Simple is Better: How writing using everyday words can improve your copies [Tuesdays: “Write with the Pen of the Masters”]
“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
This was the iconic line of Sheriff Brody, the main protagonist in the movie, “Jaws.”
Imagine if instead of that, the sheriff said, “You’re gonna need a brobdingnagian boat.”
Do you think the second statement would make as much impact as the first one?
Sure, the essence and implications of the sentences remain the same, but the second statement isn’t as catchy and appealing as Sheriff Brody’s original line.
Because the word “brobdingnagian” isn’t commonly used in normal conversations!
In the book, “Writing that Works,” authors Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson said using jargon or buzzwords only makes your writing “long-winded and heavy-handed.” These words, when used incorrectly, often undermine the meaning of a message or copy.
Using simple, everyday words is better because they direct readers to what you aim to say without much fuss.
Roman and Raphaelson believe there is always a “down-to-earth” word that can substitute a jargon and help readers understand your written message better.
[“Down-to-earth” Words: This refers to terms that people commonly use in everyday conversations. Basically, these words don’t usually require you to be knowledgeable in a certain field to understand them.]
Here are examples of words used in writing copies:
Deep and difficult English
Push the envelope
To affect, To do to
Effective, achieve results
Less than ideal
Test the limits
Trying out, working on
At first glance, the English words listed on the left sound simple. However, for people that aren’t involved in a particular field that frequently uses these words, encountering these terms or phrases could be a challenge.
When you use these words in a cluster or in the same paragraph or sentence, they become even more of a headache!
Take a look at these paragraphs:
A:The concurrent modality administered has proven itself suboptimal. To provide a meaningful resolution, your management must undergo workshopping. If we want to impact the modality to the optimum, interface with your management must be required to incent a resultful program.
B: The recent method we applied seems to be less ideal than we expected. We should discuss a more effective program with your management.
Believe it or not, these paragraphs mean the same thing, but paragraph A sounds like a lot of work must be done compared to paragraph B. Why?
The words used in paragraph A are complicated and hard for many to understand. Paragraph B is straight to the point, using words that are common in conversations.
To avoid long-winded and heavy-handed writing, take note of two things: Your audience and the words you use.
Once you put yourself in your audience’s shoes, you’ll understand how to effectively communicate with them… and when you know how to communicate with them, it’ll be easier for you to write down-to-earth yet comprehensive copies!
Now, you might be wondering,
“How can I write simple and comprehensive messages?”
Below are two questions you can reflect on when you find yourself asking whether or not the words you use in your content will effectively resonate with and capture your target market’s attention:
- Is your chosen word the best possible option for your audience?
As a copywriter, you must have a deep understanding of your target market or readers. This will help ensure the words you use provide clarity and improve readability of your copies.
Besides, using words that your readers don’t understand can make them feel bored or worse, left out. This can make them feel like you don’t value them enough because you don’t even consider what their preferences are or how to get their attention through simple, snappy, and catchy words or phrases.
So, choose your words carefully. This will help you win your target market and compel them to check out your brand’s offerings or act on your call-to-action.
- Does it actually sound smart when you use a specific jargon or buzzword in your content?
It’s normal to want to sound knowledgeable about a given topic. However, if you can’t explain it with commonly used words, can you really say you know the topic well enough?
Great and knowledgeable copywriters know how to turn complex ideas into simple ones. This is because they know who their audience is and they want to make sure what they write in their copies is something readers will understand and resonate with.
If you’re having trouble simplifying complex thoughts or information, you should reflect on whether or not you really understand your topic. This is so that you’ll avoid using words that not only distort your message but also confuse your readers.
Some jargon and buzzwords only cater to certain groups of individuals. If you know your target market isn’t familiar with such terms, don’t risk including such expressions in your content.
Write the way you’d talk to a family member or friend!
If what you write is not how you see yourself speaking to your audience when you meet them in person, it’s a sign that you should revise something in your copy to make it more appealing, engaging, and conversational.
Illuminate your written messages through simple, down-to-earth words!
By applying the tips above, you’ll avoid long-winded and heavy-handed content that could bring confusion instead of clarity to your target market.
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Write with the Pen of the Masters”
Who doesn’t find content writing to be a skill that requires a lot of practice and effort?
In fact, many people may even find copywriting very intimidating.
However, you can be a good writer as long as you have the right tools. You won’t always get things right the first time, but with enough time and practice, you’ll get the hang of it!
When you write a copy for any brand or for your company, your aim is to make an impact and…
…to get people to remember.
Getting people to remember means getting consumers to buy your product or to avail of your service.
And when you get your content to deliver the results you want, THAT is a great copy!
Every Tuesday, we publish content based on tips and insights from the masters of content writing, copywriting, and storytelling.
Become more familiar with ways to write great copy that helps you gain ROI from your efforts, drive profitability, and achieve your business goals.
Learn time-tested tactics that better capture the attention of your target audience, and maximize the benefits of great copywriting.
Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Write with the Pen of the Masters!”
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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