Advertising runs a fine line these days from being completely boring to so confusing that customers lose sight of the message. Nevertheless, you must have relevant and quality copy for your marketing and advertising prospects. Instead of ending up in self-destruct mode because of a lack of information on quality marketing copy, seek the truth with these five copy killers.
Copy, Copy, Copy
Using the same copy everywhere you go will leave your customers yawning. Stop spreading your content thin by copying and pasting the same information across the board. For example, that billboard you are renting on Highway 1 should not feature the same long-winded copy as your website. Take a look at social media. Facebook posts are limited at 5,000 characters, while Twitter only allows 140 characters including spaces—for the reason of a reader’s short attention span. Identify the style format of your message medium, and customize your message for the type of person who will read it. For instance, someone reading online news stories in the AM are less likely to scroll through a long winded article. On the other hand, someone who subscribes to your blog is more likely to appreciate a thought provoking and personal message.
Wordy Is Wise
When it comes to advertising copy, you’ve got to look at the educational level of your potential customer base. If you overwrite for your readers, you’ll look like you are smarter and more able to provide them with a service, right? Wrong. Condescending copy won’t win you many readers. Plus, overcomplicated copy will only leave your readers confused, not curious. Instead of driving your customers away, make your copy easy to understand. Television programs and the nightly news use language at an 8th grade reading level for a reason. Follow suit.
Catering to Your Only Customer
While you may have a product that is only purchased by a particular demographic, such as fancy flower arrangements, you have to cater to more than just your intended customer. Consider who will be purchasing a bouquet of roses for their sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. It certainly isn’t the lady who will be receiving them. Think beyond your targeted customer, and create copy that will make anyone in the world think they have a reason for buying what you have to sell.
My Customers Love Me
Customers do not care two bits about your business’s bottom line. This is a problem for many small-to-medium businesses. Many business owners think everyone who purchases their product is interested in supporting the “little guy.” Not so. If a person buys your product, 99.9 percent of the time it’s because they want the product that you sell. Copy, therefore, should not be focused on you. Focus on the customer and the product, and provide information that makes a customer’s life happier, better, brighter. For instance, if you are selling handmade, organic soap made from the milk of Betsy that you have raised since birth, help your customer connect with the goat, the earth, or the eco-friendly process instead of bragging about your personal accomplishments in the soap making industry.
I Can Copywrite
Business owners who think they can do everything will find themselves burned out and short on luck. While there are some business execs who can truly write copy, they’ve got enough on their plate with running a company. Additionally, even if you think you are the next Ernest Hemingway or Maya Angelou, fat chance that you are or you would be in the writing business rather than the flower-goat soap-bicycle-or-whatever-you-are business. Save yourself the trouble and accept that outsourcing an advertising copy writer is the most successful way to get quality marketing copy.
Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.