Good copy contains valuable and vital information, and helps target audiences both understand the offer and understand how to respond to said (stated) offer. With this in mind, the following tips are used frequently by pros who understand the need for creating good copy. These tips should be noted for their common sense and usefulness in ad campaigns, and will allow advertisements to create, engage and convey worthwhile messages to captivated audiences by sticking to these fundamentals.
- Understand Your Audience
As with advertising in general, knowing your audience is more than half the battle when it comes to producing good copy. Having a comprehensive understanding of your target audience is actually the preemptive strategy for winning hearts and minds. What’s important to your audience? What products have they purchased before or are they most likely to purchase? What’s the age bracket? Quite frankly, the more you know about your audience the easier it is to write accurate and relevant copy.
- Determine Your Value
You should also know the answers to key advertising questions beforehand in order to effectively create good copy. For starters: What makes your product stand out from the competition? Why is your product the best fit for the customer as opposed to similar brands/products on the market? If you’ve done the right research and know who you’re up against, you’ll also know exactly how to grab your client’s attention through market-driven, researched data that can then be applied to copy in an original and compelling way.
- Know Your Objective
Ultimately, the trick to creating good copy is knowing your objective. It’s elementary, but it’s crucial to telling a story and captivating an audience. Your objective is like the plot of a novel—it’s what holds the whole thing together. In other words, don’t get needlessly bogged down by what seems like great copy with no real objective in sight. It’s like a beautiful bag you’ve found, but with holes in it. It’s great to look at and admire, but it won’t hold anything for too long. Be sure to know your objective. It’s the only way to convey it to someone else.
- Write a Compelling Headline
Headlines are the gingerbread houses of advertisement. They make all the Hansel’s and Gretel’s of the world want to peek inside! In short, headlines summarize what you’re offering inside your copy. Think of them like loglines for movies. The logline has to sell the film. That one line! Effective loglines, however, build early momentum. They keep studio execs, film buffs and the viewing public (READ: the consumer!) thirsting to see the film, the bigger picture. In the same vein, good copy hooks the audience early on, so create a memorable experience with an equally memorable headline.
- Open with a Bang
The opening line needs to grab the reader’s attention as much as the headline. Good copy knows that a one-two punch is a tried and true method for captivating and conveying a worthwhile message. The opening line should cause clients to sit up and take note. They’ve been wooed by the headline and promised a world of possibility. The opening line begins to make good on that earlier promise, while at the same time hooking the viewer even more. Be sure to keep your audience in mind, and don’t get lost in seemingly good copy that speaks only to the audience inside your head. It’s about getting your target audience thinking and drawing clients in.
- Avoid “Weak” Words
Good copy is all about projecting confidence and relevance. Why buckle this attempt by imprinting a slew of weak words into your copy? Weak words include chameleons like may, maybe, hope, wish, try, but, could, perhaps, and strive. Though relevant words in particular circumstances, when writing effective copy, these words don’t convey a strong and proactive tone. Instead, use words like will and can when describing what you and your brand/product can do for an audience.
Similarly, don’t use passive voice when creating copy. Passive voice weakens your message and leaves your copy “boring,” as opposed to full of life. Present tense shows how even past events, such as awards or accolades, are relevant in the present day and age.
- Include Personal Approaches
In addition to relevant statistics, customer quotes and feedback go a long way in adding credibility to your message. A business or client that has benefited from your service is a great spokesperson for future business. If it fits the direction of your campaign, this approach can be a key instrument indeed in building trust and value with good copy.
- Keep Your Copy Clean and Concise
Over-explaining in copywriting is just as detrimental as not explaining your point or position well enough. In such a digital age, it’s hard to keep an audience’s attention. Why give yourself a disadvantage with needless words? Be sure to cut unnecessary words with each edit and consolidate your ideas as much as possible. Bullet points and subtitles also help to streamline a message as a majority of readers scan a page first before deciding to read it in full.
As you can see, there are a variety of strategies that are used to improve the overall effectiveness of advertising campaigns. The written message is one of the most important facets of the advertising process and yet it’s criminally marginalized by many. The above-mentioned tips will help you in creating good copy and reaching your target audience in no time.