The best way to write marketing copy for your business is to make sure you stay in line with brand guidelines, comply with the voice you established and adhere to the marketing plan your team innovatively created to get the message of your company across to your target audience. No matter what kind of company you are, there is always a place for great copywriting, and there is always a way to create a compelling message for readers.
Let’s back up and ask ourselves one very important question before going further: what is copy? According to Business Directory, copy is “text of a print, radio, or television advertising message that aims at catching and holding the interest of the prospective buyer, and at persuading him or her to make a purchase all within a few short seconds.” Copy is writing. Basically, good copy rests on the ability to convey a persuasive message quickly to an audience.
Making Sure Your Marketing Reflects Brand Guidelines
The first key in creating good marketing copy is to make sure you know your brand guidelines and how to write within that framework. Yes, writing grammatically correct sentences with the right font and graphics is important, but before any of that, there has to be consistency in the way you decide to present information. Do you have a concise representation of your brand guidelines that you can base this off of? If not, here are a few quick things that are essential to establishing these guidelines:
- Brand essence. This is the word or phrase you place at the center of all that you do and want to achieve. According to Momenta, brand essence is “The core characteristic which defines a brand. It is an intangible attribute that separates your brand from your competition’s brand by your audience. It is emotional and based on feelings.”
- Brand pillars. These aspects of your business define you even further than the essence. It is important to note that your essence should be engrained in each and every one of the words you use in this process. Defining a specific target audience allows you to reach not only the people you have defined, but those that want to be like them or those that fit one or more aspects of the traits you have defined. As an example, the University of Washington has posted their brand pillars for others to note and have taken the time to explain the thought behind each. Take a look to see an excellent example of how to start creating pillars for your business.
- Brand archetype. This one is simple. With a chart and an explanation on Printsome Insights, you can find out where your brand essence and pillars take you. Seeing the examples in this chart can be especially helpful. Once you have found what you think your archetype, ask yourself some of the following questions: Is that where you want to fit? Do you think that is the kind of work you want to be doing? Is that the way you can most ideally impact your audience the way you want to? The good news is that if you find any uncertainty in these questions, you can change your archetype or tweak your brand to better fit what you want it to look like.
Establishing a Target Audience for Your Marketing Copy
The next thing you want to do is establish your business’ target audience. For this, make it as specific as you can.
For example, if you are an outdoorsy company that is trying to sell a new kind of traction-heavy flip flop, you might say that your target audience is young, middle class men that enjoy mid-level hiking and are always on the cusp of new trends. The point here is that just saying “hikers” isn’t enough. Give yourself every aspect of who your marketing target is — who do you want walking around with your product?
Establishing this is key to deciding what your voice will be in everything you write that comes from your company. Defining a specific target audience allows you to reach not only the people you have defined, but those that want to be like them or those that fit one or more aspects of the traits you have defined.
Establishing a Voice for Your Marketing Copy
Once you have your target audience established, your brand is ready for copy — almost. First, you need to make sure you have an established voice that is recognizable to your audience.
There is an article on Content Marketing Institute that describes how to do this perfectly in 5 easy steps that can be applied to nearly any business. Overall, the idea is to make sure that everything is consistent and makes sense cohesively. Every piece of writing that leaves your business should adhere to the tone you created internally — which should of course, in every sense, reflect your brand essence and pillars.
By following this way of creating a company voice, you have the potential to make whatever your product may be highly recognizable to any potential audience member or consumer. This creates a stronger brand for your company because of the deeply rooted message that you established and let reach into every aspect of what you do.
Do’s and Don’ts of Copywriting
Now that you have everything you need, you can develop marketing copy that is genuinely reflective of what your company does, aspires to do and stands for. Confidently go forward knowing that you’ve done everything right and you have all the pieces to make your copy unparalleled.
Now getting down to the nitty gritty: what kinds of tangible things can you do to write marketing copy that stands out? This article on PR Daily shows you “7 characteristics of brilliant copywriting,” and outlines big things to look out for to make sure you’re including at the root of any copy:
- Chameleon-like writing
Look at the descriptions of each of these in the article and make sure you’re doing them as you begin to write marketing copy for your company.
We’ve covered some copywriting “do’s” but what about copywriting “don’ts?”
Even with all the tools to get the best copy product, it can still be easy to fall into sticky situations when it comes to writing for your business.
You can check out a lot of examples on how to avoid common mistakes when writing copy from Enchanting Marketing on this slide share here, but we have pulled out some of the most important tips that you can take advantage of.
- Don’t use generic phrasing. Take a generic phrase and turn it into a more personalized way of thinking about it—still with the same meaning. This would be a good place to really make sure to apply your company voice because it could inspire a different way of expressing a predictable promise that all companies make.
- Appeal to senses. A lot of companies try to be professional—which is great, but you don’t want to come across rigid or boring. You may have learned to use imagery or vividness is a high school English class and it’s time to revisit that knowledge right now. Find a way to appeal to your target audience in a way that gives them chills, butterflies or even a feeling of nostalgia.
- Talk to your reader, not about yourself. This means do not talk about what you are doing; talk about what you could be doing for your audience. Change the narrative to become more outward. You don’t need to impress yourselves—you already know how great you are. The job of marketing copy is to be compelling to those reading it.
- Engage readers with questions. This one is easy—but it is one that not many do. Ask a question that shifts the thinking in a way that you would like. For example, if you were selling yourself as public relations company, you could say something like, “Want a business that will be honest and open with you while creating impactful plans to increase your PR coverage?” Of course, your target audience wants those things! Questions can make a reader realize what they didn’t know they were missing.
- Be specific. Broad generalizations aren’t helpful to you or to your target audience. Anyone can make big open promises with little basis. What you want to do is concisely outline exactly why someone should trust you and your product over someone else’s.
- Make your call to action straightforward. Do not suggest an outcome; provide one that works. Tell your audience what they need to do and the likelihood that they will actually do it goes up.
Now that you have all the tools, you’re ready to go write perfect marketing copy for your company. The work that you put into it will reflect in the final product of writing that you produce.
If you need help with your brand or have questions about marketing, PR or social media, contact us at Three Girls Media for a complimentary consultation. We have a full staff of seasoned marketing professionals who are eager to help you reach your marketing goals!
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