Writing short copy is often easier said than done. When trying to squeeze a big idea into a few short sentences, or less, you don’t have the option to use lots of adjectives, quotes, metaphors, or other storytelling techniques. Therein lies the challenge when writing short copy – you must be concise, compelling and communicative, whilst conforming to your brands tone of voice. And all to capture attention before something else does.
There is an art to writing short copy, but it is an art form anyone can learn. Here are five easy-to-apply tips.
Tip 1: Be single-minded
When you are confined to a five-word headline or a 90-character Facebook ad, you have to cut out all the bumf. So, think carefully about the single most important message you are trying to get across to your audience. Trying to jam too many messages into your ad is likely to confuse your audience and they’ll scroll right past. Emails with headlines containing the fewest number of words have the highest click through rates, so that character limit may actually be doing you a favour.
Tip 2: Think Headlines
Your ad needs to capture attention immediately. Lead with the most interesting piece of information and bearing in mind your brands tone of voice and target audience, frame it in the most compelling manner possible.
A good example of effective short copywriting comes regularly from newspaper headlines. Many National newspapers employ headline writers whose sole job is to churn out witty and attention-grabbing headlines – they are often highly effective in livening-up even the drabbest stories.
Tip 3: Take your time
It’s important to take your time and craft your copy. Writers block can be as crippling when writing one short sentence as when penning an entire novel, so the luxury of time can ensure you are producing your best work. As Mark Twain once said, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
Tip 4: Think design
Know the media formats you are working with and remember that you don’t have to rely solely on text to get your message across. A combination of short copy and an image or video can help to convey a story, whilst keeping text to a minimum.
Tip 5: Include call to actions
In the land of social media, we are constantly bombarded with advertising so there is no time for ambiguous messaging or hidden meanings. Including simple call to actions, such as ‘swipe up’, within your copy can prompt your audience to take the desired action.
“Just Do It”
When it comes to capturing consumer attention, at the right time, a little copy goes a long way.