Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR
We’ve all seen it. An ad with the best intentions but filled with so many words, in such a small font, that the viewer can hardly decipher the message.
Copywriting is a skill. Copy that converts, that prompts the reader to take action, is not something that comes easily to just anyone’s brain. And in many cases, failing to understand the dynamics of proper copywriting and pushing out content that is poorly done can have a damaging effect on a business’ marketing success.
Let’s break down the concept of copywriting, and why it’s so important to monitor.
Cut the Filler
A common copywriting mistake is to use too many words. For the purposes of marketing materials, social media posts, and emails think of the concept of “writing tight”. Cut out any filler words that only serve to take up space. Consider the following examples:
Come to the national park to celebrate Earth Day and enjoy refreshments, entertainment, and so much more!
While this copy does get the point across, if it were going on a flyer, it would quickly get too long. Let’s try something like this:
Celebrate Earth Day at the national park with refreshments, entertainment, and more!
While the two sentences are not that different, the space taken up is. Think of it this way: the viewer only has an attention span of so long. How will you grab them, make them want to attend the event, in as few words as possible?
It’s challenging, but with practice, this becomes more of a habit. Practice taking out filler descriptive words and phrases such as “so much” or “too many”. Remember: write tight.
Check the Call to Action
In order for a copy to convert to sales, it must prompt the reader to take some sort of action. In creating a solid copy, consider what end action the user should take. Should they make a purchase? Sign up for an email list? Make a donation?
Whatever the end goal is, build a solid call to action around it. Sure, it can be as simple as “buy now”, but how impactful is that? Consider a television ad for Facebook’s new Portal device, which allows for face-to-face calls among members. Instead of just telling viewers of the ad to buy the device, the ad instead prompts the viewer to take action because they desire the connection with other people that the ad — and, by association, the product — creates.
Create a call to action with impact. Prompt the viewer to take action with impact. That should be the goal of any call to action, and a way to think of the copy around it a bit more creatively.
With copywriting, more is not always better. In fact, the best rule of thumb to follow is probably “less is more”. Think like a consumer: you don’t want to spend two minutes reading a novel that’s intended to be a flyer or a banner ad, right? So why make your customers do the same?
By tightening up and improving copy, businesses can see an uptick in conversions. Remember: make an impact, write tight.
About the Author: Ronn Torossian is a Public Relations executive.