Copywriting Dos and Don'ts
Writing effective copy can translate into amazing results for a brand. As well as having beautiful creative images and videos, the accompanying written copy has a huge impact on how your audiences perceive, engage with and ultimately consume your brand. As digital marketing wizards, it’s imperative for us to have in-house copywriters at Expose, tapping away and composing strings of eloquent words for our digital ads. We’ve asked them to come up with their Dos and Don’ts when writing copy.
Know your audience
Although it may seem pretty obvious, this has to be the most important thing to do before you start writing. If you don’t have a nuanced understanding of your audience how are you meant to strike a chord with them? You should always spend plenty of time researching your audience before you even start writing. What type of language do they use? Do they use slang? Mirror this in your copy. What other interests do they possess? Word your copy to align with other possible interests. Writing general copy, copy for everyone simply doesn’t work. Your audience can tell when you’re writing for a broad demographic, and they won’t resonate with your ad.
Establish a unique tone
Brand personality, that’s what it’s all about these days. Personifying your brand, giving it its own unique tone of voice, will engage your audience. Keeping this tone consistent in all your copy is essential for your audience to identify the brand's personality. Ideally, your audience should be able to read your copy and instantly recognise it as the brands.
Just have a chat
Engage your audience with a conversational style of writing. Ask rhetorical questions and force them to read actively, not passively. If you’re talking at them, they’re not likely to really pay attention to what you’re saying. Your first sentence should pretty much always be: an anecdote, a rhetorical question, or a joke/something that will make them awkwardly contain their laughter as they’re scrolling through FB on the train.
Now the fun part. It’s time to get weird. Look, it doesn’t work for every brand, we’ll admit, but it’s a good idea to test some more unconventional copy out on your audiences because when it works it WORKS. People love weird things. Weird things are interesting, and it’s just another opportunity to define yourself from a competing brand.
Don’t dwell on negatives
Although the main goal when writing copy is to highlight a problem in order to recommend a product or service as the solution, you shouldn’t dwell on the negatives. In general, the copy should be entertaining to read, so don't get too serious or cynical. Briefly pose a problem and then immediately shift to focus on a positive solution. How will it solve the problem? What are all the amazing features and benefits?
Don’t be too pushy
Yes, you’re selling a product or service, but if you’re too pushy, it can be a bigger turn off than bad breath. By all means, brag about how great it is but don’t make too many demands of your audience. People don’t like being told what to do, especially if they don’t yet have any brand trust or awareness. As a general rule, write a call to action at the end of your copy and make it a one-liner.
Don’t alienate your audience
Never never ever condescend your audience. The second you do you’ve lost them. It’s important to build brand trust and convey the knowledge and expertise behind the product or service, but this can be done without coming across as patronising. People prefer to be overestimated, not under, so always assume you’re speaking to an intelligent audience and don’t feel the need to spell everything out for them.
Don’t info dump
When you’re researching pain points to target in your copy there are often quite a few, but you shouldn’t include all of them in just one piece of copy. In fact, we recommend sticking to only one. Clear and concise writing is the way to go. If you include every pain point and every feature of your product/service, you will more than likely overwhelm your audience, preventing them from effectively comprehending your intended message.