10 tips for better marketing writing
Benefit from Mike Druttman’s know-how with these suggestions. They’ll help you improve the content of your web site, brochure, press release or business plan.
1. Be creatively different – Look for a fresh way to present the main problem -and then your solution. Having a strong headline, short and appealing text plus eye-catching visuals will grab attention in a noisy marketplace.
2. Aim at your target – Talk directly to your main customers’ needs, because you cannot satisfy everyone. Keep asking ‘What’s in it for them?’ and then keep answering this question throughout the text.
3. Be clear – Explain your benefit in a simpler way. Do you say ‘Thousands of databases may be accessed by individuals’ or ‘There’s a world of information just waiting for you’? Will everybody understand your texts immediately?
4. Make your point early– People are impatient readers. They don’t need ‘intro texts’ and appreciate brevity. Don’t describe what you’re going to say (i.e. ‘Here’s a list of the products benefits…’). Shorter texts have more power.
5. Avoid superlatives– Choose modesty over self-praise. Using words like ‘best’, ‘most’, ‘perfect’ will invite doubt unless you can back up your claim. Give readers enough credit to make up their own minds.
6. Work around cliché words – People use words like ‘state-of-the-art’, ‘field-proven’, ‘complete solution’ because they can’t think of alternatives. Make sure you do. You’re not a ‘me-too’ business. You’re special. Show that.
7. Don’t assume – Some people will understand your special vocabulary and market, while others won’t. So look for a balance. One way is to support technical statements with general words that stress the benefits.
8. Turn negatives around– It’s OK to use negative statements in your first draft, so long as you amend them later. Instead of saying ‘teeth that don’t look youthful’, you can say ‘teeth that look older than they could’.
9. Double-check for errors– Silly mistakes still slip through even after the text has been checked by everyone. The answer is to get an ‘outside’ person to double-check. Professionalism is all about the small details.
10 Be Web-smart – Reading trends are shifting rapidly on the Web. Mobile screens now dominate, setting a premium for short and informative texts. Make your texts concise, scannable and objective. It will pay off.