8 Tips for Copywriting That Isn’t a Snooze

Investing in a good copywriter is a must for every agency, as crafting compelling copy is not something everyone can do. And even those of us who do it for a living can get stuck in a robotic rut. In this day and age of rampant attention deficit issues, hectic schedules, and digital burnout, it’s important to convey your message in a way that snaps the reader out of his or her reverie. Need some copy inspo? Read on for eight tips to providing copywriting that’s anything but a snooze.

1. Infuse Humor When Appropriate

There’s no denying that digital content going viral is the ultimate goal. When you think of the last thing you personally forwarded, ask yourself – was it funny? There’s a good chance it was. Perhaps it’s because the news and political climate seem particularly depressing right now, so comedic content seems to be the antidote. Of course, the use of humor in marketing copywriting has a few stipulations. You should have a firm grasp on yours or your client’s brand and whether there is room for humor. You also don’t want to use humor at the expense of clarity, as conveying the message that is meant to convert should always be your first goal. Lastly, you should know how to push the envelope without offending, and this takes time and practice.

2. Consider Writing for Video

If you have an idea to write a marketing piece for a blog post, e-blast, or something else, ask yourself, “Can I do this as a video?” If yes, that is usually the way to go. By the end of this year, 80 percent of internet consumption will be video content, and there’s a reason for that. It’s highly shareable. Consider writing your message as a script for someone else to create a video for an engaging piece of content that will generate discussion.

3. Make it Easily Digestible

Have you ever been sent an email that is one long paragraph and glazed over after about the second sentence? It could be good stuff, too, but there is something about seeing All The Words together like that that sends us back to reading Moby Dick in high school. No one wants to feel like they need Cliff’s Notes to read your content. Break it up into easily digestible sections to make it a more enjoyable read and more likely to get forwarded on to others.

4. Incorporate Trending Topics

Call it tooting the old horn if you want to, but this was a fun piece to write. There was a viral story about a guy who had found a dog but instead of going the same old-same old route of putting the photo up on NextDoor, this dude doubled down on his digital efforts by standing on a street corner with a sign. He not only found the owner through word of mouth; he got a bunch of offers for dates. We were able to use the story as a “How To” in that he combined old school marketing with new school marketing to achieve his goal. The story also had all the feels, and you know readers eat that up, too.

5. Write a Heady Headline

The biggest mistake many of us copywriters make is writing the headline last, after we’re already gassed from writing a long piece of content. At this point, you risk phoning it in and that’s the kiss of marketing death. The headline is your first impression and what often draws the reader in, so you need to make it a good one. Here are some quick tips on that:

  • Be Negative – Interestingly enough, research has shown that negative headlines with words like “Worst” or “Never” perform better than positive ones with words like “Best” or “Always”.
  • Make it a Listicle – All you have to do is see a trending Ranker or Buzzfeed article to know that numbers are powerful, so make it a list if you can (ie) Top 10 Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses).
  • Don’t Use Extra Words – Convey your message in as few straightforward words as possible – fluff need not apply
  • Make it Sound Like an Announcement – Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Well, you get the picture. Create immediacy when you can.

6. Strike Just the Right Emotional Tone

Readers are pretty picky about the things they share when it comes to digital content but, as marketers, we know how to look for trends. In general, you want the content to provide a smack-you-in-the-face powerful emotional experience. The top emotions that promote shares and conversions are happiness and admiration and, when paired with surprise, the result can be virality.

The example that many advertisers often point to in this regard is a Dove commercial in which women were told to give a sketch artist a description of themselves and others who chatted with them were asked to do the same. The result was an emotional ad that showed what we’ve all likely known forever – we are too hard on ourselves. In fact, Dove has become well known for perfecting ads that pull on the heartstrings in general.

7. Weave a Story Throughout

Start whatever you are writing with a provocative question or even a controversial statement. Get them thinking. As you create the content, make sure you continue to tell your tale throughout the piece. The reader will become more and more invested, so make sure you tie it together at the end. Not only are you “selling” your content, but you’re selling them this story, too.

8. Put Your Copy on an Elimination Diet

You’ve heard of elimination diets, right? It is when a person keeps eliminating certain items from her diet to find out what is causing some sort of issue. It’s kind of a strange analogy, sure, but the same should be done at the end of writing any sort of content. Take out any unnecessary words and if you can say it in simple terms instead of using a hoity-toity phrase, do so.

If your storytelling skills extend to bad dad jokes and meandering rants, it might be time to get some help. Reach out to our team of specialists at L7 Creative today to find out how we can take your copywriting and other content from boring to bombastic.