Writing is hard. Writing ads is harder. Sometimes the copy you write can be changed so much that, by the time it gets out into the world, you hardly even recognize it. But fear not! Here are 7 great tips to keep your copy fresh, captivate readers, and ensure that your ideas make it to the front lines.
Keep It Short
In Rudolf Flesch’s book How to Write, Think and Speak Effectively, he explains that the more words there are in a sentence, the more difficult it is to read. It’s also more difficult to understand. Keeping copy short can help you grab someone’s attention. It’s also an exercise for the writer, because you’re forced to choose more impactful words.
Choose Your Words Wisely
Playing off of number 1, if you’re going to keep your copy short, you need to make sure that every single word has an impact. This is a difficult task, but it’s a great exercise in word association. Take out a piece of paper and write down every word you can think of that has to do with your product or service. Soon enough, you’ll be writing words that you can put together to form the perfect headline or positioning line.
Get on Twitter
As silly as it sounds, get on Twitter. If you’re a writer, this is a wonderful space for you to not only express yourself and advertise your services, but to practice your ability to write quick, meaningful content. Have you ever tried to complete a thought in 140 characters? No? Well it’s not that easy. Using social media to your advantage will help you as a writer and as a marketer.
Research, Research, Research
For you to say everything there is to say about a product or service in four to five words, you need to know everything it stands for. You need to know everything it does. You need to know it better than the back of your hand. That’s why sitting down and taking the time to do research not only gives you knowledge for yourself, but also knowledge for your writing. You may not need every bit of information you come across, but everything helps. And you’ll be amazed at how much you learn in the process.
Keep It Real
Everyone has the conception of advertisers as ‘Professional Liars.’ This couldn’t be further from the truth. Well, for some it’s true, but the good ones know that to advertise properly, you need to be truthful to the consumer. Even if your product or service really isn’t all that great, use your writer’s brain and find colorful words to describe it. A ‘small’ hotel room can be described as ‘quaint’ or ‘cozy.’ It’s not a problem with the product. It’s a problem with your vocabulary.
Up Your Vocabulary
Have you ever read the entire dictionary? Good. Don’t. It’s dreadfully boring. But! You should get used to using the dictionary or thesaurus for new options in your word choice. Stuck on a headline? Check the thesaurus. Not sure what a word means in this jargon-filled creative brief? Check the dictionary. Anything and everything can benefit from new words, so crack open that thesaurus and get to searching!
Write for Everyone
Sure, a product or service might not be for every consumer. That’s why we have buyer personas. But don’t get stuck in the mentality of writing just for one type of person. Make your work accessible to everyone. Make sure you don’t use jargon and technical-speak that some people won’t understand. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t elevate or lower your word choice when necessary, but try to keep in mind that lots of people will be seeing or hearing your ad. Don’t exclude certain groups!