How to write copy you just can’t… copy

How to write copy you just can’t… copy

If you want to learn how to write better copy, remember one critical criterion: originality counts, whether you’re writing a Super Bowl Ad or your latest blog post.  Viewers and readers reward it by sharing.  Google practically demands it, under threat of banishment to page 6248 of search results. Most importantly, building the kind of human connections necessary for healthy business, non-profit or personal relationships requires it.  Here are a few simple, but often overlooked, keys to creating truly original copy and content.

1.   Know who you are – define your brand personality and brand voice
In this gotta-have-it-yesterday world, everybody is under the gun to produce results NOW.  Get over it.  If you’re writing about a brand, take the time to review and consider its guidelines for brand personality (“who” is the brand, if considered as a person) and brand voice (your tone and attitude).  What, there aren’t any established guidelines?   Then take the time to create them – otherwise your copy is likely to be utterly generic and forgettable (if anyone bothers to read past the first few lines to begin with).

2.  Know your audience –  listen and learn
Marketers need to be in constant listening mode, but not only in the informal, interpersonal, anecdotal basis that seems to inform so many organizations, particularly those which have traditionally been driven by their sales process.  Formal research, both qualitative  (I know everybody loves to hate focus groups) and quantitative, is still important.  Then there’ s the whole matter of social listening:  what are people saying to you on your own social channels?  What are they saying about you on any number of other online outlets?  What concerns are they raising that don’t directly speak to or about your brand but illuminate their lives and show new ways your brand can serve them?

Copywriters need to listen to all the collected intelligence that a client can offer – but they also need to be part of the continual conversation, online and off, about the subject areas they wish to serve.

3.  Write like it matters –  make it truly worthwhile for your reader
Ultimately, the best copywriting isn’t about a product or service; it’s about the user.  It’s about  their needs, desires, aspirations.  It’s about life – and that requires a little passion, please, whether the subject is French vacations or forklifts (I’ve “enjoyed” both and can attest that each elicits its own unique set of rational and emotional responses). Marketers need to challenge – and allow – their writers to really dive into the heads and hearts of the hoped for consumers and write to them as people, not simply as prospects.  Anything less is merely a brand talking to itself.

Chuck Kent  

Creative Director / Lead Copywriter Creative on Call, Inc.


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