What Everyone Should Know About Writing Copy for Different Media
Good copy is imperative to a successful business. There are numerous types of copy including email, websites, blog posts, brochures, direct mailings, social media posts, and TV and radio commercials. The type of copy you use depends on many factors such as your target audience, budget, and resources available. Once you’ve decided on your advertising media you can begin to design copy specifically for it.
First of all - Headlines!
I cannot stress enough the importance of great headlines. It’s come up multiple times during our look at copywriting over the past month, and I even wrote an article solely on this topic last week. A well-written headline is essential to catching your reader’s attention and getting them to stick with you as you give them more information and a sales pitch.
Headlines look a little different depending on the type of media, but nonetheless are ALWAYS important!
Writing Copy for Print
Writing copy for print will typically be more formal in tone. Print copy should be well-researched and will involve more time than other web-based copy, such as blog posts.
Print copy is more traditional and can vary in length. Sales letters will be longer, while brochures are limited by space restrictions.
The best resource for writing print copy? A professional copywriter. Print copy is more “permanent” and carries with it more specific qualities.
While print is certainly not dead, we are living in a digital age.
With that in mind, today our focus will be on copy written for use
on the internet
Writing Web-based Copy
Web-based copy is more conversational and less formal than print. It can be short (a tweet limited to 140 characters) or longer (a 2000+ word blog post). Below are some factors to keep in mind depending on the copy’s use.
● It’s a good idea to include:
○ Numbered or bulleted lists
○ Breaks in sections
○ Informative subheadings
○ White space
○ A conversational tone
● Make sure that a reader who simply scans the text can still get the gist of the article
● Give your reader an opportunity to act while you have their attention - let them post a comment, share the article on social media, subscribe to your email newsletter, or download a free ebook
● Like blog posts, it should be visually appealing and easy to read - stay away from big blocks of text
● Take advantage of the fact that websites are meant to be changed and updated easily by refreshing your content when appropriate, such as with blog posts
● Be sure the copy on your website is organized in a way that a visitor can easily tell what your business does and can find what they’re looking for
● Include a call-to-action (CTA) that is quickly identifiable and easy to use
● While SEO is certainly important, using the keywords should be natural and add to the copy
● If your inbox fills up as quickly as mine does, you understand the need even more for a GREAT HEADLINE (which is the subject line in this case) - make them want to read it instead of just deleting it
● Email programs cut off subject lines at 50-70 characters, so try to keep titles under this length to avoid losing your message
● Keep it short and simple or risk losing the reader’s attention
● Use graphic images sparingly since many people read email on a mobile device and can get annoyed if images don’t load quickly and properly
● Can be a little more experimental than print copy because it can be produced more efficiently
● Should be approachable and friendly, as this is a great way to interact with customers
● Needs to be brief and to the point - especially on Twitter!
Here are a few websites to check out for additional information on writing different types of copy:
When writing for a particular kind of media, be sure to research tips and best practices for it specifically. Put your copy to work for you by understanding the medium and getting the most out of it.