How to write winning marketing copy

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Modern marketing copy must serve many purposes in order to achieve its maximum mileage these days. Not only must it attract and hold the attention in traditional advertising space, but it must serve the purpose in the digital space as well.

The major search engines have eliminated many of the black hat techniques that eroded the quality of online marketing copy. Today, it is best to simply write well for both landscapes with an eye for technical proficiency. Below are a few guidelines.

1. Your copy must tell a story as well as sell.

Many marketing experts parrot this maxim without thinking. Although it is a maxim for a reason, the most effective way to write good copy is to combine the two parts of the quote: Sell a story.

Whether a speech for a politician who is laying out a policy or a message from a CEO who is introducing a new product, the best copy always includes a personal anecdote that is easily relatable to the target market. When news channels pick up on the feed, the anecdote is usually at the center of the reverberating conversation.

Selling a story does two things:

  1. It engages the emotional side of the brain, which is a much better side to sell to than the logical centres, and:
  2. It encourages more immediate action because of the personal stake people now have in the product.

2. Focus on your messaging.

Keeping in mind that the copy is telling a story, we turn to the actual language of the content. Neither human listeners/viewers nor search engines want to hear the same word repeated ad infinitum as if the repetition will force an association of that product into the head of the customer.

Extrapolating on this idea, no one wants to hear a theme overly repeated either. It gets boring and quickly becomes easy to dismiss.

A recent award-winning car commercial features a boy and his father throwing a ball back and forth. The viewer sees that the son does not throw too well; however, the true humour behind the ad is that he is following the dubious example of his father. Only in our peripheral thoughts do we realize that there was a car in that commercial. Upon repeated viewings, that car will come to attach itself to the theme of family, but not because the words “family car” were ever stated within the commercial.

Search engines have a more technical way of determining this kind of subtle strategy, but led by Google, they are becoming frighteningly good at it. The bottom line: marketing copy for search engines should be written as if for a human.

3. Double check everything!

In the age of the Internet, everyone is able to be a fact checker. Even small errors in your marketing copy could lose you customers. This is not a sexy tip, but it is perhaps the most important. Make sure that what you’re putting in front of your potential customers is accurate and free of spelling and grammatical errors!

Do you have any other tips for writing awesome marketing copy? Share them below!

Brittany Giles is the Social Media Specialist at The Printing House.

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