This is a guest blog by Martin Booth, Director of Content at LeBoo Media.
I run a copywriting and content management consultancy. So when someone asks for my top tip when it comes to getting something great written, my answer is simple: Give me a call.
However, apart from that stellar piece of advice, there are a few important rules to follow if you want to get your message across in the most eloquent and compelling way possible.
Some of these may appear fairly obvious in isolation. Some may not. But add them all together and you will not go far wrong.
1. Know your audience
It’s always the first question I ask when a client asks for some copy. Who is going to read it? If it’s a B2C piece aimed at the public, the language will be very different from that of an article directed at an expert B2B market. Getting the tone of voice right is absolutely vital and, if you find the right level of jargon and assumed foreknowledge, it will carry you a long way.
Get your Free Social Media Plan
2. Write with that audience’s point of view in mind
Too many websites go on about “we”, “our” and “us” – rather than “you” and “your”. Don’t start by talking at length about how good you are, how desirable your products and services are. Make it clear straight away what question you are answering, what box you are ticking, what switch you are flicking for the people who are reading your words.
3. Keep it simple
Some people confuse verbosity with value and think that the more words they throw at a subject, the more will stick. I don’t. Now, opinion is not entirely united here. Many experts will tell you that, for SEO purposes, you should make a blog (for instance) as long as possible. I’m focusing here on content aimed at people rather than search spiders, so I believe your audience will thank you for saying in 500 words what others might stretch to 1,500.
4. Spell it right
Oh yes. People really, really do notice – and subconsciously mark you down – if your grammar and spelling creak. If you are not confident, ask someone who is. You can call me a grammar ninja, you can call me a spelling Nazi, but you can always call me to solve a writing dilemma.
5. Read it out loud
This sounds a little off the wall, but it really works. Your lips may not move when you read a piece of content, but in your head, you are subconsciously “hearing” the words. Read it out loud and, if what you create sounds fluid and melodious, even musical, then it is working well and, subliminally, helping to get your message across. If you come to a sentence where you trip over the words or have to read it twice to make sense of it, write it again.
6. Always include a call to action
The implicit conclusion of your piece should always be: “Now that I have convinced you I know what I am talking about, get in touch so we can do business.” Of course, you don’t phrase it that way; you say something like:
If you have enjoyed this blog and would like to know more about how LeBoo Media can help your business, please get in touch at email@example.com