Five best practices for copywriters in 2018

A marketing copywriter’s job is never done, and the demand for more content never ceases. But that’s cool – we love this stuff. And as we kick off 2018, it’s a good time to take a step back and look at some trends currently shaping content creation that certainly aren’t going away anytime soon. Here are five best practices that will help you create effective copy all year long.

1. Voice your SEO

Making sure you incorporate the right keywords, the right way, at the right time for the right audience is an ongoing endeavor. And considering that the rules of the SEO game are constantly changing, keeping up with the latest best practices is a must. For example, the rise of smart speakers (i.e. Google Home or Amazon Alexa) has enabled consumers to perform more voice searches than ever before. Since people generally speak differently than they type, your 2018 SEO strategy should incorporate keyword phrases that more closely resemble natural speech. While voice search is still in its relative infancy, it is already changing the way users query.

2. Double down on the power of mobile

According to 2017 research, 80 percent of B2B buyers use mobile at work, and 70 percent reported mobile playing a significant role in a recent purchase. Expect this to continue in 2018, with more and more content viewed via mobile. Marketers from virtually every sector agree that a mobile-first approach to design and content is integral to the fight for coveted real estate in inboxes and social media feeds. A mobile-first approach is essentially creating content with the smallest screens in mind and working up from there. Interactive content consisting of short, snappy copy in a skimmable package can keep bounce rates low and maximize conversions in 2018.

3. Hone your social skills

It’s no secret that social media is a powerful, disruptive force, dethroning many traditional communication models. But to ensure your social strategy does the most good, don’t take your eye off the numbers. Social analytics provide accurate data and actionable insights to help guide strategy and refine successful copy. In 2018, carefully analyzing social performance data and optimizing your content accordingly will be critical as more and more businesses compete for your audience’s attention.

4. Go video

If you haven’t already begun incorporating video into your marketing strategy, the time is now. Currently, 74 percent of internet usage is being covered by videos, and that number keeps growing. Consider having a sit-down with your team to discuss ways you can use video to break through the social noise and get results. We’re talking high-quality, original content here. Whether it’s livestreamed or recorded, a well-written, highly-personalized script coupled with excellent production can carry ­messages a long way in 2018.

5. Keep it short, keep it snackable

We read online content differently than we do print material. When reading online, we skim more, looking for particular answers or a relevant tidbit before taking a deeper dive – if we take the dive at all. Recent statistics suggest that online attention spans are shorter than ever, with the average reader only spending around 37 seconds reading an article or blog post. Therefore, drafting “snackable” content that’s eye-catching, short and easy to follow is key. Think bold headers and snappy images accompanied by short, concise copy to best ensure readers digest critical messages.

In the weird, wild world of marketing copywriting, staying up to date on the latest trends is absolutely key for success. The tips outlined are a strong foundation you can build from in 2018. So keep your ear to the ground, your favorite thesaurus app handy and your coffee mug full!