How to make good copy relevant in this age of visuals
The traditional skill of copywriting is the act of writing text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing. The copy aims to sell the product through persuasive statements. But copywriting can be more than that. In fact, copywriting is like courtship. People have specific needs, wants and ideas on who or what they should invest in. You then have to match what these people desire to keep them interested on who you are and what you offer.
We asked our resource person on copywriting, Millie Morales, for some tips on how to be better at this skill:
Get a head start with clever headlines
According to John Caples, who later would become the world’s authority on copy testing, “If the headline is poor, the copy will not be read. And copy that is not read does not sell goods.”
During his six-decade career at the top advertising firm of BBDO, Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, he has mastered the art of catching the audience’ attention by “using words you would expect to find in a fifth-grade reader.” This means that you first need to know your target audience, use simple yet powerful words which could be clever, proactive and enticing. Or you can use templates such as “How to … Get That Kiss On a First Date Without Being a Creep” or “Secrets of…Women Who Were Never Ghosted.” And so on.
How to create user-friendly content
Most users are just skimming through your content. How do we ensure that they stay and read more of what we have to say? Here are some questions you need to answer to create pieces that would not turn your readers off:
Is the layout easy on the eyes? Is it well-structured?
Can I read the article the whole way through without getting distracted?
Are the use of images, infographics, spacing appropriate and relevant to the text?
Is my piece actually useful?
Things not to do when writing copy
As with courtship and dating, there are just some things you shouldn’t do on a first date like telling your date your complete home address, SSS and TIN numbers, or using inappropriate songs and jokes. Same goes with copywriting; stop saying too little or too much. Refrain from using inappropriate words. And make sure, in this digital age, to always think mobile-first.
Create your copies knowing that they will be read using a mobile phone so be concise and use proper spacing.Morales will facilitate a course titled “Copywriting Essentials: Create Clever and Compelling Copy” on March 23. If you want the program to be conducted exclusive to your organization, it can be customized according to your learning needs. INQ
The Inquirer Academy is at 4168 Don Chino Roces Ave. corner Ponte St., Makati City. For more information about the workshops or if you would like to add your input on the article, please email [email protected], call (02) 8834-1557, (02) 8771-2715 or (0945) 2158935 and look for Jerald Miguel or Karl Paz, or visit www.inquireracademy.com
The author is the executive director of the Inquirer Academy.