Concise marketing messages are everything. Mobile search, being time poor and wanting it NOW are symptomatic of today’s world. How do marketers overcome these?
Patience is something we don’t possess and marketers have moments to communicate, then convince. Where does that leave a business when it comes to telling people about products, goods and services?
These marketing messages cannot be left to chance. The days of approximation are over. Carefully honed messages, crisp, clean design and originality are essential if you want to create powerful micro-moments people remember and act upon.
So when it comes to developing campaigns around Facebook Ads, Twitter videos, blogging, or even old school brochures and leaflets, top flight writers and designers are required: always.
Yes we can all write. Come to that we can wield a pencil too but that doesn’t make us professional artists or writers. Even Dickens would need a crash course in content writing before I would ask him to write my web copy! He is still a brilliant writer but social media, video scripts and other promotional collateral are very different from novel writing. He would learn quickly, of that there’s no doubt. After all, he was the master of serial writing. Maybe he’d like to work on East Enders. Now, there’s a thought.
So where do I come into this debate?
More than a decade ago I studied for an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. No, I didn’t specialise in commercial writing. Strangely, my course of study was poetry. You might be wondering why that makes me qualified to talk about contemporary copy requirements. I have to say I am eminently qualified. Poetry involves stripping down extraneous words. It’s about finding the essence – put glibly ‘right word, right place.’.
When I write I always imagine words are rationed
Every one must count –although I’ve cut myself some slack in this blog. Poetry is about distilling the essence of feelings, emotions, situations and moments. It’s about crafting phrases that shock the reader from complacency that heightens senses. Poetry is about being alive to previously unknown possibilities. Poetry delights, shocks, scares, comforts, excites, transforms. My favourite writer John Burnside continues this debate regarding how poetry can change lives succinctly. It’s worth taking the time to read.
Back in 2009 I realised writers were needed to manage the new social media platforms. Wherever you put a message it has to work within its milieu and appeal to the target audience. That might be on a toilet wall, on a postcard, a letter, a text. As Wallace Stevens once said: The poet is the priest of the invisible.
So why did Twitter break its own rules in 2017?
Therefore to return to the prosaic I find it quite extraordinary that Twitter’s USP was upended when tweet length doubled from 140 characters in 2017. Brevity and ingenuity were key skills in managing Twitter. Writers needed invention and verbal dexterity. Now it’s easy to splurge thoughts in that little box. Don’t do it. Use those 280 characters to give you a little white space. Mix and match, use short and longer tweets and think carefully about your text on any images you choose to use. In fact don’t take up the challenge yourself. Use a writer.
Employ a professional for a number of reasons. Someone who writes professionally is usually:
- Creative, extraordinary and original
- Surrounded by words 24/7 and understands their weight and power
- Writes far more quickly and effectively as writing is akin to breathing
- A wordsmith
- Capable of understanding target audiences, USPs and brand voice quickly
Choosing a writer with a background in poetry means they have served a tough apprenticeship. I worked with eminent poet Simon Armitage at Manchester Metropolitan. I once took a poem to a seminar. It was approximately a side of double spaced A4. Having discussed it, Simon’s final comment was ‘Vivienne, the poem is in the final four lines’. It was true. When I recovered from the shock I saw the rest of the poem was a metaphorical just a throat clear. The message was at the end. Here it is:
Tapered candles are lovingly lit.
makes a fist of it.
But over dinner, one taste:
Those five lines held the tension, the pain and the shock of that moment. More would have been less., definitely It’s something brands must remember. It’s time to:
- Strip back your marketing message.
- Create tightly crafted video scripts.
- Have bank of articulate and creative tweets
- Revamp and tighten the structure of your web copy
- Start blogs that do more than comprise 500 words of fluff
- Hire a poet
Let me finish with some words from Suzette Clough who is launching a beautiful website to the world shortly. If you wish to pay real attention to your creativity using a radically transformative creative practice. Follow Suzette on Facebook and become part of her powerfully creative tribe.
Over to you Suzette:
‘‘Working with Vivienne allowed the power and beauty of the written word to marry the visual imagery of my website. We talked about vocabulary, its impact and even the placing of line length and endings. Vivienne transformed my message – each word now means something. Vivienne writes visual poetry. If you ever thought copy writing skills were an optional extra please think again.’
If you want to develop a relationship with a writer who can fillet, synthesise and create powerful, concise marketing messages then please contact VKN Digital.
Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting.
— Robert Frost