Your website. Your logo. Your headlines. These are the big things upon which your brand is built. The things that make people sit up and pay attention. But size isn’t everything. That’s why mastering microcopy could help you build industry-beating user experiences.
What is microcopy?
Microcopy is about small bursts of text. And it’s everywhere: on labels, product descriptions and web pages. Although it occupies small amounts of space – if correctly deployed – it can achieve big things for your business.
- Slightly goofy error 404s that make you smile
- Clear content on a form that prevents a mistake
- Text on buttons designed to aid decision making
All three examples use microcopy to achieve an objective – be that to build rapport, prevent abandonment, or strengthen user experience.
Are microcopy and UX writing the same thing?
Until recently, microcopy and User Experience (UX) were deflated into the same term. But they are entirely different disciplines.
UX writing is about identifying user requirements and prospective challenges – while also building rapport and establishing trust.
What makes great microcopy?
It’s just a few words. It won’t take me long. So crowed many a marketer before realising microcopy is an art form. Each word has to count. It’s not like blogging a grammatical hiccup or blandly written sentence minimally impacts the whole.
With that in mind here are three characteristics of great microcopy…
#1 Simplicity is key
Use what space you have effectively. Rambling sentences won’t do at all – so create clean compact copy that gets to the point.
#2 Goal-tailored copy
Write with user intent in mind. What stage in the buying journey is your customer at and how can you tailor your messaging accordingly?
#3 Tone of voice matters
Boring won’t cut the mustard. Write in line with your tone of voice – be that whimsical, serious, or somewhere in between.
How to write great microcopy
Now it’s time to put these characteristics into practice (which is easier said than done if you’re not a professional marketer).
Here are some tips to help you get started…
#1 Be authentic
Earlier we touched on tone of voice. Your microcopy will have zero impact if it lacks personality – so try and conceive of your brand as a person. Not just a collection of messages, symbols, and menus.
- If a customer was in the room, how would you talk to them?
- Is your brand brash and loud – or quietly confident?
Use your responses to these questions to develop guidelines and inject personality into your microcopy.
#2 Be informal
Remove barriers to business by talking like a human being. Language could make or break your marketing success.
- Your prospect is stuck halfway down the sales funnel
- Your prospect has concerns about data protection
- Your prospect just received an error message
Warm and inviting microcopy will put users at their ease during a time of stress or confusion. Conversely. stuffy bloated content will have the opposite effect.
#3 Clarity matters
There’s no room for clever wordplay. Be humorous, yes. Quirky too. As long as the message makes clear the action to be taken.
- Write like your customers talk
- Keep sentences short
- Use everyday language
Do these three things to delight – rather than confuse or confound – your target audience and the rewards will surely follow.
If you need a helping hand with branded content send us a message and we can chat over a virtual coffee.