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Whether the copy is intended for a print ad, online ad, radio spot, or TV commercial, there are a few copywriting secrets that can ensure effective copy when applied to any medium. Anyone who has ever been persuaded to laugh, cry, or buy due to an advertisement is aware that the copy is just as important as the image or audio that accompanies it. A successful copywriter knows that while some copywriting secrets are simply inherent to good writing, others are drawn from some of the basic principals of marketing.
One of the most important copywriting secrets is to keep the copy as concise as possible. This entails omitting any extraneous words and communicating the necessary information using the tightest possible sentences. Conciseness is most notably important in billboard ads, when a passerby has just seconds to read and comprehend the copy alongside the image. Brevity is also critical in print, online, radio and TV ads in the interest of saving money, as many ad spots are charged per word or per second. Advertising professionals often refer to concise copy as “punchy,” meaning it makes the biggest impact using the fewest number of words.
Engaging the ad’s target demographic is one of the copywriting secrets which requires marketing and demographic information in addition to strong writing skills alone. Whether the copywriter is employed on a freelance basis or with an agency, he or she needs to acquire a clear mental picture of the ad’s intended audience. Once the copywriter has acquired details such as the average age, gender, and buying or behavioral patterns of the targeted group, he or she can begin to come up with concepts that might attract the attention of that particular group. Engaging the target demographic might also entail “speaking the language” of the demographic, literally. For example, a cell phone ad targeting teens might feature abbreviations and emoticons commonly used by that age group when texting.
One of the most common copywriting secrets employed in recent years is cleverness. Unlike the strong language skills and demographic knowledge required in copywriting, there is a creative element in copywriting that can’t always be taught. Clever copywriting also tends to appeal to audiences outside the target demographic, as it creates a funny or otherwise memorable ad which can become a part of popular culture. When it comes to radio or TV commercials, however, the translation of the copy into a clever ad is largely dependent on the delivery of the script by the performers.