- August 14, 2019
- Posted by: TRWCBlogger
- Category: Branding
Writing high-quality copy that is both valuable for your brand and has what it takes to convert more leads is not as easy as it sounds. Whether you write your content in house or hire an expert copywriter, you still need to ensure the content you put out is compelling and representative of what your business stands for.
So how can you make sure your copy is written in the right voice? How can you avoid dangerous copywriting pitfalls and engage with your audience on a new level, offering them valuable insight and turning them into loyal customers in the process?
Below, 12 communications executives from Forbes Communications Council discuss the most common copywriting mistakes you probably don’t know you’re making, and how to avoid them.
1. Speaking To Yourself Rather Than Others
It’s easy to type and communicate in a way that would appeal to you, but the writer doesn’t matter. It’s crucial to make sure the copy speaks to the consumer of the content so they can relate to it, ultimately growing an attachment to your brand. – Cody McConnell, Keller International
2. Forgetting About SEO
As more and more copy ends up online, copywriters should remember even basic search engine optimization (SEO) when crafting their words. It may mean a slight tweak to how you phrase a paragraph, but using the search term for how someone may look for your product can help create a sale or a web visit, as opposed to missing out if you don’t understand how people look for you online. – Charlie Riley, Lawley
3. Making Assumptions And Using Jargon
It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in your company’s internal language and style, and assume that readers understand what you’re saying. Using too much jargon or writing copy without a true understanding of what your target audience cares about can easily alienate readers, even though the marketer may think they are getting it right by writing what they know to be true. – Ashley Deibert, iQ Media
4. Optimizing Your Headline
You can write a snappy, pun-filled headline, but if no one reads it, who cares? When writing headlines, you must use keywords and phrases that people will search on, make sure your title gives enough information about the article’s content to be useful, and use headline tools to make sure your title has the right level of urgency. – Holly Chessman, Glance Networks Inc.
5. Writing ‘Less’ When You Mean ‘Fewer’
This drives me crazy. Sometimes (often?) it seems like a deliberate choice, as if “less” is more easily understood by a wider audience. The rule is often written, “fewer for things you count, less for things you don’t count,” but there are too many exceptions to this. A better rule is: “Less is for singular nouns and fewer is for plural nouns.” – Finbarr O’Sullivan, Philadelphia Gas Works
6. Lacking Consistency Across Platforms
The ability to craft and deploy clear, easily digestible and consistent messaging across various content platforms is no small feat, whether you are a startup or a global, multi-channel brand. Consistency fosters brand trust and builds fluency in your products and services, yet many brands sound dramatically different depending upon the platform. – Janine Robertson, Insect Shield Repellent Technology
7. Ignoring Mobile Copywriting
People are reading more content on their mobile devices. Marketers needs to optimize for thumb-stopping visual design to make copy easy to read on mobile. This means larger font sizes to enhance legibility for older audiences, strong scannable headlines, short paragraph sections, relevant images and no unnecessary words. – Jennifer Wong, TUNE
8. Not Telling Readers What’s In It For Them
It doesn’t matter how improved or cutting-edge your product or service is; for readers to care and engage, they need to know what’s in it for them. Find a creative way to tell them, up front, how your product/service will make their lives easier. And make sure you take the time to develop a compelling headline. – Tom Lange, Union Pacific
9. Copying Others
If you expect better than normal results, you must think and communicate differently than others. In order to inspire, you have to connect. You have to be real. When you copy what others have done before, your authentic self gets lost and you lose your opportunity to connect. – Stacy Wakefield, Credit Sesame
10. Not Crafting Content To Complement Design
As writers, we often get caught up in, well, words. But equally important, or possibly even more important than words, is design. Imagery will be the first thing that catches your reader’s attention, and if your content doesn’t complement the design, your message will lack the je ne sais quoi that makes good marketing, great marketing. – Brandie Claborn, McAfee
11. Forgetting To A/B Test Your Headlines
Stop relying on your gut and use data to determine what headline is most effective. Your headline is the key to drawing in your target audience. You can easily test different headlines by using them in social media posts (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn) and email blasts to learn what gets more likes, shares and clickthroughs. Data-driven headlines will help you drive more engagement and leads. – Mike Delgado, Experian
12. Using Unnecessary Words
Every word should have a purpose. If it doesn’t, nix it. If something is “really” or “very” good, just use “good.” Learn from the six-word story most commonly linked to Ernest Hemingway: “For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.” This is an example of literary power at its finest. – Monica McCafferty, R&R Partners
Culled from Forbes