No one wants to read bland, heard-it-all-before copy. The blog posts that read like a monotonous list. Or the rushed newsletter that really scrapes the barrel for a place in our inbox, devoid of any new thought or fresh information that makes us feel knowledgable or excited.
If you haven’t seen it already, we absolutely loved reading The Bland Book. Created by copywriters and designers, this book gives a comical insight into what not to do when it comes to your strategies, marketing and creative assets.
In response to this, we wanted to share a few quick writing techniques that can help take your next campaign from bland, to brilliant.
1. Structured Narrative
Every campaign needs a beginning, a middle and an end in order to tell a story your audience will remember and lead them through to the action you want them to take next. Here’s how we break it down:
The beginning: the moment you hook your readers and pique their interest to keep watching/reading. This could be a value they share or immediately addressing a pain point.
The middle: the foundational place where you share key details on your topic and deep dive into your message. This is the heart where your readers should really connect to your narrative. How will you make it relatable?
The end: aka the solution, such as the action the reader will take next in order to solve the problem or challenge at hand.
The next time you sit down to write the copy for that fundraiser email or that leaflet to share what’s happening inside your organization, this is a great writing technique to help map out your structure.
Rhyming helps people remember. It sets their minds alight like an ember.
Perhaps this won’t be our next big campaign slogan, but rhyming is a technique used by many expert copywriters to make something ‘catchy’ and memorable. When using rhyme, remember to keep it simple! The thesaurus isn’t always your best friend when it comes to concise marketing. If there’s a simple word that will say what you mean quickly, use it. Here’s some examples of brands we know and love who conquered rhyming in their business:
Bounty: The Quicker Picker Upper
SpaghettiOs: Uh-Oh SpaghettiOs
Huggies: Mommy Wow! I’m a big Kid Now!
Oatly (who took social media by storm with this 2021 Super Bowl commercial): Wow Wow, No Cow
We were recently asked for advice on a blog for an upcoming UK stroller company, Ebitsu. Although the tone needed to remain formal, we noticed the combination of short, sharp sentences made the blog hard to digest. The tone felt cold and the information was something that belonged to the writer, rather than the reader.
Our key advice (among other tips) was to combine short and long sentences to give the article some life and allow it to flow seamlessly, more like a conversation than a list of facts. When we talk to our friends and peers, not every sentence is the same length and our voice has a natural intonation. That’s because rhythm is what gives your words a heartbeat, and when writing, keeps the reader following along through the end.
Melissa McDonald, Founder of My Networks, said this on rhythm:
“I always remember what my Grandma said about a Rolling Stones song. I think it was Sympathy for the Devil. She asked me if I knew why people liked this music – to which I replied no. She said, it sounds good because the beat never stops. It’s continuous. It always keeps going so you never get bored and drop off. Whether or not this is factually correct, I always think of this when I write now. You have to keep momentum in your writing so that the reader is interested all the way to the end. It’s just like music – and it needs a constant beat and rhythm to create a story.”
4. Power of Three
The mighty triad! But what exactly is the psychology behind the power of three?
Research indicates that a group of three adjectives or examples is always stronger because it is easier for our brains to trust and remember than one. It also suggests that ideas presented in threes are inherently more interesting and more enjoyable. Some example of this could be:
“Location, Location, Location” (Harold Samuel)
“Snap, Crackle and Pop” (Rice Krispies)
Play. Laugh. Grow. (Fisher-Price)
In persuasive writing, we are also taught to refer to the reader, ‘you’, three times as often as we talk about ourselves: ‘I’, ‘we’ and ‘our’.
From storytelling to ideas that stick, the power of three is guaranteed to help you create some marketing and communications magic.
Repetition helps you stick in the minds of your customers. That’s because words repeated are easier remembered (hello rhyme!). Some famous examples of this include:
Gimmie a break. Gimmie a Kit Kat.
What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas (read more about the history of this famous tagline in The Culture Trip).
Not only is it more catchy, however. It also helps hammer home your message. It’s scientifically proven a customer will see your company/brand multiple times before they buy into it – this is also know as Effective Frequency. The same applies to your copy. The more you say it, the more they’ll remember it.
Ready to try these 5 writing techniques in your next campaign or communications?
The team at My Networks love to meet around the drawing board to inspire creativity and new thought. We want you to feel confident in your communications as well as share content that engages your audience and pushes the envelope. Get in touch for a free consultation today.