Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Making words work for you

Copy is king

In an increasingly visual age, people often ask what role copy plays when it comes to marketing a business on the internet. The answer is simple, ‘copy is king’, without it images have no voice and people are left to interpret the subliminal messages that are often associated with a myriad of images featured on web pages.

Undoubtedly, the purpose of copy on a website has had to adapt to the fast paced environment of the World Wide Web. Gone are the days of static websites that are flooded with text as we begin to see more interactive sites that provoke the senses in a bid to keep our attention.

Where does copy come into it?

Copy provides the key to these images, essentially unlocking the story that is being told. However, in order to serve a purpose on the internet, particularly when marketing a business, copy has to adopt a ‘less is more’ approach.

Research shows that copy needs to have a ‘hook’ (i.e. something that makes the additional copy worth reading), be ‘punchy’ (i.e. speaking in a rhythmical tone) and most importantly bitesize in order to capture and keep the intended target audience focused. Without the principles in place, people become frustrated and begin to look elsewhere for answers.

The essential elements

· Keep it short - People NEED TO KNOW NOW! We live in an instant society, if people can’t find the information they are looking for in the first 2-3 sentences of text, you’ve already lost 75% of your audience

· Keep it simple – When it comes to copy, using the old cliché of ‘hook, line and sinker’ works wonders when applied to website text. Generate an eye-catching hook, further fed by a snippet of information and close with a call to action

· But above all, stick to the story! – If the words do not ‘SPEAK’ the voice of the images surrounding the text then ultimately your text will serve no purpose at all.