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Why do multimedia designers have to know about online copywriting?…

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Take A Glance

Online copywriting is promotional written communication published online. It explains, endorses, convinces, attracts & persuades. Written word about your company on website, brochures, promotional articles, emails, social media, etc.

Where do I find it? Everywhere, e.g.
• Websites
• Blogs
• Email promotions
• Online adverts
• Promotional articles
• Press releases
• Social media (facebook, twitter, myspace, etc.)

Writing For The Web

How it differs from normal article writing and why? Here are principles of good copywriting :
• Start with a plan – list, blog article, tables, images?
• Keep it simple – short sentences, clear phrases.
• Be active, not passive.
• Write for readability.
• Be consistent.
• Be creative.
• Use correct spelling and grammar.
• Proof read your writing.
• Keep web copy short and simple.
• Be genuine and honest – be credible!
• Focus on headlines, leads and captions.
• Have a clear call to action.
• Create value.

Tailoring Your Web Copywriting

• What is the purpose of this platform?
• Who is the audience?
• What content do they want?
• What action do you want them to take?

Web Content Considerations

• 80% of users don’t read text on the Web. They SCAN!
• Make text SCANNABLE. Highlight keywords, links, sub-headings, bullet lists, one idea per paragraph.
• Credibility is important and can be increased by high-quality graphics, good
writing & outbound hypertext links.
• Avoid Promotional writing as site users detest “marketese”.

How Do We Engage Readers?

Identify the target market with whom you can have an engaged conversation of a long period of time. There are the rules :
• Encourage comments.
• Turn questions into content – invite readers to ask questions & answer questions in public, e.g. Advice columns.
• Reader activities.
• Multimedia engagement.
• Pay attention to your headline.
• Pay attention to your conclusion – Wrap things up in a way that encourages conversation, comments and discussion. Get your readers involved. Learn about their experiences. Ask openended questions. Have them talk about themselves.

Tips For Great Headlines

• Keep it short – under 10 words.
• Be specific.
• Use simple words.
• Make the reader curious, e.g. emotive words.
• Ask questions / make statements.
• Address reader directly – use “you”.
• Numbers work well, e.g. “5 tips for”.
• Benefit / rewards work well, e.g. “how to”.
• Honesty is key.

Source: Online Copywriting, lecture material, University of Cape Town, 2011.


1 Comment

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