The point of writing in any form is, first and foremost, to communicate with your audience. The art of writing can be traced back to the Stone Age when basic symbols were carved into cave walls to share stories. However, the key to well-written copy is in its design.
Curating the words, sentences, and paragraphs into a purpose-built system designed to engage the reader until the end – well, honestly, it’s an art form. And whilst what makes good content structure is neither black nor white, persuasive storytelling tends to follow more of a pattern, incorporating certain elements over and over again.
So, when you’ve already got the show-stopping headline in place, what’s the next step in creating effective written communications?
Here are a few of our top tips:
- Speak to your audience – Good written communication forms a connection between the reader and the writer. To motivate your audience to continue reading, it’s essential that you know who your audience is and what they would gain by reading your information. Make the benefits of reading your story clear to the reader and keep this at the core of your writing.
- Be clear and concise – Making your writing easy to understand will be more engaging to the reader than overusing clichés, jargon, or trying to impress with big words. It’s also easier to understand sentences that are written in the active voice; for example, “I picked the apple” is more engaging than the passive alternative, “The apple was picked by me. Much like the active voice, “positive” sentences are much more direct. If you’re writing a line in the negative form, there’s probably a word in there you can cut out – so make that change and keep the vibe high at the same time.
- Use the right tone for purpose – Different forms of communication need varying tones, be it formal or informal or something in between. Matching the tone to your audience and purpose of the writing will help to make your writing more effective. For example, if you’re writing a memorandum or proposal for work purposes, chances are the tone should be formal. Whereas an email to someone you know well would be a more informal tone.
- Stay focused – Effective written communication stays on topic. Avoid information that is not relevant and remember that less is more when it comes to length. Sentences and paragraphs should be short and concise, as long, complicated sentences will slow the reader down. Leave out words that do not contribute to the main focus of the communication.
- Proofread your work – Good grammar and punctuation are essential for ease of reading and credibility. A great first step is standard spellcheck, which should give you a heads up about general issues. It’s also always a good idea to have someone else proofread your writing before sending it out into the world.
- Sum it up – The final step is to summarise the key points of your communication with a call to action so that the reader is clear about the next steps and what’s expected of them. A summary also helps the reader integrate the central ideas in a meaningful way, meaning the information stays with them.
These are just some of the key elements of engaging copy that you can use to achieve better results from your written communications. Whether you’re writing a blog or staff memo, the same guidelines apply – and if you need help, simply give Brilliant Logic’s team of Marketing and Public Relations experts a call.