Though I’m a few years late to the party, I’ve recently been binge watching Mad Men and, like many before me, I’ve been amused, shocked, and impressed by the advertising techniques of the creative powerhouse that is Don Draper.
Despite his personal failings, Don is hailed as an advertising genius throughout the show. And though many of his techniques are dated and not particularly professional, the man sure knows how to hook an audience.
It got me thinking that there are a lot of tips and tricks that Don Draper can teach digital content writers like myself – be it through avoidance or adoption!
So without further ado, here are 5 copywriting tips we can learn from one of TV’s most intriguing characters.
Keep content fresh
Writing a great piece of content is all well and good, but sitting back and resting on your laurels afterwards is a mistake. Just like Don says, “the effects of success are temporary” – that’s why the key to optimising your website for SERPs is producing regular, relevant, and engaging content.
Fresh content increases your site’s authority, gives you more keyword opportunities, and keeps your audience informed.
Don’t bore your readers
Bit of a given, right? But you’d be surprised how easily this can happen. You have to assume that your readers are time poor, meaning you have to get to the point as quickly as possible – but not too quickly!
The trick is to be engaging, but concise. Don’t get me wrong, long-form copy has its place, but if you’re selling a product or a service, you’ve got a limited amount of time to hook your reader’s attention before they get bored and move on.
What it all really boils down to 3 quick tips:
- Put yourself in your audience’s shoes
- Consider the info you’d want to read as a site visitor
- Write that info
Rewrite, revise, edit
You’ve probably heard this many times, but for good reason. Your first draft will always need improvement. So will your second draft. Your third draft is probably more along the right lines, but still not quite there.
There’s no shame in editing your work, but there is shame in not editing your work.
All the best writers will tell you that your first draft should never be your final draft. Constantly revising and fine-tuning your work is what gives it the power to persuade, advise, or describe to the best of its ability.
One of Don’s most famous quotes is something that every writer can learn from:
“You’re good. Get better.”
Don’t take criticism personally
If you’ve seen Mad Men, you’ll know that this is something Don doesn’t do too well!
Every copywriter has had their work ripped apart at one time or another. No matter how good you are, when you’re writing for other people you must expect criticism.
Feedback comes with the job, sometimes it’s constructive and sometimes it’s not. All you can do is listen to the comments and use your best judgement when it comes to revising your work and implementing new suggestions.
If it helps, just look at criticism as a chance for you to demonstrate your skills, both as a writer and a team player.
Above all, remain calm and do not take it personally. Though we’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another, kicking off about negative feedback is not an attractive trait for a copywriter.
Promote your USPs
If you’re writing to sell a product or service, no one will know why it’s worth bothering with unless you tell them.
Your unique selling points are the crux of your offering, they’re what make you or your service/product different. Comparison has its place in writing, but it’s always better to tell people what your product/service can do that nobody else’s can. Don’t be shy and, most importantly, don’t sell yourself short.
Find out more
Want to learn more about creating outstanding content? Check out one of our most popular guides: The Essential Guide to Content Marketing