Four Tips for Writing Marketing Materials
Updated: Aug 21
When given the assignment to write copy for a sell sheet, brochure, rack card, infographic, or another similar marketing material, it can be very tempting to just start writing. After all, these pieces generally do not have a lot of content, so it should be relatively easy to whip up something and get it to your designer, right?
If that’s the case, though, why do so many of these projects go off course and take weeks longer than they should? We could point the finger in a lot of different directions, but maybe we, the content creators, need to look at ourselves for the answer. When it comes to these shorter content pieces, perhaps we should put the brakes on our eagerness to just write and, instead, take (a little) time to do some critical upfront work.
Following are some steps to take before you go full throttle on writing a marketing piece:
1. Have questions? Ask them now. Get all the specs for the project before you write, including the goal of the project, who is the audience, and any deadlines. It’s surprising how many writers will forge ahead on a project without knowing simple things, like, “Who am I writing this for?”
2. Read up on industry best practices. Whether this is the first time you’re copywriting for an infographic or you’ve helped build hundreds of them, doing a quick search of the latest thinking from other marketing experts can offer good reminders or spark a new content idea.
3. Develop a unique approach. Especially when you are writing copy on a common industry subject (for example, in the insurance world, Ice Dam Damage is very popular right now), investing the time to come up with fresh language, new statistics, updated tips, etc. for a stale topic could be the difference between a highly effective piece and one that simply goes in the trash.
4. Share your vision of the end product. It may seem like overkill to create an outline for a postcard, but by putting down on paper what you have in your head is the best way to make sure you aren’t going down the wrong path. Your client, project manager, editor, or someone else on the project team might have a totally different idea in their head, so get everyone on the same page with a skeleton piece prior to creating the meat of it.
Finally, and most importantly, before you start writing, know the full story that you want the marketing piece to tell. Yes, even a one-sided, skinny rack card should have a tale to tell the recipient. From the opening heading you give the piece, to any subtitles you create, to the bodies of copy you write, to bullet points, to visuals, and more, weave your story throughout. If you write a good story, you’re always more likely to evoke the emotion and action you and your client are looking for!
What are your tips for creating marketing materials? Please share with me or @LBAmarketingMA.
Author's Note: This article was written in my role as Chief Content Officer for Lisa Baker Marketing and originally published on LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/four-tips-writing-marketing-materials-karen-isgur-damon/.