Posted: Wed 17th Jul 2013
_Â "We'll make the buttons on the screen look so good you'll want to lick them"._Â Steve Jobs, Apple.
To 'hype' something is to engage in hyperbole about it,Â writes Lola (left).Â And Apple products have generated their share of hype, to both praise and criticism. For a great many, Apple's copywriting is seductive. For some, it's just plain silly. But, the appeal of this kind of writing is not difficult to see. It reaches out and touches the reader. It drives the reader to press the 'Buy now' button.
Apple's copywriting is also technically very good. Its writers employ strong, narrative techniques throughout the content and clever sales psychology to boot. There's much to learn from a successful company like Apple. For a start, we can take in the good elements of the copy, but leave out the hype-y parts. The following five tips should help you create a hype-free zone on your site:
Steer clear of 'all or nothing' claims. Ditch the 'always' and the 'never' statements.Â None of us can predict the future. Finally, don't promise what you can't reasonably deliver, or what you'll be reluctant to deliver if pressed.
Demonstrate your understanding of the needs of your market through your writing. Try the following techniques: - Add compelling details. For every claim or concept, add persuasive, concrete details. For example, rather than, "Learn how to boost sales fast!", write: "Learn how to boost sales quickly - our clients report 70-100% year-on-year increase in sales." - Zero in on problems and indicate you have the solutions.Â When you do this, people will feel that you not only understand what they're going through, but you also have the answers. Â For example: "Discover the four keys for surviving adolescence"¦ adolescence is a time when, as parents, our patience is tested to the limit!" - Paint compelling future scenarios.Â Help your reader visualise how their future could be changed as a result of your product or service. For example:Â
"I challenge you to find a greater return on your investment than that produced by three hours' strategic planning with a TPS business mentor which lands you a global, blue-chip client. Just one major client like that, and you can milk the far-reaching financial, public relations and other benefits for years and years to come "¦"
3. Build rapport and a relationship with the reader.
Show that you understand your customers' pain points or challenges. Don't be afraid to use emotional language to acknowledge and express your understanding of your customer's situation. For example: "Wishing your teenage son would finally pull his heavy weight around the house and stop the endless back-chat? Adolescence can not only test our limits, but also try our patience beyond belief. The following highly-effective, teenage-proof strategies will"¦"
Flaunt your expertise! Technical details oil the wheels of trust, and make you sound convincing. Here's an example from Apple:
"The back of iPhone 5 is made of anodized 6000 series aluminium - the same material used in Apple notebooks"¦"
Use narrative techniques such as rhyme, rhythm, repetition, analogies and metaphors. Tell stories - stories are captivating and memorable. Here are examples of how Apple uses narrative techniques in its copy:
"Easy to use. Â Easy to fall in love with."
"The overall audio quality of Apple EarPods is so impressive; ("¦) rival high-end headphones that cost hundreds of dollars more."
So you see, you can write hype-free copy. Just focus on the reader. Because you care. Because you understand. Because you can help. And write with eloquence and passion. You'll be well-rewarded for it. _Lola Bailey has more than 20 years' experience in coaching, sales and market development and writing for business. An enthusiastic champion of start-ups, she also runs__Â _ihubbusiness__,Â an online business hub offering internet marketing advice to start-ups and small enterprises.
Lola Bailey'sÂ _Small Business Guide to Online Marketing_Â Â is a step-by-step guide to growing your business online. From developing great content to reaching customers with social media, you'll find out how to use the internet to maximise the potential of your business. It's available as both an ebook and a print book for just Â£5 - or 25% off if you're anÂ **Enterprise Nation Club**Â member. Click on the link below to find our more and buy your copy. [product id="56640"] Photo credit: Martin BrandtÂ (graffiti),Â Stefano MortellaroÂ (dog and cat) via Compfight cc