Creating copy that resonates with the target audience and gains traction can be difficult. To help you break the clutter and make your content stand out, we have listed impactful copywriting tips to help your business grow.
Let us help you create an impactful content strategy for your brand. Click here to know more about LexiConn’s copywriting services.
If you are an adventurous writer looking for an opportunity to work on strategic projects across various domains and collaborate with in-house subject-matter experts, then LexiConn is the place for you. Visit LexiConn Careers and get started now!