By Katrina Olson
Last week we talked about how to create content that sells, and the need to adapt to today’s shorter attention spans, multitasking habit and mobile lifestyles. Today let’s dig a little deeper into how to tell your story concisely, precisely and in a way that gets read.
Unlike novels that people choose to read for entertainment, very few people seek out advertising. So your advertising copy must get to the point quickly and communicate efficiently.
For example, Sprint is currently running an ad on Netflix that opens with yellow type on a dark gray background and it goes something like this:
“Sprint has the best family plan. We could show you an awesome chart to prove it. (And they do.) Or we could just tell you why you should care. More lines, more data, just $90 a month.”
Bam! Sprint tells us exactly what we need to know—nothing more. We don’t care how many different customers they have, how many brands they carry or how many retail stores they operate…we just want them to answer, “What’s in it for me?” Or, maybe, “Why should I bother switching carriers?”
Enhance your copy with visuals to communicate your message quickly and efficiently. For example, if your product saves labor by making pulling wire faster, show a clock spinning backwards (for example). Or create a video with two people pulling wire—one the “old” way and one with your product.
If your product saves money, show a stack of bills that represents how much money you can save in a month or a year. Perhaps your product is more lightweight and easier to carry than the competition. Show a child carrying it.
Professional copywriters and art directors sometimes spend days if not weeks coming up with effective headlines, copy and visuals for a single ad. That’s how important it is. If you’re going to spend thousands of dollars on media, it’s worth investing some time and money up front to make sure it’s effective.
NEXT WEEK: In next week’s Marketing Momentum, we’ll discuss how to make your content easy to read and understand.
Olson is a veteran marketing and public relations consultant. She has written for tED magazine’s print edition since 2005, judged tED magazine’s Best of the Best Competition since 2006, and emceed the Best of the Best Awards ceremony for a total of seven years. Reach her at email@example.com.Tagged with content, marketing, tED