It’s Your Business: What you say and how you say it matters

Joe Smith

Special to The Record

While good design is important in the creation of a website, brochure or print ad it is only one aspect of developing great communication. Copy and content are equally as important.

The visuals are designed to capture the viewer’s eye but it is the copy that has the potential to turn that prospect into a customer. Keep in mind that in the world of marketing communications copywriting, no matter what you are selling or promoting, is all about persuasion.

With people clicking, scrolling, passing by or flipping through literally hundreds of messages every day, it does not leave much room for poorly written copy. So it is imperative that you get it right because you only have a few seconds to capture their attention.

While writing copy is not everyone’s forte there are a few tried and true tips for writing winning copy that will bring positive results. Whether written or spoken if your copy does not resonate with people within a few seconds they will move on.

Number one on the list is to know who you are trying to reach. You need to be able to relate to them with language and words that they are familiar with.

Second on the list is to write about the benefits of your product or service. Tell the reader or listener what is in it for them. How will you satisfy their needs is more important than rhyming off a list of features.

Avoid trade jargon and buzzwords. Epic, in my opinion, is a word that comes to mind whose original meaning has been obscured and overused to the point where it has become a catchall phrase that is used to describe just about anything.

This leads to another important point to consider. Write in short sentences. Along with making it easier to read or hear, it forces you to be concise. It also forces you to make sure every word counts. As Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

Edit. Edit. And edit again. No matter whether you are writing for print, video or the content of a website the fundamentals of editing are designed to ensure correctness, accuracy, consistency, and completeness. Above all make sure spelling, grammar, and any visual materials are consistent with your message and the audience you are trying to reaching.

In today’s world, you must also remember that when you are writing for a website you must keep in mind that not only are you writing for the customer but also for the search engine.

Copywriting as first mentioned is one of the most critical elements of all forms of marketing and communication. There are all kinds of tips and tricks that can be found on the internet but if you are unsure of your skills, there are plenty of professional copywriters who can help you to persuade and most importantly get your targeted customer to take action.

Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email at joesmith@shaw.ca

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