Marketing copy – A title is everything
After a period of relative silence (These were an insane couple of months … no complaints) I decided to try and shed some light on an important issue, an emotional world called marketing copy design, and what it is exactly? Well…the right description would be “Copy writing is the use of words to promote a person, business, opinion or idea. Although the word copy may be applied to any content intended for “ we all know the importance of text/content, content has become more than just a buzz word but more a methodological way to not only answer information questions but also create awareness and it’s increasingly getting better each passing day…we are being swamped by information, I sometimes ask my self – how can we? In every marketing copy there are important and necessary elements 4 to be exact, the title or the “hook”, content, image and last but not least the logo, in this post I will try to “paint” you the big picture, and what it brings to our audience or customers, they say that one picture is worth a thousand words, without a doubt the picture carries with it feelings and emotions and causes the text to stand out and its giving it more significance, We see it in everything we do, and in every marketing message we send out, our web sites, our advertising, even the emails we send, the ability to pass stronger marketing message with higher quality and it usually combines the 4 layers mentioned each has his own power and its own weight , Is the whole the sum of its parts?
The word “graphic design” sounds sometimes incomprehensible even though this profession is very intuitive I still feel it is important to understand the basics first, professionals like to call it marketing layout (much like designing a display window for a retail shop) truth to be told… we’re all involved in the creative process in one way or the other, we get to attend in creative meetings, those creative meeting usually attracts all employees…like a bear to honey , it’s always the most attractive and most popular sit down in every company, everyone wants to be there, everyone wants to say something, I guess this is a touch point in human beings that by pressing it unleashes amazing things, the desire to create and build, to think without interruption, to dream! This produces a dynamic meeting with allot of human emotions it’s a mix of human instincts and earthly desires no doubt one of the most fertilized meadows marketing has to offer, so what is this marketing layout?
In the professional jargon this is the correct arrangement of typography, art and interactive elements such as photos, illustrations and movies and all this on our screen, then you ask yourself what is a good layout? Well…there is no right answer, there are 3 criteria’s that in order for us to actually pay attention to it we have to pay close attention, whether it’s our sites copy/text it could be your landing pages, the email you send to your customers and even a brochure you managed to produce for an offshore conference, this is a simple formula – A good layout is a layout that works! , in order to attract visitors and make them stick you must use all 3 criteria’s or there is no real meaning to your layout.
The layout must deliver your marketing message effectively and quickly (people online have no time and no patience – remember that!) You must arrange your ideas and concepts in such a way that the reader can move quickly and “slide” into it (much better to ” roll on It”…like a cold and sweet ice cream on hot summer nights) and of course do not forget to be different from your competitor, stand out from the crowd, your copy should direct the reader’s in the right direction, motivate for one action and one action only (or for one purpose only) don’t blow them away with mixed /multiple offers it is important to catch the reader and make him read your title/headline first – scorch it into your brain – The title is the most important thing, if the reader passed you by and didn’t react to your title he/she would not buy from you, and probably won’t come back also. You ever asked your selves why when we go to the market we get all those people shouting “buy this” “buy that”. well…each vendor has a very small window of opportunity, 2 meters of a table to try and sell you something, and this is in a market full of such tables and full of vendors, they try to stand out by shouting or behaving in a way that will attract your attention otherwise you will continue going down the market and buy from someone that “shouted stronger”.
to my personal opinion the marketing copy world of writing eye catching titles and text is one of the world’s most competitive marketing arenas, very creative and very hard to control or master, this area becomes a busy arena with allot of internal wars, how to write a better article, how to write an ad copy in order to get better positions/rankings on search engine or get more clicks on your ppc campaign for that matter, how to draft the perfect email so people would notice and react to it? dear friends …. It’s the copy that matters and nothing else matters more.
If you want them to see you, hear you, make some noise, be different, good ads evoke excitement, enthusiasm and anticipation for more, If your ad copy creates the attention and succeeds you are where you want to be and where all marketing executives want to be, but even if you got to that place don’t rest for a minute its most likely you will lose a few, but do not despair, continue to explore what causes better reactions, what works better, what’s more exciting remember …test test test … there is no winning formula and don’t let anyone fool you.
I think we can sum up everything in a simple way, ad writing is the backbone of any ad marketing campaign and we need to know to produce a message that delivers strong consistency in order for it to “set fire” to the hearts and the minds of our potential customers, the headline, the prominent sub headline and also the body text itself, be smart it will bring you more customers.
So what’s really important?
I think that in every ad there are 4 simple principles:
1. Attract attention – you can testify that when you read a newspaper or magazine you tend to ignore many of the ads that are in it, the name for it is banner or ad copy
“Blindness”, to those of you who visit news sites or big portals (I won’t name them but there are many) you see many ads and banners, honestly, do any of you see them all? colorful ads, flashy ones , interactive ads, banners that pop up and you think they are about to hit you in the eye, display banners in all shapes and sizes, I’m willing to bet whether you noticed or not that when you read the page your eye doesn’t bother, your eye or your brain causes you to read the text that surrounds/”wraps” the ad , not everyone of course but certainly the majority, it’s an environment of great ads for sure, many advertising firms and interactive companies that try to capture you with many almost endless marketing messages we tend to ignore those elements that are invasive and that bother us from concentrating on the content many of those ads might even be relevant to you but there are just too many! They mean no harm but, they all compete for your attention and you probably do not have the time to read each and every one – there are just too many! This is one of the reasons why you should try hard and find an eye catching title that attracts attention.
