On the 11th January 2022, BBC news delivered a somewhat unexpected headline about ‘energy giant’ Ovo.
The story was about Ovo sending a link to a now-deleted blog post containing “energy-saving tips” to its SSE Energy Services customers. Some of the tips stood out as being insensitive to the growing number of people struggling to pay rising energy bills. For example, the blog post advised readers to “find extra heat” by leaving the oven open after cooking and to have “a cuddle with your pets and loved ones to help stay cosy”.
If you want the full story from BBC News, you can find the link here.
While we agree that the blog wasn’t sensitive to those who may not be able to afford heating, we want to focus on digital best practices for content writing, and how to avoid some of the more common mistakes in copy.
This brings us to the topic of today’s post – the importance of good copywriting, and how not to have an ego when it comes to proofreading and approving.
The aim of copywriting is to sell. It’s as simple as that. Your writing should be able to persuade people to purchase a product or service from the company you represent. At Click we aim to only share valuable and meaningful content to our visitors and clients that will make a positive difference in their lives.
By providing users with useful content over a long period of time we are able to be known as a trusted source of information. A lot of ink has been spilled about how to write good content, but what are some bad practices of the craft?
- Assumptions make an a** out of you and me
- Try not to talk in absolutes
- Buzz off keywords
- Proofreading and approval
Do not assume that your target audience knows what you’re talking about, avoid writing niche jargon that only those in the industry know. For example, if your marketing collateral is for a broad audience, there may be a few readers that lack specialist knowledge – too much jargon can make your copy inaccessible.
You might’ve read a lot of articles saying that everyone believes in something, or no one likes so-and-so. By talking in absolute terms, you can leave a lot of room for people to retort in a similar exaggerated fashion. Sweeping generalisations can also impact, and negatively affect trust in your brand from the audience. All that is needed to overthrow an absolute is a single exception; being unbiased is the best way to go.
That being said, a bit of conflict in the comments section can do a brand some good and appease the ‘Algorithm Gods’. However, a fair discussion will allow people to look more favourably on your brand.
Of course you want to use keywords, they’re essential for optimisation. Here comes the but. BUT, they should be placed naturally within the flow of the piece. In fact, overstuffing the content can be a really bad thing that Google will penalise you for.
Whether they like it or not, professional writers will have their work proofread. There is a certain expectation that professionals will focus on knowing their audience, and write with them in mind; they should know their audience’s real challenges and issues.
If you want to be assured of great copy, multiple proof-reads and an inclusive journey to make your company’s content dreams a reality – get in touch with us using our contact us page