Writing compelling copy is an art and science. It demands creativity, imagination, and a certain capacity to spin and entertain. Marketing writing is not sexy like novel writing, but it can certainly be just captivating. Good marketing writing persuades. Good writing elicits emotion. It combines and intertwines words and phrases to tell a story. It paints a picture. Writing effective copy is a science in that there are formulas that work. One must try, fail, discover, tweak and improve to achieve success. Here are a few different types of writing for a variety of different uses:
1. Plain and Informational
This is writing in its most basic form. Think vanilla yogurt. It is simply introducing a product or service without a whole lot of style. Here are the facts. There are no frills. This type of writing likely won’t earn you awards, but it works when delivering straight facts (for example, ‘frequently asked questions’ or a user manual). There is no conversation or ‘crackle,’ but the facts are laid out.
2. Storytelling Copy
We all like a good story. Show me characters that I can relate to. Show me a story of real-life trials and triumphs. How was your product or service the cure for your character’s problems? Who are the peole in the story and can I relate to them? Are they like me? Show me a dialogue and lead me to a resolution. I’ll then be able to picture how I might interact with your product in real-life.
3. Conversational Copywriting
Pull up a chair – let’s talk! In this style of copy, one writes as if there is a conversation happening in real life. The language is similar to that of conversation between two colleagues. This is a relatively straightforward approach that allows the writer to identify with the reader. You don’t need to be a great copywriter to utilize this approach. Real conversations aren’t perfect - they’re raw; they’re uncensored. Sprinkling in a bit of humanity will only make you more relatable.
4. Imaginative Copywriting
In this writing style, you are taken through imagining your life in a certain way — to pretend what it would be like to live your dream. The idea is to paint a picture for the reader. The goal is to show them how they can move towards their ideal life – or simply make their life better – with your product or service. Folgers does a great job of this in their ads and endorsements by re-creating the feeling of waking up to a nice cup of coffee.
5. Big-Wig Copywriting
It’s a known fact that third-party endorsements help to increase credibility (that’s why PR works). But it can be equally as compelling to involve your CEO in communication between his or her customers. This approach shows a down-to-earth appeal that levels the playing field. It can effectively position your company as approachable, caring, friendly, and warm.
6. Frank Copywriting
Some copy will explain the ugly truth about a product from the start. You don’t lead with the good stuff. You start with the warts. When selling a used car, you might point out the infinite repairs that are needed. Expectations are low from the get-go. But then you could lead into what’s great about the car: leather seats, power steering, and good gas-mileage. This approach encourages an honest back and forth bout what to expect. And where there’s honesty, there is trust.
7. Technical Copywriting
While technical copy can often be a snooze, it can serve an important function: educating your reader. Think user-guides and scientific ‘how-to’ articles. This type of copy can be overwhelming and it’s important to remember that you don’t need to present all the facts and benefits up front. You can divide up the content into short snippets that are easier to digest.