A copywriter's cheat card to language branding

A copywriter's cheat card to language branding

This week something a little different from the Visualise camp. We’ve teamed up with website copywriter Helena Baker to reveal her five tips to crafting effective copy for marketing your business. Over to Helena…

When starting a business it can often be overwhelming, I remember at the beginning I felt a little akin to a drowning rat, being pursued by sharks whilst the iceberg that sunk the Titanic loomed in the distance. So when someone like me, comes up and informs you that language is important I’d imagine you basically want to punch them in the face, having already heard the accountant, graphic designer, web designer and a host of other suppliers repeat the same mantra.

Sadly, however that doesn’t make it any less true. Take a second to think of your favourite brand and now go look at their site. I can almost guarantee that their tag line, website copy and structure will all be beautifully composed and well structured. My personal favourite is innocent drinks who have absolutely cracked the secret to successful content marketing. So drawing on their core marketing philosophy and my own experience as a super successful copywriter I have come up with five effective ways you can create targeted, effective copy to be incorporated across all your marketing platforms.

1. Target Market

The most important part of branding is ensuring you know your target market. From the London fat cats all the way down to Justin Bieber’s fan club each sector has its own needs and wants. Making sure you can exactly identify these will make your copy, according to my official and completely made up statistics, 1000% more effective. If you are struggling with this take a look at the YouGov online platform which describes (in fantastic detail) the profiles of consumers at a number of different brands. Simply find the brand closest to your own and take a look at their data.

2. Be yourself

Every brand is utterly unique and should have its own personality, so don’t be afraid to express yourself. If you are targeting a more corporate audience then, by all means, use far more professional and formal language. However, if it suits your demographic don’t be afraid to use more colloquial language.

3. Pronouns

It can be all too easy to slip up with pronouns, calling your business “I” and then switching to “we,” or alternatively confusing “you” and “they” for your clients. Decide if you want to present yourself as a sole trader or bigger business as well as the way you would like to refer to your clients. Then stick to it, work to ensure that each lovingly crafted sentence is absolutely consistent in tone to make for coherent copy.

4. Less is More

It can be incredibly tempting to wax lyrically. Using the most advanced vocabulary and complex sentence structures to prove both your intelligence and worth to potential clients. However, the truth is nobody likes a show off, and even less when they are being forced to trawl through the written manifestation of this ostentatious behaviour. Use simple English and short sentences. Particular words to avoid are “utilise,” “facilitate” or “ubiquitous” when what you really mean is “use” “help” or “everywhere.”

5.Evolution

Any big brand has undergone massive brand development, ensuring they remain contemporary and relevant. Constantly re-examine your content and make sure it aligns with core values as well as current trends. Using tools such as Google Analytics should also help point you in the right direction, offering quantitative data on your website views that could well help point you in the right direction.

About Helena Baker

I work with a number of sectors on their marketing strategy - helping them create targeted copy that effectively conveys their USPs as well as offering monthly blog packages that are optimised for SEO. If you have any further questions or would like to discuss language branding in a little more detail please don’t hesitate to give me a call on 07826 857 882 or drop me a line on helena@helenabaker.com

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