Basically put, copywriting is the way that your brand speaks to your customer and target audience. It’s an integral part of your branding. It’s the text version of your colour palette or your logo. Just like those visual elements, your copy must have a consistent style and tone, and be based on a clear business strategy.
Copywriting is not about fancy words and stylish adjectives. It must be words that people connect with, that drive action and engage.
From your tagline to your website content, emails and blogs, your brand’s copy should all be crafted to direct your target audience to take action. Emotive and effective copywriting is crucial to business and brand success. Your copywriting must consistently follow your brand strategy across all of your touchpoints.
Here are the 10 essentials for effective copywriting to ensure your brand’s reach and engagement.
1. Know your audience
Identify the ideal audience for your product or service and write in a voice that speaks directly to them in a way they understand and engage with.
Ikea uses playful copy lines and imagery to grab the audiences attention. They back up the friendly personality with data and statistics for the audience to understand their values and philosophy.
2. Write with a strategy and purpose
Why are you writing? What do you want to achieve?
Remember that your brand’s copywriting is to make something happen. It will need to communicate your brand’s position, values, and mission in a way that is in keeping with your brand’s personality – this will ensure your copy has strategic talking points. If you don’t have a compelling and authentic brand personality then your content could be seen as lacking a clear voice – it could even conflict with what the visual elements of your brand are communicating to your audience.
3. Nail the tone and voice
Your brand’s personality is driven by its tone and its voice so your copy must be consistent across the board.
Depending on your brand personality, you will have to define how your brand copywriting will use things like headings, italics, lists, and bullet points so there is a consistent style and format for your content.
Netflix uses very short sentences on their website to creates a sense of urgency and trigger an action.
4. Write short sentences
Short sentences promote readability and clarity – two things you need your content to include if you want your audience to read to the very end. The most easily understood sentences contain 8 words.
5. Use an active voice
An active voice opens the door to the party and announces its presence whereas a passive voice skulks around outside, waiting to be let in.
Never say in two words what can be said it one. If your first word isn’t strong enough to make your point, find a better word.
6. Flexibility is key
Your brand’s copywriting needs to seem like the same person is talking, regardless of length or medium. Your message must be consistent across a 280 character tweet and a 300 word blog post.
Apple’s copywriting for the recently released iPhone X emphasises expert results but with user-friendly functionality.
7. Sell solution, not features
Tell your audience how your product or service will solve their problem, benefit them and improve their lives.
8. Be original and creative
It’s crowded out there so ensure that your copy is creative and unique. It needs to be memorable enough that your audience will remember your product or service because of it. Your copywriting needs to aim to cut through the noise, the crowd, the clutter and make the sale for your brand.
Grab the audience’s attention, and always have a call to action (ie. the Download button on Mozilla Firefox’s website).
9. Call to action
Every piece of content you create should include a call to action. A call to action is the next step you want the reader to take. It could be to sign up for a newsletter, send an email, call a phone number, download more content.
10. Stay on brand
Copywriting with your brand’s voice is critical to today’s brand marketing. It allows you to talk directly to your audience, in their language. Keep it on brand, and in line with your strategy to get noticed and get action.