Copywriting: Words Can Hurt You

June 4, 2013

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you. Unfortunately, the saying doesn’t hold true when it applies to the way your brand communicates.

In this first blog of the Fresh Perspective copywriting series, we’ll share some easy things to avoid in your copy so your brand message can shine.

English 101 – Grammar, spelling and usage errors can negatively affect your brand. Not everyone will notice a “your” instead of a “you’re” or a “compliment” when you mean “complement”, but rest assured that many will. Does your copy need to be so perfect that an English professor would give you an A+? In most cases no, but taking the time to correct basic grammar and spelling errors will allow the focus to remain on your marketing message, not your mistakes.

What did you say? – Many marketers use jargon or commonly accepted words within their industry. This is important in B2B materials, but when that jargon moves to the consumer side you may be doing your brand a major disservice if it confuses or intimidates consumers. Depending on your industry, you may decide to use jargon as a way to educate a consumer. For instance in health care, a complicated procedure name may immediately connect with a referring physician, but may turn away a consumer reading your ad if you don’t take the opportunity to explain it in a simple and straightforward manner. Jargon can also be important in web copy as a keyword for searches, but taking the time to explain it in your copy will help consumers find and understand it as well.

It pays to consider these basics when preparing copy for blogs, social media, brochures, websites, ads and more. In the remaining posts of this Fresh Perspective series, we’ll explore how to adapt the voice of your brand for the audience as well as explain how professional copywriting and editing can help you polish your brand’s message.

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