Copywriting is your brand’s way of speaking to your customer. Think of your organization’s copy as a verbal version of a logo or color palette. Just like these visual elements, the text you use in your touchpoints needs to have a consistent feel, underpinned by a clear strategy. It doesn't make sense to print all of your key collateral with different logos, or in completely different colors, if you’re trying to focus consumer attention on one consistent brand image. For the same reason, your copy needs to consistently embody your brand strategy across all of your touchpoints.
This post outlines some ways you can keep an eye out for brand copywriting pitfalls; so that your copy can be a voice heard loud and clear, and not just words on a page.
Common Brand Copywriting Pitfalls
§ Copy has no discernible tone of voice
§ Copy is purely about features with nothing emotional that hooks into the audience’s need
§ Copy is laid out in a way that is visually dense
§ Copy uses needlessly complex language
§ Copy lacks key messaging
Good copy verbalizes your ability to resolve your audience’s need in a way they can’t get anywhere else. Think about the following things before launching into a copywriting project, or while evaluating your current brand copywriting.
Does Your Brand Copywriting Adhere to a Clear Brand Strategy?
Your copywriting should be the best friend of your logo, color palette and graphic design. And just like these visual devices, your text should communicate your brand promise and position in the style of your brand personality. Without a clear brand promise or position, your copy may lack strategic talking points. And without an authentic and compelling brand personality, your copy could be perceived as lacking a voice — its tone might even conflict with what your design elements are communicating.
Do You Know What Messaging You’re Leading With?
Is your copy driven by your brand promise, or your position against the competition? What is the most important thing to lead with given your audience need? Your verbal messaging will risk being passed over if you are not telling a story that hits close to home with your audience.
Do You Have a Basic Editorial Style Guide?
It’s critical to define — even in basic terms — how your will consistently embody your brand personality. Think about it: is your personality regal and sophisticated, kitschy and ironic, ingenious and savvy? Depending on what it is, you will have to define how your brand copywriting will use things like headings, italics, lists, and bullets so there is a consistent format to the text. As well, consider if your brand needs separate style guides for different contexts; will your white papers have the same style-musts as blog posts, or brochures? If not, why?
Does Your Brand Copywriting Work if Scaled to Different Media?
If you had to describe your company in a one-sentence tweet, could you do it as well as you could in 200 words? Your copy should always feel like the same person is speaking it, with key messaging that can be summed up in one sentence, or unpacked with quantifiable “reasons to believe” for more text-heavy touchpoints.
Remember: Your Copy Should Always Be On-Brand
Compelling brand copywriting is a crucial component of any organization’s brand marketing. It lets you speak directly to your customer’s need, in their language, through marketing collateral or digital media. If your copy isn't underpinned by a clear, audience-centric strategy, it runs the risk of being passed over, and this leaves the door wide open for the competition to speak more directly to your customer’s need.