One of the biggest challenges facing business owners when they launch a website or invest in some marketing material is an inability to take a step back from their company and understand how it will be perceived through the eyes of a client or competitor. For some it feels almost impossible – after all, you know your business inside out and you’re intrinsically linked with the service or product you provide. There are a few things you need to sit down and consider before writing copy which should help you to appreciate the impression it gives from the outside looking in – so if you’re writing your own copy here are a few insider tips to help you get started.
Considering relevant (and superfluous) information
A important part of my skillset is the ability to extract and condense the information I’m given by clients into something concise yet comprehensive – this is a skill which comes with experience. When you’re talking about your own business there is the temptation to tell clients everything – including a lot of information they don’t need to know. This copy is going to be written for your audience, not for you – so you may find that some of the information you feel is essential is actually frustratingly irrelevant for your clients. Similarly some companies fail to include vital information clients need to make sense of your business (or to make that all-important buying decision). For this reason it’s useful to have a professional outsider look over your current copy and discuss the project with you so that you can be sure that everything necessary has been included – and the frustratingly unessential omitted.
Appreciating client needs
Your client needs to get something out of this copy – whether that’s a good impression of your business or specific information, such as a description of what you do and how you do it or your company history and staff profiles. Your copy is useless if it doesn’t satisfy client needs – for instance, you describe the location of your offices in detail but neglect to include the crucial address and postcode. That’s an obvious one – but more cryptic (and much more likely) examples of this include:
- An organic food company omits a list of ingredients for their products (targeted at discerning vegan consumers who need to know what they are eating before they purchase)
- A lack of dimensions for expensive specialist furniture (how can buyers consider a purchase if they have no idea what size the furniture they’re looking at is?)
- No sample menus to be seen on the ‘Weddings’ page of an upmarket hotel (food options are all-important when you’re paying over £20,000 for a venue!)
Always remember that information which is obvious to you may not be to visitors to your website or the people who read your flyers and brochures.
Targeting copy to your market
Identifying a target market can be tricky for some, who don’t want to ‘alienate’ any single one of their clientele. However effective copy is targeted, so this is one of the fundamental elements you need to consider before embarking on compiling content for any type of marketing material – website included. To effectively put a finger on your target demographic envisage your best current customers – the ones who come back time and again and love the service or product you provide. What is it that they love about you? What information do they need to obtain from your website/marketing material to encourage them to engage with your business? Do they like to read or are they impatient users who prefer other media to get your message across? How will they need to be addressed? The tone will depend on the personality of the client and the nature of your business and relationship with them. Targeting copy is a multi-faceted process – it involves many steams which come together to form the body of the text.
For more on how professional copywriting could benefit your business head over to my dedicated pages here.