The key to good copywriting? Jettison the jargon and keep it simple

In this posting from the LinkedIn Agency Influencer program, Next Marketing founder Jo Macdermott argues the key to good writing is to think about your audience

Words have incredible power in marketing. If you’re trying to inform or persuade an audience, great copywriting skills are essential. Not all marketing managers are natural wordsmiths, but there are a few tips and tricks that I have learnt since running my own agency that will help boost your writing skills so you can create effective copy.

Here are a few tips to help you stand out from the pack.

Change the audience’s perspective

Being original and breaking down an audience’s expectations is a sign of a great copywriter. When a reader doesn’t expect to see something, they are more likely to take notice. Next time you go to write something, stop and think about whether there is a different way you could present it.

Identify the reader’s problem

This is a classic copywriting tip – identify your audience’s problem and persuade them that you can solve it. Focus on how you will benefit the reader rather than making your copy all about you and your brand.

Be clear and concise

When writers are struggling to convey a business message, they tend to fall back to jargon. The key to good copywriting is speaking to the reader directly. You can still discuss industry-relevant matters but do it using language that is accessible to everyone. There are certain catchphrases that are increasingly popular in business, but often many of them are meaningless and irritating. If you are tempted to use phrases such as ‘think outside the box’ or ‘proactive approach’, be aware this will have the opposite effect to what you intended.

Here are some suggested alternatives to common clichés:

  • Thinking outside the box – original
  • Bring to the table – can provide
  • Leverage – use
  • Strategic – useful
  • Going forward – in future
  • Deliverables – results
  • Touch base – talk

Know your objective

Be clear on your objective before you start writing your copy. This will help you get straight to the point without rambling or adding in unnecessary detail. Words are powerful, and the more you stick to the point the more likely it is that your reader will listen.

Create a clickable headline

A compelling headline is one that makes the reader want to click on the copy and find out more. If it doesn’t make readers want to read on, it’s a lost cause from the beginning, so it is worth taking the time to craft it. Statistics and humour are great ways to make your headline clickable. It’s also important to keep it short and not to give too much away, so your reader is compelled to click on it to find out more.

Words are powerful, and knowing how to use them will get you better results as a marketer. Next time you sit down to write a piece of copy, try using these suggestions from our marketing agency team and see if they make a difference.

Jo Macdermott is the founder of Next Marketing

This article is part of the LinkedIn Agency Influencer program. See more from the program by clicking on the banner below.

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