Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Make Sure You Give Your Copywriting a KISS

Make Sure You Give Your Copywriting a KISS

Hands up all of you who are familiar with the terms ‘blastocyst’, ‘Bratt pan’ and ‘graphic filtering’? Anyone? No? I thought maybe not… You may ask the question how would anyone get to be familiar with such terms, but I would ask why? Writing copy as a profession is an adventurous one. We spend a large chunk of our lives learning new things in hugely concentrated times, and to be fair, it was only this sense of adventure that meant I became familiar with these particular words this week, and I’m sure before the week ends I will collect a few more exotic specimens. 

Copy writing is a vehicle designed to ingest and digest information and regurgitate it in a format that anyone can understand it. Business to Business copy writing is becoming more and more important in the website design world not because it is becoming more effective, but because business owners are only just beginning to realise that when it comes to selling success, words matter

If you want to write copy for your website or marketing collateral, you have to become fluent in B2B, B2C or the emerging sales demographic, H2H – or Human to Human marketing. Personally I’m fluent in management speak, marketing conversation, computer jargon, mixed media slang, institutional PC (also known as Guardianese) and new age mumbo jumbo. They all come in useful in one or another in every piece of handcrafted copy that is produced, but more useful than a broad understanding of every business industry is the knowledge of AIDA and KISS – these are not languages you need to learn, they are mantras you need to repeat permanently as you type every word. If you’re planning to write any copy, learn these mantras and become masters of them. 


Or in other words, Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. This is your map and guide. If you haven’t written copy before then break it down into four paragraphs following the AIDA guideline.


Use an eye catching, thought provoking headline! Be bold. Be unexpected. Don’t be afraid to do something different, then back it up with a paragraph that keeps them thinking. Ask a question. State the facts. Research something little know, but really shocking and use it to make your demographic feel they NEED to read your copy – or miss out. 


The next aim is to build on interest. Make it knowledgeable, bringing out points they may not know or ways to apply that knowledge that they may not have considered. Think of things that make the information you are writing about unique or sets it apart from the crowd. Every word should be interesting and worth reading – or left out. 


This is the paragraph that should plant in your reader and overwhelming desire to buy your product or service. Most customers will read your copy with the intention of gaining information, but this is point where you plant a in them a need, not just for ‘a’ product – YOUR product. Your writing up until now should be building to this point so there’s a natural flow between justification and desire. Read and reread this section. If it doesn’t entice you – it won’t entice anyone else. 


From grabbing attention, informing and then planting a desire, continue on to the crux of the matter – get them to act! Whether you want gain an email address, direct to another page or to make a sale, with an upsell and cross sell, then this is the place to do it. They already have an interest and desire by this point, so just get right to it and ASK for it! The worst thing they can do is say ‘no’. 


Following these principles is a recipe for great copy whatever your style of content marketing, but do you remember the other mantra? Write by AIDA, but live by KISS - Keep it Simple, Stupid! Don’t over complicate it, and don’t make it over zealous. These are everyday people you are talking to and you need to speak to them on a level. If they have a question that delves a little deeper – they will ask. Keeping it simple is not about dumbing down, it’s about crafting a clear, seductive message. That is the goal of all content marketing and copy. Make it yours. 

If you can’t come up with good, quality copy, then employ someone who can. You are competing with professionally written websites that are SEO rich and KISS’ed to death. If you can’t make it better than the rest then it will be lost in the white noise of the internet, or in the pile of marketing collateral that we all receive and lovingly call ‘junk mail’. 

Don’t get lost in the crowd – work hard, chant your mantras and give your content writing the KISS of life.

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