The copywriting and content marketing landscape is continuously evolving and adapting to stay relevant with new market trends, as it should. Content marketing has blossomed into the go-to strategy to build brand loyalty and increase revenue over the past few years.
You know, because the days of promotional and salesy content does nothin’ more than create friction between your brand and consumer base. The ability to stay relevant and ahead of your competitor could be the deciding factor in the classic ‘sink or swim’ analogy.
‘Sink or swim’ was actually one of the last things my dad said to me after dropping me off for my first year of university in Halifax. Thanks, dad.
But it’s stayed true, and in todays marketing world it is ever so important to stay up-to-date with current trends to ensure you don’t receive a cinder block and shackle ending.
These are 5 copywriting trends to boost your content strategy in 2018
1. Storytelling and Storytelling and Storytelling
To be honest, branding is storytelling. But to a lot of people, they couldn’t be more different.
Still, I believe this is the most important copywriting (and content marketing in general) trend to take into account for the future.
This is what marketing used to be: overload your audience with ads from an early age to get them to be loyal brand followers.
We don’t want ads. We want stories.
Every time I think about that I come back to the legendary copywriter Howard Gossage, who stated “People don’t read ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes it’s an ad.” And it couldn’t be truer today.
To reach and reel in your audience nowadays, especially the younger generation, requires different thinking and strategy through authenticity: storytelling.
Storytelling allows your audience to relate with your brand on both personal and emotional levels, creating a much larger opportunity to increase brand recognition and awareness. It’s an incredibly powerful tool throughout any stage of the innovation process.
But most of all, and most importantly, its memorable.
2. Optimizable Mobile Copy
I’d bet a bakers dozen donuts you’re on your smartphone reading this right now.
Here’s a question: do you know anyone that doesn’t own a smartphone?
The colossal growth in smartphone use ultimately means that more and more (if not most) people read content on their device. I actually came across a statistic that stated mobile phones have surpassed personal computers as the most common device to access the web… worldwide.
What does this translate into?
Content copy needs to be succinct, to the point, simple, and structured in an effective enough way that makes it simple for the reader to follow on their smartphone. No one wants long, drawn out content – people just don’t have the time or patience. Mobile users want content that is short and to the point.
3. Shareable Content
How often do you press that ‘share’ button when you come across somethin’ sweet?
If you do press that ‘share’ button, why do you do it?
Chances are it’s because the content you just viewed tapped into your emotions, subtly compelling you to share it with friends and family. Or, maybe you’re just that guy that shares everything, which is cool too, I guess.
Look, here’s the truth: social media drives traffic and boosts sales.
A few years ago it may have been balancing on the other side of the teeter-totter, but there is no denying how effective and impactful social media is for creating and curating. Writing shareable content means that it needs to be to the point with an engaging headline and sub-heading.
And visuals. Visuals are the most important aspect, which can range from photos, videos, memes, GIFs, and so on.
Why? Because if you want readers to share your content, research shows that if you include relevant visuals your content is 94% more likely to be viewed. Combine that with being engaging and to the point and total shareability will increase.
4. Authentic And Honest Voices
We are overrun with ads on a daily basis, trying to sell you this or get you to sign up for that, which turns into a sense of distrust and scepticism towards a brand. Our parents have been drilling into us the importance of first impressions since we were first able to loop, swoop and pull. Brands are no different.
Gone are the days of the corporate voice, cluttered backlinks and overused keywords. Today, brands are beginning to create more authentic and honest conversations with their consumer base. People are much more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand if their content is authentic and honest versus promotional and sales-focused.
Unlike past generations, copy tends to be scanned instead of read word for word. Which is fine (but also poses a challenge), because this means that readers have learned to zero in on what interests them and overlook what doesn’t. It shows the importance of having an authentic and honest brand voice to keep viewers interested and engaged.
5. Focus More On Benefits Rather Than Features
I’ll never forget the Modern Family episode where Phil buys a pair of Shape-ups, Skechers funny-lookin’ athletic shoe that you couldn’t pay me enough to wear in public. They look like a rocking chair for you feet, but that’s beside the point.
The point is that Skechers focused on the features (rocker-bottom) of the shoe and lied about the benefits (assurances that they could get fitter without actually any serious commitment to fitness). Skechers was handed a $40 million lawsuit for bogus marketing claims.
This is a perfect example of everything not to do.
So what if your shoe has self-tying laces, your internet service has fast internet speed or your restaurant serves the best burger this side of Owen Sound. What do I get from those features?
Maybe this: self-tying laces can save you time in your increasingly busy schedule, make it easier for your children to put their own shoes on, and allows you to be more comfortable in your shoes on a daily basis; our internet service has the fastest broadband speed to ensure you are up-to-date with important emails, have no down time, and ensures you stay current with evolving trends in the marketplace; our burger is made using only the most natural ingredients, uses no BPA’s or GMO’s, and is always fresh and never frozen, giving you the juiciest, tastiest burger you’ve ever had.
We have more choices today than we know what to do with. Consumers want to know what they can expect from your brand instead of simply what it is you offer.
Change is good and change is constant. The trends outlined above can, if utilized effectively, significantly impact your content marketing strategy, for whatever industry or niche you are in.
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About The Author
Greg is a creative copywriter and founder of GrassWrite.com, a persuasive and compelling copywriting service to help business’ generate more leads and grow revenue.