How to be a superstar copywriter
Doesn’t this headline sound promising? You’re probably thinking this blog will give you a list of advice on how to write concise and effective copy. Bingo! That’s exactly what it is. I could have kept it simple by giving this blog a different title. Like How to write good copy. But I wanted it to be more fun and let’s be honest, I wanted you to be intrigued and click.
My point is words and language have power. You could describe something in a thousand different ways and each of them will have a different impact on readers. It’s how you say it, the level of language you use, your tone, how inclusive it is and the general feel of it.
In this blog, we’re giving you some easy tips for writing great copy.
Before we start, let’s pause
Great copy doesn’t get written without a plan and a structure in place.
With every piece of content, you should always ask yourself: What is the story you want to tell? Who are you sharing this story with? Why, how and where are you telling it? And finally, what do you want your audience to do as a result?
Writing your copy will be a piece of cake and make your message crystal clear.
Who is your audience?
To get your audience as excited as you are about you, you first need to know who they are. For example, writing for family audiences is very different from writing for teenagers. They both have very different motivations for engaging with arts and culture.
Knowing who your regulars are will help to shape your content. But don’t forget about those who have never heard of you before. Those who visit your website/social media pages for the first time. We know that new online visitors always exceed returning visitors. So you want to make a good first impression:
- Be accessible. This refers to your website’s user experience, alt text with images and video subtitles, but not only. It’s also about the level of language you use. In the UK, the average reading age is 9 so make sure everyone can understand your copy.
- Write short and simple sentences: Less is more. It’s easier to digest information when it’s broken down into several short sentences and paragraphs. Use bullet points, headings, bold text and images. It needs to be visually pleasing and well-spaced out. Short, sweet and straight to the point. The free Hemingway editor app is a useful tool to simplify your copy.
- Write the way your audiences talk: Use words they’re typically looking for, whether it’s via the search bar on your website or when they do a Google search. Search engines will read your copy too. The more relevant the words you use are, the better chance you have for your content to be seen.
How do you want your copy to make people feel?
The audience experience starts before the in-person visit. If you usually talk about your space as being warm, friendly and welcoming, your copy should make readers feel the same way.
- What’s your tone? Have fun with how you say things. It doesn’t have to be too serious or dull. Write something that will make your audience say, “This is so lovely, I’m in!”
- Be aware of jargon. Language you use in the workplace isn’t necessarily familiar to your audience. Simple words are best.
- Consistency is key. Your copy is part of your branding. Key words should remain the same across all platforms. This way, your audience knows what you’re referring to at all times.
- Adjectives, yes, but in moderation. In the Arts, we often get carried away with saying how amazing a play is or how profound a painting makes us feel. And we should share the excellence of the work we curate. But let’s be careful not to use too many superlatives as they often take away the meaning of what we’re trying to say.
- There are ways to say things that will make you sound more welcoming than others. We’ll share 2 real examples taken from 2 very different organisations. They both speak for themselves:
“Laughter is permissible, and very welcome, but only at appropriate times.”
“There are no set rules about how and when you should show your enthusiasm for the performance.”
How should it end?
We want audiences to either book tickets, visit our space or press play. Sometimes we want them to share our content or tell us what they think. Regardless of what you want them to do, calls-to-action are a great way to keep your audience engaged.
Some of the things you can direct your visitors to at the end of your content:
- Link to other pages on your website to encourage them to explore a little bit longer. They may find something else that sparks their interest.
- Ask them to sign up to your newsletter.
- Ask them to share, like or comment your content.
Want more tips for making a good first impression?
We’re hosting a First Impressions workshop on Zoom on 17th June. We’d love to see you there! Book your free ticket on the event page.
If you’d like us to review your copy or have a chat about a project you’re working on, book a free Audience Appointment with a member of our team.