Your brand is strong. Your message is powerful. What you have to say can have a huge potential impact on your target audience. However, as any linguist knows, what you say will never be as important as how you say it. In a world where brands of all shapes and sizes are straining to make their voices heard, we are deluged with advertising copy on a daily basis. We see it so often in the digital and the physical realm that it has gotten to the point where we are almost tune it out. As such, if you have a great idea for a print media campaign, it’s more important than ever that your execution be flawless.
The abundance and disposable nature of digital media make it easy to ignore. However, something printed like a leaflet needs to be handled, even if the intention behind that handling is to put it into the recycling. Once your print media is in a prospect’s hands, you have a real chance to make a great first impression. Let’s look at some tips on writing for print media, to help ensure you make an impression befitting your brand…
Create a headline that’s impossible to ignore!
It’s likely that yours won’t be the first piece of advertising copy that your prospect comes across on any given day. You know that they will likely have already encountered a plethora of marketing content; so much of it that it’s all likely blurred into a visual white noise.
How are you going to penetrate that fog of numbness?
You’re going to grab their attention with a headline that makes them stop and think. Something that offers them immediate benefit but also a sense of intrigue. A headline that assures them that the gains for them will be huge if they just take the time to hear you out and enjoy the contents of your leaflet.
When writing benefit-led headlines it’s a good idea to focus on one of the following;
- Offers– Imply limited availability on an unmissable deal.
- Events– Lend a sense of exclusivity to your copy by inviting them to a VIP event. Better still, encourage them to make a booking or add themselves to the guestlist.
- Products– Excited about a new product you’re launching? Get them excited about it too by framing your copy around how it will benefit them.
Know your voice
Your voice is important to establish before you start writing the main bulk of your copy. This will depend on your brand and how you want to be perceived. Do you want to be cheerful and lighthearted? Witty and humorous? Sincere and caring? Strong, authoritative and dependable? Any of these tones can help you create engaging copy that resonates with your target market… It’s just a case of striking the right tone for your message and your brand.
The font of knowledge
Part of your tone will be conveyed, not in your copy but in the style of font you use. We react subliminally to fonts and the way in which letters are constructed even if we don’t realise it. You’ll never strike a serious, authoritative tone with comic sans just as you’ll never be able to create eye-catching copy using Times New Roman.
Making arbitrary choices when it comes to your fonts can undermine your tone of voice and create an inconsistent sense of style.
Bring your USPs to the forefront
You know that your prospects have a great deal of choice. Whatever line of business you’re in, it’s likely a buyer’s market. Thus, your copy needs to focus on your Unique Selling Points (USPs). What does your business give the customer that your competitor does not. While belittling other brands isn’t a good look, there’s no harm in simply stating the fact if you offer something your closest competitor doesn’t, or can offer them a better deal on the same products and services.
Again, frame this in terms of how your USPs will benefit the prospect, otherwise you’ll come across as boasting. Get this right and you’ll start to develop the kind of trust that leads to long-term customer loyalty.
Tell them what they need to know
So, you’ve got the prospect’s attention. That’s fantastic… Your next priority is telling them everything they need to know in a succinct and easily digestible way. Don’t bombard them with facts, stats and dates… But if there’s something they need to know, you’d better make sure it’s easy to find out.
Throwing a sale or event? Make sure they know where and when. You’re cheaper than your competitors? Make sure they know exactly how much better off they’ll be if they choose your brand. Terms and conditions apply? Make sure you include them in the small print.
If you grab the reader’s attention but don’t furnish them with the facts they need, it can make for a very frustrating reading experience.
Address them directly
Readers are more likely to respond when they feel that the copy is for them and built around their needs. As such, don’t be afraid to address them directly. Tell them about how your products, services or sales can benefit “you” (them). Engage them with rhetoric directed at them “You’d be crazy to miss out”. This will help to create a meaningful relationship with the prospect through your use of language.
Believe in brevity
Your copy needs to be short, sharp, concise and to the point. Tell them what they need to know, of course, but do so while keeping a close eye on your word count.
Our eyes don’t like to look at large chunks of text, and when you have limited space in which to compose your copy you need to break your copy down into small, bite-sized chunks. Think about the interplay between text and image and look for opportunities to let pictures do the talking so that you don’t have to.
What’s your Call To Action
Calls to Action (or CTAs) are a big deal in the digital realm, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t also important in print media. Online a Call To Action will usually encourage a user to click a link, fill in a contact form or “Buy Now”. CTAs are understandably different for print media since you can’t expect the reader to take immediate action.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t lend them a sense of impetus.
Useful CTAs for print media include;
- Call now to arrange an appointment
- Get yours today
- Order while stocks last
- Visit our website at…
- Come and explore our range
When you have mastered the art of writing for print campaigns, you’ll find that they lead to greater ROI and more meaningful customer engagement.