How to write good copy and great messaging

Before I can begin to describe how to gain more of a Jedi Voice in your marketing, I have to start at the beginning (a long time ago in a galaxy far far away) by defining what messaging actually is.

Messaging is all about Words Crafted to Convince.

A message can take the form of an ad headline, campaign tagline, or an umbrella message for a brand that sets the stage for all its marketing. Great messages that may come to mind are Apple’s famous “Think Different.” Or Nike’s “Just do it.” Or the ad theme that launched Federal Express on its path to global domination in shipping, “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”

There are also less obvious messages from marketers that perhaps are all the more powerful because they don’t take the form of ads. If something is part of an ad, our defenses may go up; it’s another thing to block out. But Amazon’s subversive, brilliant message of “people who bought this book also bought these other related titles” has done more to drain my bank account than any ad campaign.

All of these messages came about because teams of people thought very deeply about how to craft them in ways to quickly convince their audience of their unique value. Once you know the secrets, of course, you can not only create your own great messages, but easily decode messages you see on a daily basis. A popular brand’s tagline is “no soap gets you cleaner.” Translation: every other soap gets you just as clean.

The need to craft words that convince is vast. In fact, if you added up every industry where convincing was central to success, it would be the largest industry ever. Here’s a short list of the top industries that rely on messaging to convince people:

  • Advertising
  • PR
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Sales
  • Consumer product retail (online and brick and mortar stores)
  • Lobbying
  • Telemarketing
  • Religion
  • Dating sites

In my next post, I’ll share the first of my messaging tips, brought to you complete with a brown cardigan sweater. None other than Mr. Rogers, one of the greatest TV personalities of all time and a master storyteller. If it works with King Friday, it will work to sell your global brand.

This is the second post in a series. You can read the first post—Messaging can give you the jedi voice, also by Ted Page.

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