1. SLOPPY WRITING REFLECTS DIRECTLY ON YOUR BRAND.
If your writing is poor quality, what else don’t you care about..? It’s what your client or customer could be thinking. A missing apostrophe here probably means a lack of detail there.
Equally, good copy speaks volumes about the quality of your service or product. (The definition of ‘good’ would fill another blog.)
2. CONFUSED MESSAGES ARE A TURN-OFF.
If your copy is unclear, few readers will bother wading through, trying to make sense of it. Instead, you’ll lose them. They’ll click away or turn the page.
Too many messages are just as confusing, even if your copy is clear. Bombard the reader and they’re unlikely to catch your point. Imagine you and I were together in person, and I suddenly threw 3 oranges at you…. you’d be lucky to catch one. The same is true for messages. Copy needs to be well structured and appropriate for the context.
3. AN OFF-BRAND TONE OF VOICE ‘FEELS’ WRONG AND CREATES MISTRUST.
Tone of voice is a big problem for clients who write their own copy. And, very sadly, most don’t know it. Few people have the objectivity or skill to resist writing in their own natural style – or they write copy that “sounds” like advertising copy. Both are just as damaging to your brand. Instead, your copy should perfectly express your brand personality, so that it’s not even questioned or thought about. To your reader, the copy simply feels true. It doesn’t get in the way… your brand is communicating.
4. IF THE DESIGN AND COPY ARE OUT OF SYNC, IT LOOKS DODGY.
Your client or customer is surrounded by advertising, marketing that’s the best of the best. Look at Apple or John Lewis. Even brands with a deliberately homespun feel such as Higgidy or Innocent promote themselves, across websites to packaging, in a highly professional way. The design and copy together tell two parts of a story. They need to work together, hand in glove. If they don’t, it won’t feel right.
5. DIFFERENT TONES OF VOICE ACROSS YOUR WEBSITE / DIFFERENT CHANNELS MAKE YOU SCHIZOPHRENIC.
Sometimes, when a client uses their Content Management System (CMS) to alter their website copy, it results in ‘brand slippage’. Often, it’s an incremental thing that takes place over a few years. In other situations, a client may pay for a copywriter for some items but not for others. The fact is, your copy needs to sound and feel the same at every customer ‘touchpoint’. This builds understanding, credibility and trust. Consistency is essential for building big brand awareness in your marketplace. More about this in another blog.
Few clients or customers would consciously consider any of the above points. The response to poor copy is rapid and results in disinterest… a sense that something doesn’t ring true or feel right. And you lose them.
Please drop me a line if you have any concerns. I’m happy to explain more.
By Liz Holt