When you meet someone for the first time in person, you size them up in two ways. First, in what they say and second by their body language. When you interact with a brand online, all you have to assess them on is words — and words matter. The style, spelling, structure, and how you interpret those words matter.
Good copy is like baking a cake. It’s a precise blend of ingredients, or language, baked up to resonate with your audience. Will your audience take the cake? It depends. Landing a lead, a new social media follower or a sale can rest on the words you don’t use just as much as the words you do use. Here are five copywriting cliches every writer should eliminate from their vocabulary:
So your product or service is innovative, eh? You’re breaking boundaries and going where no business has gone before. If that’s the case, get in line.
Simply put, these larger than life adjectives are tired and add nothing but fluff to your copy. True innovation means that something was so original it broke new ground. Be honest with yourself.
Does your product or service really fit the bill? It’s okay if it doesn’t! Very few products or services meet this basic benchmark, and if yours did, then the science behind it is going to be more attention-grabbing and won’t need the word ‘innovative’ in front of it. Trust.
“Authentic” has become synonymous with “We’re just like you! We care! See how much we care!” If your brand cares more about forming genuine relationships with your customer base than your bottom line that’s great! However, there are other ways to showcase your authenticity than by shouting it into existence.
In addition to being overused, saying that your brand is authentic tends to make your audience think otherwise. If authenticity is the foundation of your brand, you won’t need to highlight it in your copy. Your potential customers will see it first hand through their experiences with you and through your brand touchpoints.
How do you feel when you’re talking to someone and the other person is only talking about themselves? Not great, right? What about if the conversation is more about you? You probably pay more attention and are actively involved in the discussion. The same concept carries over in copywriting.
If an ad or marketing piece speaks only about the business in the first person, it’s not as compelling to customers as copy that speaks directly to your customers. Your audience wants to know how you can solve their problem. After all, your brand exists to fulfill their needs, not yours.
To Learn More
Copy that drives engagement and action relies on providing your reader a specific reason for taking action. Why should they tap the link in your bio? What happens when they do? What do they get in return?
“To Learn More” tells your audience nothing. Be specific (“Download your free Instagram workbook …” “Register for the Instagram master class …”) so your audience knows exactly what they’ll receive in return for taking action.
Totally, Basically, Essentially, Honestly, Obviously, Actually… You get the picture. I know this may contradict the nuanced copywriting trend of “write like you talk” but marketing copy is not the same as normal conversation. Sure, “really” can enhance feelings when speaking but, it weakens your copy. Filler words add nothing to your message. Multi-syllable, unnecessary words like these make it harder to skim. Your sentences will be stronger without them.
Originally published at www.alpinestartcreative.com on November 29, 2020.