2. Segmentation (selected audience) – obviously segmentation can be done in many different ways ( I have discussed it in earlier posts and I will continue doing so when I get to optimization chapter ) if you sell a product designed for the elderly there is no reason to try and attract the young,l… if you want to be appealing to the young so you should have a young oriented product ,understand where they came from and who they are before you try selling the wrong product to the wrong crowd, I see examples of web sites that their users are an adult audience but the webmaster thought that it’s pretty simple to read a text ad or size 10 fonts, these poor old chaps, how the hell do you want to attract attention if you cannot even read the dam text…(dear , do you know where my glasses are?”) the elderly has more poor vision… what can you do? there are companies that are more sensitive to it and some that don’t, big.com for example was designed in a way that enables those that have poor vision to read what they usually can’t, it allows the user to control the fonts size, Select the appropriate correct choice of words for your audience, because if you do not do this you will not attract new customers most likely you will attract those who will not buy anything from you.
3. “Finish the sentence” – Empiric tests proves that 4 out of 5 readers that read the headline will skip the rest of the ad, 80% folks! Therefore it’s important to design/write an ad that is understandable, you cannot write a partial or truncated title without a unified and clear message if you do, you will most likely find out that no one will devote his/ her time and thought. Example: Now it’s proven: “Gillette razors cannot cut your skin! Find out why”
4. Magnetize the reader to the ad body – there are very few products that just by a picture or illustration sells, usually asking from readers certain information and putting an attractive image will not suffice, I’ll try giving a classic example of things I bump in every day, you try selling a product – a pension product or a real estate or even a mortgage over the Internet, I see many companies that use landing pages that consist of an imaginary house/property (I would put my money on it) Yes … Yes … they put up pictures and images of properties that doesn’t even exist …come on…the most delusional thing is seeing those Landing pages which requires the user to enter his details (leads generation forms) and that’s it! Minimal page form with an imaginary picture, tell me … have you lost your mind? Look… Its okay to design a minimal page but in a case where you sell a complex product (complex product is any product that must have a longer sales session, that requires more information, customers that want to win a vacation would like to know where? which hotel? Is there a Jacuzzi in the room or maybe a sauna? And do they serve dinner and have room service? this information is very important, no one would give his name and email details if you don’t give this information out) what can you do it’s a bit more difficult to sell a respiratory system then selling an iPod, is it clear to you that whoever seeks to buy assets over the Internet would probably require information about the property? How do you expect to sell a product or cause a user to enter his details if you haven’t given him the necessary information? Who said landing page should not contain a scroll (scrolling down the page…longer page)…it’s BS! Think about your audience and try to walk in their shoes, I would never give my details to such. I drifted a bit … back to the title … the title has to be magnetic, attractive, sometimes with humor, sometimes you should ask a question , sometimes you would need to be provocative – as long as they read it, from that point the road becomes much easier.
A few tools:
When you are grabbing the keyboard or pen and think what to write it is important for you to keep a few things in mind, especially if the language you use is not your mother tongue (us Israelis well…English is not our native language so mistakes can happen):
1. First work with a dictionary, it seems to me that this is the simplest and most important tool for writing
2. Vocabulary – don’t make up words, try to investigate carefully and use the language of your target audience, simple words and not complex, funny vs. misery, short words vs. long, you wouldn’t believe the slap on the wrist I received from someone using the wrong word.
What I was meaning to say was that words have a strong effect ( “life and death in the hand of the tongue”)
3. Cliche - Readers love quotes and proverbs – Readers like to see quotes, believe it or not they think that quotes = dialogue, and it doesn’t matter if it’s really a dialogue or just seems that way. People admire quotes, why? They are short, usually smart and sometimes witty, sometimes funny and usually said by someone who knows (Or thinks he knows … still works), if you also managed to attach a familiar or famous figure such as Galileo or Columbus, people would be drawn to your copy. Try it and find out!
“The pen is stronger than the sword” – a sentence that my father (god rest his soul would say … you can test it, try taking a book that has quotes in it, you easily see the quotation marks, quotation marks cause the text to” breathe”, turn a cheek, our eyes pick them fast because it seems that someone is talking to us
Everything becomes easier after the title …. trust me, but that does not mean that work is done, try to follow my future postings I will dive a bit into the body of the ad, but not before I share with you a simple formula (something to think about) something interesting I read long time ago described the call for action process, varied formulas produced by marketing executives in the top 100 corporate companies , whether it’s a normal ad, banner, newsletter or mail the formula is called AIDA
Attention – magnetize the crowd and pull him/her and – “stick”
Interest – after you catch ones attention, try to interest him in your service or product (Many people use the title + sub title…a newspaper is a great example )
Desire – Try to be sexy and seductive, the principle is simple: First of all communicate the benefits (how your product is about to solve the customers problem) and then and only then the features (functionality)
Example: if you sell a headache pill you should write something such as “Migraine killer – 2 min and it’s gone” , I think it would be better than “ the new Advil migraine only for $9.99“
Action – call for action! Always! “Register now” “Read Now” “Buy Now”, etc.
memorize AIDA well
the copy “war” becomes more difficult from day to day, so before you start writing, know who you are and who you are writing too, how do you entice a dialog, much like In life, it is important to know how to stand out, like picking up a girl in a bar or attract the attention of the lecturer at the university, subject of copy is a complete science and one must question and delve into it, that’s what will make you different, this way you can “fish” more customers and generate more sales.