Tag Archive: copywriting

  1. Web Content Done “Write”: How to Craft Web Copy

    How to Craft Web Copy

    Whether you realize it or not, you’re a writer. From a catty comment on a Facebook post to the embarrassing email you almost (tragically) forwarded to your boss, in one form or another, you’re committing words to page or screen.

    Fortunately, many considerations taken when writing even the most trivial of texts can directly help you better understand how to craft web copy for your next website. Stay with me here: When texting a friend, responding with, “lol, omg,” may be acceptable. However, when writing an email to a colleague, the same message may be better suited as, “Oh my goodness. That’s hilarious.” You are crafting your message not just for the audience (formal vs. informal), but also the delivery vehicle (email vs. text). At its core, these are also the salient considerations when crafting effective web copy.

    Understanding the above point, it should come as no surprise that writing web copy like you might write a blog post or company newsletter will not fly. Crafting web copy is its own unique beast. Before trying to conquer your website’s content, consider the following factors:

    • Who are You?: What is your company’s persona? Is it clearly defined? If your company were a person, do you know what’s on their Spotify playlist, what car they drive and who their favorite Beatle is? Though it may sound (and feel) a bit silly to get this granular with your brand’s persona, it helps to clearly paint a picture of how to craft web copy in a voice that’s pitch perfect. Whether it’s playful, formal, whimsical or a mish-mash of all of the above, defining your brand’s persona is key. For example, Findsome & Winmore is generally characterized as professional, yet with a touch of whimsy and approachability.

    • Who are They?: Second only to knowing your own brand’s persona is knowing your audience’s. In all forms of writing, you must know your audience. If you don’t know who you’re writing for, chances are you’re writing for no one. Especially when writing web copy, there is a natural tendency to write towards one’s own interests instead of serving the target audience. Do not fall into this trap. Your audience should be top of mind at all times and take precedence over personal preferences. I may love early 1990s hip hop, describing Findsome & Winmore’s services as “phat” just won’t play for our target audiences. 

    • What’s the Point?: Though this is partially to do with the larger discussion of website design, you must ensure that every page of your site has a purpose. Moreover, ensure that this purpose is served by the content provided therein. Make your intentions known early and with gusto, especially if the page’s primary objective is to get them to click a link, “buy now,” or otherwise jump through a fiery hoop. Call to actions should never be subtle. Our site opens with a simple, direct question in all caps and red font that nearly glows off of the page: “LOOKING FOR A DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY TO HELP YOU FIND AND WIN NEW CUSTOMERS?” If so, you know to read on.

    • Keep it Short: Brevity is the soul of wit. Though most creative writers are guilty of getting a bit overly verbose for the fun of it, a website is not the place. Your audience is rarely looking to read a novel. Instead, it’s your job as a content writer to walk the tightrope between conciseness and creativity. If you proofread your web copy and think the same message can be conveyed in fewer words, chop chop chop. In promotion for our newsletter, we wrote, “Our monthly e-newsletter, HOT AIR, is chock full of advice on how to FIND and WIN more customers.” Balancing our defined voice with conciseness, this single sentence conveys that 1) we have a newsletter 2) it’s called HOT AIR 3) it’s full of marketing advice 4) you should subscribe (pushed by the subscribe button just adjacent to the copy).

      But hold on – there is one notable exception to this rule. Though conciseness is often golden, there are some notable SEO benefits to long-form content as well. Such content has been shown to sometimes rank higher in search engines, produce more backlinks and increase conversion rates, according to one article from 2015. The solution? Consider including a bit of both shorter and longer content to your site, monitor your performance and decide the best length for your audience moving forward.

    • Work with Web Design: Design and content face the same quandary presented with the chicken and the egg: what comes first? In best-case scenarios, both are developed in tandem, allowing both the form and function of the site to fit the content within it (and vice versa). However, if the design is already built, ensure that you are writing with this context in mind. Copy should fit the page like a glove.

    Even for well-practiced writers, writing for the web can be a real challenge. Take a deep breath–we promise, it will all be OK just as long as you keep a firm grasp on who you are as a brand, who your website content is targeting, and what the purpose is of each page. Then, you can edit for length and ensure the copy matches the design.

    Last, but not least, always, and I repeat, always, have someone proof your website copy. The internet is as big as its memory is good. From one writer to another (even if your specialty is texting), you have it in you to craft copy that works for the web. However, if you need help along the way we may be able to {Findsome} one up for the job.

  2. Creative Briefs: Not Just a Classic Agency Go-To

    This blog post written over a year ago still says true. Creative briefs are a must-do in the world of marketing and advertising. Need proof? Read on…
    Creative briefs aren’t just for the 1950’s Sterling Cooper ad agency, so before you corral your designer/writer/creative wizard for work, stop, take a deep breath and create a creative brief that will help your team produce their greatest work yet. If you’re not sure where to start, let me guide you…
    creative brief meme
    Quick rundown: A creative brief is a document that is used by professionals to help inform and guide a select person or team while creating everything from a visual design like a logo and website, to website copy and photography or video. It is not only helpful for a designer and copywriter, but also for the person who is requesting the creative and for the person that is overseeing it. The brief keeps everyone on the same page and it is a guiding light when the marketing world gets dark…and it really can without a brief.

    When taking a stab at your first creative brief, keep the following in mind:

    • Keep it brief. Creative briefs are meant to be short, sweet and to the point. Try to keep it at a page and provide a synopsis of the following:
      • Project breakdown
      • Big picture snapshot of the client (who they are, their attitude and tone)
      • Audience breakdown
      • Project objective
      • Design and detail inspiration (include keywords, links to inspirational images, websites, content and feel free to even include designs and details the client doesn’t like so your designer and/or copywriter knows what to avoid)
    • Inspire. Although the brief is meant to guide and inform, make sure that you, as the brand ambassador, inspire! When you have created your brief and received the a-okay on it, sit down with your team and challenge them with thought-provoking questions. What do they foresee to be challenges within the project? What do they envision for the end product? What inspires them when reading the brief? Get the group talking and roundtable it. When the juices start a flowin’, no one will be thirsty for ideas.

    When you have a creative brief, the benefits are clear:

    • A brief helps everyone that has a hand in the project stay on the same page.
    • It keeps the objectives on the forefront for all, which in turn supports the creative made.
    • Expectations are clear with no grey area, as all involved parties agreed to the brief.
    • Approval rounds tend to be shorter, as direction was agreed upon from the beginning and during the course of production, designers can ask themselves “Does this achieve the goal? or “Is this solving their problem?”, if not, they can start over and if so, they can keep on keepin’ on! This keeps costs down and everyone happy.
    •  At the end of the day, quality work is produced that is loved by all.

    In short, creative briefs are a must. Do it and you won’t regret it.

    creative brief meme