Before I became a project manager/copywriter at this fabulous establishment that employs me, I had always thought that writing would eventually be my full-time profession. To say that I am verbose is a vast understatement, and writing colorful copy is my one true natural talent. For my graduate degree thesis, I designed and created an original magazine from scratch, articles and all, and it is undoubtedly my proudest achievement to date. However, writing is a very competitive field, and my passion for the written word is not all-encompassing enough for me to give up my shoe addiction. Very fortunately for me, my position here at DTP is flexible enough that it allows me to spend time doing ALL of the things I love and am good at: interacting with clients on a daily basis, building relationships, and doing a great deal of writing through generating content for clients.
Most recently, I have taken on the very exciting and entertaining task of writing the copy for our new website, which is going to be FLIPPING AMAZING (stay tuned!) I have absolutely loved the challenge of finding the perfect verbiage and tone to convey who we are as a company and how we have grown and evolved as a brand. Throughout the process, I’ve learned a thing or two along the way about developing content for marketing materials that is witty, compelling, and holds the increasingly short-spanned attention of your target audience.
Understand your audience. Before you begin a conversation, it is vital that you have a clear picture of whom you are addressing. The biggest part of knowing who you are as a company and marketing that to the best of your ability is to have a firm grasp on the prospective clients you are marketing to. Study up on your target demographics—what are their interests? What are the brands they can’t live without? Truly knowing the people that you are selling to will allow you to make smart, lucrative decisions regarding how to successfully connect with them.
Find your voice and stick with it. As with branding, consistency is the key to striking a chord with your readers. After all, your voice is the heart and soul of your brand. It (literally) says everything about who you are and how you go about making an emotional connection with your brand community. You want to make sure that your tone and approach stays true to the way in which you want to be perceived, and that it is an accurate, differentiating reflection of your company’s unique personality. Once you (or your entrusted writer) hit that stride, the words will write themselves.
The less words you can employ to get your point across, the better. As I mentioned before, I am a bit long-winded, so this was a difficult concept for me to master. However, I quickly noticed in my research that the websites that appealed most to me and held my interest the longest were those that didn’t try too hard; their copy was short, sweet, and clever. Copy that is sharp, snappy, and succinct draws readers in and intrigues them, leaving them wanting more. By sparking their interest and holding yourself back from writing a novel, you will drive their urge to pick up a phone and find out more about you.
Don’t be shy about selling yourself. Besides the short n’ sweet rule, the other major thing I noticed during my research phase was the fact that the websites that stuck out the most in my mind were the ones that convinced me they were in a league of their own. Modesty is a virtue, but not when you’re trying to persuade prospective clients to pick you over the competitors. How did they impress me? Along with presenting themselves through a sophisticated, slick, and professional website, they weren’t afraid to brag a bit. While you should be careful not to over-do it, a little well-placed cockiness indicates pride in your work, which tells your readers that you do work worth being proud of.