A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work when copywriting for the internet. The World Wide Web is a large place with 3.4 billion users, the same number as the earth’s population in the mid-1960s. Different people consume diverse content, and the internet is ready to oblige. The Web hosts 985 billion websites, sends 204 million emails per minute, and generates legions of social media posts. To be successful in the digital age, copywriters need to go beyond the inverted pyramid. Here are some tips to start you off:
The internet makes it very easy to obtain data about your readers. There’s no excuse or benefit for not doing so. Although the internet has a broad appeal, its users have their own distinct identities. By personalizing content as much as possible, the higher the chances you get of converting them.
Short and Sweet Beats Flowery Prose
Currently, people connected digitally have an attention span of 8 seconds, which is shorter than that of a goldfish. From 12 seconds in the age of TV, people’s capacity to concentrate have since dwindled when the internet arrived. Today, there’s so much content-seeking attention online that you find many trying to browse everything delivered to their screens. With that in mind, it’s best to use short, direct sentences as much as possible. Long-winded language should be avoided as it will only end up forgotten and ignored.
Treat Emails as the Start, Not the End
Because an ordinary person receives an average of 91 emails per day, it’s easy to assume that emails are meant to be read. On the contrary, they’re meant to persuade you into action. For most emails, you’re only expected to reply, while marketing emails are meant to bring readers to a website or to download promotional materials. For an effective email, write a compelling title, keep the content brief, and develop an effective landing page or downloadable content along with a strong call to action. Make it personable, informative, and impactful without being hard sell.
Website Audience Always Include Search Engines
As said before, always write to your audience. But remember, website content always has hidden readers: Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, among others. These search engines periodically crawl the web to index websites and rank them based on their relevance and other details. For your website to rank higher on search engines, you need to identify keywords and phrases relevant to your brand and incorporate them into your website and blog. In all this, however, always prioritize quality for the benefit of your readers. Don’t be so caught up that your only audience is search engines.
Prioritize Engagement in Social Media
Social networks can start a conversation like no other media. Because the format easily enables people to comment on posts, you have to show that you’re expecting replies when you write for social media. Make it short and conversational, with a clear call to action. Try using questions or post content that will elicit reactions, shares, and retweets. Be consistent with your voice, especially when speaking for a brand.
Digital copywriting can be very rewarding, helping you increase brand perception and generate leads or sales. While it takes considerable experience to do it right, having a mentor can make it much easier for you to learn the tricks of the trade in no time.