Mad Men fans everywhere remember the pivotal first scene where we learn just how talented Don Draper is at his job.
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Faced with an almost-impossible copywriting task, he rose lớn the occasion to solve a huge problem for his client, Lucky Strike. In spite of research warning customers of the dangers of cigarettes, Draper delivered the iconic khẩu hiệu -- "It"s toasted" -- to differentiate the brand from its competitors.
Now, we definitely aren"t advocating for smoking cigarettes (or many of Draper"s health choices). But fictional or not, you can"t deny the memorability & catchiness of that tagline.
This ad from Sage Therapeutics pressing the importance of talking about postpartum depression works because instead of asking readers khổng lồ care about something they don"t know, it puts them in the position of experiencing the struggle that mothers suffering do. Did they miss some readers who quickly passed by the ad thinking it was for adult pacifiers? Most definitely. But the ad resonated that much more thoroughly with those who read it.
The next time you sit down to write, try out this approach. Don"t take the topic head on. Instead, ask yourself why it matters. Each time you write down an answer, challenge yourself to lớn push it further. Find the larger story happening behind your message.
2) It finds connections.
In 1996, Steve Jobs let the mèo out of the bag. He was speaking with a journalist from Wired on the topic of creativity & explained:
"Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something they feel a little guilty because they didn"t really bởi it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to lớn them after awhile."
Let"s say you have to lớn write an ad for a new pair of sneakers. You could take the assignment head on. You could write about the elasticity of the shoe"s sole or the lightweight design. Indeed, many have. Or you could put all of that aside and instead draw the connection between the product & the experience it evokes.
In an older orsini-gotha.com post, Copyorsini-gotha.comger"s Robert Bruce put this nicely. "Humble yourself and truly serve your audience, listen khổng lồ their needs & desires, listen to the language they use," he said. "If you listen carefully, your audience can eventually give you everything you need, including much of your copy. Get out of their way."
5) It avoids jargon & hyperbole.
Groundbreaking. Revolutionary. Business Solutions. Targetable Scale. Ideation. Evidence-based approaches. Industry-wide best practices.
Have I lost you yet?
When writers struggle lớn convey what is truly special about their company, product, or service, they sometimes fall back on jargon or hyperbole to underscore their point. The truth is, good copywriting doesn"t need dressing up. Good copywriting should speak to the reader in human terms.
This isn"t khổng lồ say you should never celebrate awards or achievements. Just be direct in the way you explain that achievement. This homepage from Basecamp does a nice job of highlighting its popularity in concrete terms.
6) It cuts out excess.
Good writing gets to lớn the point -- và that means cutting out excessive phrases, & rewording your sentences khổng lồ be more direct. In an ad celebrating its "academic" readership, The Economist playfully demonstrates this below.
How bởi you rid excess words from your writing? It"s half practice, half knowing where to lớn cut. This article from Daily Writing Tips is one of the most effective summaries I"ve found on precise writing. Included in its tips:Reduce verb phrases: For instance, turn "The results are suggestive of the fact that" lớn "The results suggest."Reduce wordy phrases khổng lồ single words: You can change "in order to" into "to." Another example: Turn "Due to lớn the fact that" into "because."Avoid vague nouns: Phrases formed around general nouns like "in the area of" or "on the topic of" clutter sentences.
In general, if you can afford lớn cut without losing the meaning of a sentence, vị so. Push yourself to strip down your word count. Turn 50-word homepage copy into 25, then push yourself again to lớn make that 25-word sentence into 15 words. It"s not about brevity so much as it is about making sure every word counts in your writing.
Since my last point was about getting lớn the point, I"ll keep this brief: Words matter. Every time you sit down to lớn write an ad, web page, đoạn clip script, or other nội dung for your company, you have the opportunity to break through to lớn people. Find those opportunities in your sale and make sure that you"ve made the most of them.
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Editor"s note: This post was originally published in November 2017 và has been updated for comprehensiveness.