marketing copy

This article is a real “back to basics” on writing marketing copy with loads of hints and tips.

Do you ever feel swamped by all the marketing channels now available? Should you be tweeting, setting up a Facebook page, managing your Adwords account, utilising log ins on Foursquare, Google+? I could go on.

This “busy-ness” is happening but has communication itself has really changed?

Here are a load of tips:

1. Use words, images and “tone” to get our messages across.

Think about engaging the senses – visual, auditory and emotional as well.

Notice the initial response when someone sees your material; watch when someone reads you postings. Do they have the desired affect?

If not, change one of those three:

Visual – add more colour, larger images, some friendly faces

Auditory – the words, are they working hard for you to get your message across? (see below for more on this)

Emotional – are you be audacious, vibrant, subtle or enthused when you write?!

This is all about the psychology of engagement.

2. Be good at talking about ourselves.

“It’s good to talk” and “bringing people together” are examples how cleverly written slogans can work for your product and/or service and help build your brand in modern business. In BT’s case ( and it was 20 years ago when it hit our screens and still a classic!) people know that they are being sold the benefit of being able to stay in touch via a product/service whilst reminding you, the customer, that they care – leaving a favourable impression from a few simple, clearly written and well-chosen words.

With a deluge of advertising bombarding you 24 hours a day – and an ever-decreasing attention span from a cynical public – how do you make your message stand out?

The answer is to analyse some of the key factors which distinguish those businesses whose products are perceived as being merely ‘OK’, from those which have a reputation for excellence.

3. Getting the message across.

Your business success depends on:

– How effectively you convey the salient points of your business proposition.

– Building relationships with existing clients.

– Positively influencing prospective customers without them filtering you out and discarding you on the ‘has-been heap’.

But how do you get your core target audiences buying into what you are selling? How do you distinguish your Unique Selling Point (USP) from those of your competitors?

What you want is to influence people to buy in to your product and brand through what they:



And believe about you.

So instead of your brochures being put in the bin and your advertising ignored, what can you do instead?

Have a quick look at your own written material. Is it working for you as well as it could? Take a Bristol audience for a moment (or any other location for that matter), do they want what you have? And does your material connect to them in a meaningful way?

Essential skills

If, for instance, you are looking to market to people in Bristol (in the United Kingdom) then there are some iconic images – the Wells tower, the Suspension Bridge, the balloon festival- that keep appearing in marketing materials throughout the city.

The same principle could well apply for people in San Francisco – it has a pretty groovy bridge there as well!

What about the language used though? Do you feel you are effectively tapping into the use of the written word?

Here are some leading-edge skills that are essential to helping you write incredibly effective copy. In this case, imagine we are trying to sell this article to you!

Use words that build desire

‘This article presents ideas that would normally cost hundreds of pounds in a seminar.’

This works because people associate the product with great value, and will be keener to buy it than a competing brand.

Associate it with positive emotion

‘Remember some thing that you have read, and how it influenced your thinking in a powerful manner? By the end of this article you will get the same result!’

This works as people like to remember positive experiences, and are more likely to think favourably about your product.

Setting the agenda

‘This article is not about ideas that might work. It’s about effective communication that is fundamental to achieving results.’

This works as you are getting your target audience to think in a way that allows you to sell your product.

Use ‘excitement building’ statements

‘After you have read this article you will be amazed at how easy it is to write more effective marketing copy for your clients in Bristol, and how great the benefits to your business will be.’

This works as you are creating an optimistic vision of the future, which generates a ‘buy-in’ feeling.

Make the customer feel special

‘People often ignore business-related articles that could make a crucial difference because they believe that what they are doing already works perfectly well.

‘However, successful entrepreneurs – those committed to achieving the best possible results – take note of key articles and make an informed choice based on what they have read.’

This works as there is an assumption that the reader wants to be really successful, compared to those who, through ignorance, choose not to give themselves the best opportunity, and are therefore less likely to succeed.

Sell a future benefit

‘If you agree with anything that you have read so far in this article, this could help you make the next quantum leap in becoming an incredibly effective copy writer.’

This works by allowing the reader to create the possibility of achieving whatever they want to achieve – in this case becoming an incredibly effective copy writer.

Back-up your writing with evidence

‘Hundreds of people have learnt these incredibly effective copy writing techniques through training. And from feedback and research, it has been proven that this really is a valuable, beneficial, not-to-be-missed experience.’

This works as people like to believe they are going to be happy with the end-product, service or experience, and are not guinea pigs.

Case study

Having read the above seven tips for writing incredibly effective copy, let’s use an example of selling Paint X to bring it to life. How can we distinguish one particular product of paint from the rest of the paint market using these techniques?

(And when I say “paint” this could be digital print services, website design, Mexican food, life coaching etc)

Use words that build desire

‘Imagine colours that express your individuality. With Paint X’s new spray-on technology you can express your individuality even quicker.’

Associate with a Positive Emotion

‘What if emotions had colour, what would your favourite colour be?

Setting the agenda

‘Do you want more free time and results that last? With Paint X you won’t need to repaint any surface for 20 years.’

Use ’excitement building’ statements

‘Paint X – seeing your freshly painted house gives a surge of achievement and showing that new designer look will impress your friends and family.’

Make the customer feel special

‘PaintX is only used byprofessionals. It allows you to feel like a designer and creator of your own environment!’

Sell a future benefit

‘This paint can be applied to all surfaces in wet or dry weather, is self-washing and is guaranteed to last for 20 years!’

Back-up your writing with evidence

‘In a survey conducted by Which Best Paints Report 2011, 97% of people said they thought Paint X was the best newcomer paint on the


So, whether you are using twitter or updating a webpage, think about this: will this action get me the outcome I want? If not, what language could I be using to get that outcome?

Wherever you are in the world, remember to relate to your audience in a way that is appealing to them.

With a little practice you will be engaging hearts and minds in no time!