By Fausto Mendez
Throughout the last decade or so, copywriters have taken a backseat in the marketing industry. Unfortunately, that means poor marketing copy is more common than ever, but text and message are two critical components of any marketing campaign. Improve your marketing copy, and you’ll gain a significant advantage over competitors that forget the importance of the written word.
During our early-morning reading spree, we stumbled upon an excellent piece, courtesy of Entrepreneur, that describes five ways to better marketing copy. We break down the basics below - followed by some of our own in-house tips.
+ Find better reading material. Expose yourself to exceptional writing, and, eventually, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your own.
+ Vary your sentence structure and vocabulary. Find new ways of saying the same thing. You might be surprised at what’s possible with the English language.
+ Stop using static text in your marketing materials. Your newsletter/flyer/whatever shouldn’t feature the same opener every month.
+ Carry a pen and notebook everywhere you go. Some people, like myself, use it mainly for notes and brainstorming. Other professional writers actually write everything by hand before finalizing it in the digital world. Handwriting uses different parts of your brain, so you may develop new and interesting writing styles this way.
+ Try what you haven’t done before. The best way to learn anything is to get your hands dirty with it.
These are some excellent points, but don’t stop there. You can do a lot more to improve your marketing copy. We add our own in-house tips below.
+ Add a dictionary, thesaurus and grammar guide to your arsenal. Don’t be ashamed to look up word definitions, synonyms and antonyms. More importantly, double check your grammar if you’re not 110% sure about it, though in some cases, you may choose to intentionally break grammar rules. No one expects you to have every minute detail of the entire English language memorized, but incorrect grammar is embarrassing in most situations (see the above picture).
+ Test your marketing copy! This could mean a lot of things, including the use of market research and focus groups, but always test your copy on the medium on which it’ll be published. For example, if you’re writing copy for a billboard ad, put the text on a mock-up billboard to see what it’s like in action. Similarly, if you’re writing for the homepage of an e-commerce site, upload the text onto a dummy version of the site before publishing. You might be surprised at how different it looks in a real-world setting.
+ Read Mark Twain’s work. Study his writing philosophies. As the inventor of the American novel, his writing style and story-telling techniques continue to be imitated to this day! Even if you never write a novel, understanding why his work is so massively beloved is important.
+ More is less. Writing a big message with many words is easy. Writing a big message with few words is much harder. In the world of marketing, if your message is made up of less words, it’s more likely to be consumed and understood. This is actually one of Mark Twain’s fundamental principles on good writing.
+ Never stop writing. Develop habits that keep your hands busy with a keyboard or pen. Practice makes perfect.
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