One of my favourite musicians is Count Basie. He was known for his minimalist approach to playing the piano and leaving lots of space between his notes. His music was exciting not just because of what he played, but what he didn’t play.
I was listening to Count Basie the other day and began to think about how his minimalist approach could be applied to writing marketing copy. Here are my thoughts:
1. You don’t need to say everything. Many B2B technology marketers want to tell potential customers about all of their product’s features. If you have a complex product, this can amount to tons of copy that most people won’t read. While late-stage leads may want to know more about your product’s specific features, early-stage leads are more interested in discovering how your product can benefit them. For example, I just wrote brochure copy for two software packages. Instead of filling the brochures with tons of copy about all the products’ features, my client wanted to keep the copy light and focus on what the software could help users achieve. The purpose of the copy was to inspire readers to see what’s possible.
2. Use lots of white space. Research has shown that readers are less apt to read huge blocks of text. Just like Count Basie left space between his notes, you should leave space on your page. Keep your paragraphs short, use bullets and highlight important points in bold. This will make your copy more readable and encourage skimmers to pick up on your key messages.
3. Eliminate adverbs. Powerful verbs can pull readers into your copy and encourage them to take action. Just resist the urge to add descriptive words that end in “ly.” Adverbs are often unnecessary and can slow down the pace of your copy. Try some of these tips to clear the clutter out of your marketing copy and make it swing! Feel free to share your thoughts and favourite Count Basie tunes below.
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