Like web design and social media, copywriting continuously evolves to reflect changes in technology, culture, and audience preferences. What worked a decade or even five years ago won’t necessarily work today, and what works now may not work in the future. Staying up-to-date with copywriting trends and best practices is an important part of any marketer’s job. So with that in mind, here are five copywriting trends you should take note of.
Friendlier Brand Voices
Today, many companies are adopting a brand voice that is less stilted and corporate and more friendly and conversational. Such companies aim to sound like one friend talking to another versus a company pitching its product or service to a potential customer. The reason for this is simple. Consumers today are bombarded with ads and are leery of being sold to. This is especially true of millennials who report they’re more likely to buy a product if the brand’s content feels authentic and honest, rather than promotional and salesy.
The stratospheric rise of smartphones means that more people than ever read content on their mobile device. In fact, mobile phones now surpass PCs as the most common web access devices worldwide. The takeaway? Today’s online content needs to be mobile friendly. In other words, it needs to be succinct, simple, and structured in a way that’s easy to follow. Mobile users want content that’s short and sweet, not long and drawn out.
It’s no secret that social media drives traffic and sales. That’s why it’s worth writing shareable content. Shareable content is short, to the point, and broken down into bite-sized chunks. An engaging headline and strong subheadings are also important. And don’t forget visuals! Research shows that content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without. If you want readers to share your content, your website should also include easy-to-use social share buttons.
Copy Tailored for Millennials
Unlike previous generations, millennials tend to scan copy, rather than read it word by word. Some attribute this to millennials’ short attention spans, but millennials grew up with unprecedented access to data and information, so they’ve learned to quickly hone in on what interests them and ignore what doesn’t. Therefore, when writing for millennials, it’s important to catch their interest quickly and keep it. You can accomplish this by writing short, snappy copy, structuring it in way that makes for easy scanning (think headlines, subheadings, bullets), and offering ways for readers to interact, be it a comments section, social media sharing options, or something more.
Highlight Benefits, Not Features
When promoting a product or service, it’s no longer enough to publish a list of features or specs. Today’s consumers have more choices than ever, and they want to know HOW your product or service can improve their life not simply WHAT you have to offer. For example, if you offer Internet service don’t just say how fast your speeds are. Explain what your customers can do with these speeds and how the speeds can improve their quality of life. In other words, highlight product benefits, not features.
As the old saying goes, the only thing that is constant is change, and that includes copywriting. The trends outlined above are more than just passing fads. They’re valuable ways to quickly and effectively reach your target audience. Don’t let outdated copywriting practices cripple your company’s message.