We’ve all read descriptive text that draws you in, evokes a visceral response or taps into memories built through sensory experiences. It could be a line that describes a salad—how crisp and fresh the lettuce is; the way the greens mingle to be both sweet and a little bitter; the perfectly seared tuna on top, which is perfectly seasoned to let its fresh flavors shine while adding subtle notes that complement the fish. It could go on to describe the texture, the way flavors linger between bites and how the salad pairs with the wine you’re drinking.
Words like this make you want to eat that salad. But truly effective marketing copy convinces you to buy that salad. It combines elements of the descriptive copy above with other nuanced verbiage to drive a desired action from a specific audience. No matter what the goal of your messaging may be (salad or otherwise), there are a few guidelines that apply to every word your brand puts out in the world.
Keep it engaging.
Today’s audiences have zero patience for one thing: wasted time. We’ve become a fidgety world with constant access to entertainment alternatives. If your copy doesn’t get—and keep—your audience’s attention, your brand is one browser tab, radio dial or remote control away from being irrelevant. Today’s sophisticated consumers require every brand touchpoint to be just as entertaining as the Netflix show playing in the background. Depending on your audience, this could require humor, heart, adventure or a thousand other creative approaches; just don’t let it be dull. This will capture people’s attention and make them more likely to give you that almighty dollar.
Keep it simple.
Think about the last time someone gave you directions. Did they say, “go north, then drive at exactly 35 miles an hour for 37 seconds before turning west into the slightly sloped entrance with a curve at 33.4805° N, 111.9477° W?” Probably not. I’d bet they said something like, “turn right, go left at the light and it’s the third house on the left.” Which is easier to remember? The simpler version that uses language we all hear on a minute-to-minute basis. The same is true of copy. Stick to a simple, consistent vocabulary that your audience can easily understand and act upon.
Keep it actionable.
Speaking of acting, let’s talk about calls to action. People like to know what they’re supposed to do next. If you’re promoting a special offer, tell your audiences how to get it in the most direct way possible—visit our website, follow us on Facebook, come to our store. These simple phrases explain exactly what you expect of people. Nothing frustrates an audience faster than extending an offer they can’t refuse, then immediately refusing to tell them how to get it.
Keep it relevant.
If your company sells hot tubs, there’s no reason to post a 20-paragraph rant about unicorns on Facebook. Unless scientific research can confirm that fans of horned horses feel a natural draw to warm water, your audience probably doesn’t care. In fact, it will likely confuse the crap out of them. Keep your content relevant to maintain consistency in your subject matter and treat audiences to the content they’ve come to expect from you.
Keep ‘em coming back for more.
If you’ve accomplished everything we’ve covered up to this point, there’s only one thing left to do: keep doing it. Using a consistent communication style each time you interact with your audience builds trust in your brand and makes consumers more likely to invest in your product or service. It may even turn them into a repeat customer or brand advocate who willingly (and freely) builds organic awareness for your business. And isn’t that really the dream?
As you can see, putting the right words in the right order for the right audience makes an undeniable impact. To make sure that happens, make it your top priority to have qualified content creators in charge of your copy. They keep your audiences focused on you, make sure the information is clear and drive the results that turn qualified prospects into your newest happy customers. For a few tips, hit us up at @thejamesagency with any copy query.