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Copywriting

Why small businesses need to get the writing right

April 7, 2017 - 155Creative News, Writing - ,

We talk a lot on this blog about the importance of design, from graphics through to websites. Certainly, the way anything looks make an immediate impression on people, but you can’t afford to ignore the words you use – whether they’re on your advertising or your website.

Good writing can increase your revenue because it’s your chance to hook new customers and keep them on board until they buy whatever it is you’re selling. Get it wrong and they’ll think you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Here are some tips for improving or re-examining the copywriting you are currently using:

  1. Always start by thinking about what your customers need. They don’t want website pages filled with line after line of ‘clever’ marketing speak. They might – depending on your business – want to find a straightforward tutorial, detailed product information, or to learn about you. What do your customers want to feel? Again, this will vary from business to business. They might be looking to feel assured, happy, or relaxed. Are your words as well as your pictures creating that feeling for them? It might help if you have a single ideal buyer in mind. What is he or she looking for when they read your marketing material or your website?
  2. Use specifics instead of generalities whenever you can. When you say ‘We work with all the best local businesses’ it means nothing. When you can say ‘We’ve worked with 64 local businesses to improve their marketing, including Ad’s Accountants, Lovely Laundrette and the Fairway Restaurant,’ it has more value. Don’t say “You’ll save lots of money by working with us,” when you could say “You will save £110 by working with us.” Don’t just talk about your amazing customer service. State what you do that makes that service great – whether it’s despatch emails or follow-up calls. Specifics stick in the mind and feel genuine. Generalities fade away. No one takes them seriously.
  3. Don’t over-exaggerate. You don’t need to shout that you’re the best in the entire universe. Instead, focus on specific, tangible benefits that you offer.
  4. Keep it simple. Cut out meaningless empty words about how fabulous your work or company is. Don’t be wacky to get attention, either.
  5. To get people to do something (sign up to a newsletter or like a Facebook page), instruct rather than suggest. “If you’d like to get our newsletter, sign up here,” makes you think, “Maybe I’d ‘like’ to do that another time”. “Sign up here for our newsletters with our latest recipes included,” is more direct and states a clear benefit (and if you can’t think of a benefit then you’re in trouble, because why would anyone want a newsletter that doesn’t offer something useful?).
  6. If you have a page of customer testimonials, make sure they’re not all super-sappy vomit inducers. Twenty testimonials that all say, “Gorgeous Grass Lawns was the best ever, I can’t believe they were able to work so cheaply and efficiently,” will seem fake, even if they’re not. Of course you don’t want negative testimonials, but just be wary of over-editing comments, or offering too much advice on how a testimonial ‘should’ be written.
  7. Read your words out loud. It’s the easiest way to figure out whether it sounds like nonsense or feels authentic.
  8. Consider hiring a professional. Words aren’t everyone’s strong suit. You might know your industry inside out, but when you sit down at a computer the words just won’t appear on the screen. Perhaps you want an editor to look over what you’ve got, or someone to write a press release for you. Whatever it is you want, there are hundreds of copywriting professionals out there. Find a trusted writer through a referral, or come to us for help.

To speak to us today regarding a free consultation or to find out how we can help your business, contact info@155creative.co.uk or call 01992 275626. We look forward to hearing from you.