How can I write better marketing copy?
Are you struggling to write effective marketing copy? Here are five tools for instant improvement.
1. Don’t write for yourself, write for them
Marketing copy is susceptible to common traps: overuse of jargon, tech-speak, or just plain boring text. You can’t fit every corporate talking point into one paragraph—and you shouldn’t try. Decide what’s most important to your audience and craft copy accordingly. The average consumer doesn’t care about technical specs, certifications or organizational structure—she wants to know how your product or service will make her life better.
2. Back up your statements
Do you have the most powerful widget in the world? Prove it. How does your widget stand up to competitors in independent testing? How has it improved day-to-day operations for your customers?
Provide relevant, provable research and real-life stories to support your assertions and make statements resonate.
3. Use an active voice
An active voice is clear, concise and exciting. A passive voice is wordy and dull.
The subject of your sentence should not receive the action; the subject should perform the action. Instead of “The world was saved through XYZ company’s efforts,” say “XYZ company saved the world."
4. Vary the length of sentences and paragraphs
It’s boring to read sentences that contain the same number of words. Your readers don’t want to read sentences that are the same length. Your audience will tune out if consecutive sentences are the same length.
See what I did there?
Use short statements or questions to get the reader’s attention. Use long sentences to explain, or take the reader on a journey.
Apply the same rule for paragraphs: vary long and short to engage your reader. Too many long paragraphs exhaust the reader; too many short ones distract him. The variety will hold his interest.
5. Don’t be afraid to Make cuts
In 2015, Microsoft came out with a study that said the average adult attention span is eight seconds. But most copy takes longer than eight seconds to read. Strike a balance between abrupt statements and drawn-out prose. Write copy, then cut the fat.
Effective editing should reduce or eliminate:
- Repeated words, phrases or concepts
- Prepositional phrases that state or repeat the obvious, like “in the beginning,” “during the event,” “throughout the lecture”
- Tired or overused phrases that state the obvious, for example, “We are thrilled to receive this award"
- Adverbs that don’t add meaning to the word they are modifying, such as: totally, simply, clearly, actually
4.6 billion pieces of content are produced daily*. Write to engage your readers, or they will move on to the next article.