When it Comes to Copywriting for the Web, Everyone wants Apple
When I write web content for clients, one of the many things we discuss is tone. How do they want their marketing copy to sound and feel? Formal, like a political science professor, or informal, like your daughter’s 16-year old friends? Or something in between?
Nine times of out ten, when I ask clients for an example of the kind of tone and style they’d like to emulate, they say Apple.
Here are a few samples from Apple.com:
At home. At work. And anyplace in between.
With the right accessory for iPad, you’re covered. Or connected. Or docked. See how accessories let you do more with iPad.
Make the ultimate upgrade. To a Mac.
Don’t just upgrade your computer. Get a Mac and upgrade your entire computer experience.
See what I mean? Friendly. Cute. Clever. Apple.
How can you get that same kind of tone when copywriting for the web?
- Choose the right words. Don’t use polysyllabic words when something simpler will do. Choose English words derived from Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, German (which tend to be shorter and more concrete) and fewer from Latin or Greek (which tend to be longer and more abstract).
- Use contractions. This keeps the copy more conversational. “Don’t just upgrade your computer” is closer to how we speak than “Do not just upgrade your computer.”
- Mix in some short and choppy. It might drive your high school English teacher crazy (forgive me Mr. Kellogg), but good marketing copy often contains a healthy mix of short sentences and even sentence fragments. With many starting with “and” or “but.”
- Use the sticky “you.” To better draw the reader in, Apple’s copywriters use “you” in their copy. “See how accessories let you do more with an iPad.”
- Make it flow with alliteration. Much of Apple’s copy uses alliteration to give it a sing-song feel. “At work, at home,” “…you’re covered. Or connected” have a nice repetition of sound.
Perhaps most importantly, though, Apple’s web copywriting is benefit-driven. You’ll never catch them nattering on about features and technology. Their web copy focuses on how people use their products, not techie mumbo-jumbo.
Now I’m not saying everyone should run out and start re-writing their copy in Apple-speak. But there might be some Apple elements that would work well with your brand.
Do you like Apple’s copywriting for the web? Have you seen other companies use a similar style?