The basic principles behind writing to sell, writing for commerce, are exactly the same. But copywriters use those principles in different ways depending on the medium. Take copywriting for social media, which is different from copywriting for advertising, copywriting for websites, or copywriting for ecommerce. Here’s some insight.
About copywriting for advertising
Copywriting for advertising requires you to create a very strong message in what’s often a very small space, which means confidently teasing out the principal benefit of the product or service and bravely discarding the rest. You want your direct response advert to stand out from the rest of the ads on the page, which often involves leaving plenty of white space to support easy, comfortable reading. You simply don’t have room to be wordy, write long paragraphs or make complicated statements. The message has to be distilled into very few words. You might want to grab people’s attention with a big, bold header. You’ll need a call to action. And you have to fit contact details into the space as well.
About copywriting for social media
Copywriting for social media is entirely different. Like advertising, you have very little space to work with. You still want people to react and act, but not in quite the same way because while social media isn’t great for direct sales, it’s brilliant for generating brand equity and a great medium for delivering customer service.
The most successful social media players don’t just blat out endless link-filled sales messages. They connect directly with individuals and create messages that their target audience can’t resist engaging with. It’s actually much more like one-on-one networking than marketing: more sociable and human, less corporate and sales-led.
About copywriting for ecommerce
When copywriting for ecommerce you need to bear conversion in mind, and that means getting really creative. Product descriptions, for example, are the perfect excuse to wax lyrical, be descriptive, get enthusiastic. The more desirable you can make a product sound, the more people will buy it.
If you’ve ever found yourself clicking through to look closer at something on Ebay simply because it has been described as ‘beautiful’, ‘stunning’ or ‘excellent’, and rejecting similar items described without superlatives, you’ll know how potent enthusiasm is in a retail context. It really does work.
About copywriting for websites
When writing a web page, you generally have plenty of space at your disposal. You can afford to include more facts, more information, more knowledge, and create an actual story. But it’s still vital to distil your message to its marketing essence and present it as simply and powerfully as possible.
They key is to know when to stop. It’s all too easy to run on and on, trying to say absolutely everything there is to say on each page. It might make you feel happy but it isn’t something consumers appreciate. The name of the game for top level pages – home, about, services and so on – is picking out the information that’s directly relevant to the sales message for that page, leaving the rest to go deeper in the site where it belongs, where people can find it if they want it. And every good web page, like every advert, deserves a call to action.
Does your copywriter understand that content should differ depending on the medium? If not, find one who does.