When to Write a Lot vs a Little in Marketing
Long copy versus short copy. Which one is more effective and persuasive?
The truth is, there is no winner when it comes to long versus short copy. The thing to consider is the situation that you’re in or the medium that you’re marketing on.
Long-form copy sends the message that you’ve got something important to say, even if people don’t read all of your copy. […] people are likely to make the conclusion that you’re an authority on a specific topic the longer your text is.
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Not All Marketing Platforms Are Created Equal
Let’s say you’re going to create a brochure, postcard or a poster for your music school. Short-form copy would be the likely choice in this setting. In any medium where people are going to be glancing just for a second at your content, you want to keep it short and sweet.
Long-form copy sends the message that you’ve got something important to say, even if people don’t read all of your copy. Many won’t, but people are likely to make the conclusion that you’re an authority on a specific topic the longer your text is.
1. Make Your Writing Engaging and Captivating
You’ve got something important to say. Now, you don’t want to write long-form sales copy just for the sake of having a long-form copy. You want to make sure that what you’re writing is good, engaging, and captivating.
Musical growth is an ongoing series of challenges and accomplishments. It’s great to talk about how music lessons help kids feel confident, but get specific about it.
2. Avoid Fluff
There’s nothing worse than somebody making that commitment to read more than a paragraph of your copy, and as they dig into it they begin to feel like what you’re saying is repetitive or just fluff.
If you bury your lead, you’ll pay a dear price for it.
3. Captivating Headlines
Music school owners can take a good lesson from journalism. When it comes to writing for a newspaper, a writer would want to open up with a strong statement that’s going to grab the reader.
Typically, the first sentence or two in a newspaper article makes good on the promise. When it comes to a newspaper article, it is the headline that draws you in. It captures your attention. You only read the article because you’re curious and you want to find out more about what’s behind this headline.
4. Hook But Don’t Bury
One of the greatest sins in journalism is called burying the lede. If you bury your lead, you’ll pay a dear price for it. The lead is the most compelling and most captivating aspect of what you’re writing about, so you want to avoid warming the reader up to your most captivating idea. You want to come right out on it.
5. Apply This Trick From The Beatles
Think of it in terms of songwriting, where a song typically has a hook or some sort of melodic and lyrical refrain. When writing sales and marketing copy you ideally want to come out on a hook. The Beatles were notorious for opening their songs on a hook. Just think of the song “She Love’s You.” A hook in both marketing and in music is a great way to pull the reader or listener in.
Whatever you’re writing, whether it’s a short or long-form copy, should be the most captivating and compelling aspect of what you write. Then after your lead and your first paragraph, you can begin to flesh out the benefits or the transformation that a child’s going to experience.
After that, you want to get into the details of what’s involved with your music lessons. That’s only with the long-form copy.
Your Copy Can Help with Your SEO
Let’s take a moment to look at where and when is a good place to use long-form copy. Facebook ads—that’s great! How about a landing page on your website? Long-form copy for sure. Long form copy on a landing page. and on your website is also helping cue Google as to what’s on the page.
Content is King
Quick aside, I’ve seen a lot of music schools where it feels to me like they are writing more for Google than they are for their readers. You always want to focus on engaging the reader first. Once you’re done with your writing, go back and look at what are your focus keywords for SEO and see how you can weave those into your copy.
Writing for Facebook ads is especially challenging, but I also find it fun. In a Facebook ad your text is going to cut off after 2-3 lines and the ad will prompt the reader to click a “Read more” button so they can see all of the copy.
You want to make sure that everything before that “Read More” portion of the Facebook ad contains everything you need to say to capture the reader’s attention. The goal is to get them to simply click that Read More button.
What to Do When Texts Get Clipped Off
When I’m writing a Facebook ad, I probably spend the majority of my time trying to craft that first sentence or two. I’ll go into the Ads Manager to look at the different previews of the different ads and see how it’s going to display on people’s Facebook profiles, where that Read More feature appears, and how much of the text is coming through. I’m quite often cutting out words or changing that first sentence or two, factoring in at a certain point that the copy is going to get clipped off.
Seize Every Opportunity to Make an Impression
Every written communication you create for your music school, whether it’s email or social media posts, is a form of marketing and a form of copywriting. It’s an opportunity to make an impact on how people feel or perceive your business, not just for your prospective students but even for your current students.
Every email exchange you’re having with a parent is an opportunity to market to them, not necessarily sell to them. It’s an opportunity to enhance or build on the feelings that your current families already feel about you. Your prospective students whom you exchange initial emails with as you’re onboarding them—you’re marketing to them. You’re selling them on the idea that you’re reliable, trustworthy, and professional. You convey that in the words that you write in your email.
2. Be Clear on Your Outcome
Quite often, if you’re dealing with something like a poster or postcard, everything’s about the headline. At that point, maybe you’ll have a sub-headline. That might be the only copy that you’re going to have on a poster.
In that situation, you want your headline and your sub-headline to make it clear what it is that you do in music lessons. You want to also appeal to the reader’s emotions, and you do that by articulating a favorable outcome.
Nobody cares about the name of your business. What people care more about is the transformation that your child’s going to experience.
3. Avoid This When Creating Headlines
One thing that I see a lot of music schools do is that they make the headline the name of their business. You want to avoid this. Nobody cares about the name of your business. Your logo should take care of that. The name of the business has to be somewhere on the postcard, on the print ad, or on the poster.
4. What Parent’s Really Care About
What people care more about is the transformation that your child’s going to experience. Now, if you’re writing longer form copies, say in an ad or on your website, your entire first or maybe even second paragraph should be all about the child.
5. Try This at Home
A really fun exercise to do is see if you can just maybe write on a piece of paper or talk to your tape recorder. Talk about your music school. It’s a good practice exercise. See if you can write or talk about your music school without ever talking about you, your lessons, your teachers, and what you have to offer.
When your marketing isn’t working or isn’t performing the way that you had hoped, it’s usually because of your messaging.
6. Don’t Forget to Add Value
Simply talk about how your music school is going to impact a child’s life. Talk about the life skills that children develop in music lessons, and get specific about it.
Talk about the value of the unique relationship that their child will have with their teacher. Talk about how their teacher will help them develop troubleshooting skills and develop the self-discipline to face and conquer challenges. Conquer. That’s a strong word. Or how about facing and overcoming challenges?
7. Paint a Picture
Musical growth is an ongoing series of challenges and accomplishments. It’s great to talk about how music lessons help kids feel confident, but get specific about it. Talk about how that happens. Where does the confidence occur? Talk about how their child will feel standing on stage and performing in front of their community. Share what hopes you have for their child when it comes to music and personal development. Keep the spotlight on the kid for as long as you can without ever talking about you, your teachers, and the quality of your service.
8. Timing is Everything
It’s hard to do, but see if you can talk about your music lessons without talking about how much they cost and what days of the week you offer lessons. These are important things, and these are things that you want or you might want to include in your sales copy, but you don’t want to mention these until maybe the third or fourth paragraph of the long-form copy.
9. Use AI to Lend a Helping Hand
One thing I hear music school owners share with me all the time is that they’re not so confident in their writing skills. If that’s the case, fine. Write it to the best of your ability, and then maybe use an AI tool. Go to chat GPT and throw your copy, and see if it can work with you to help you wordsmith it a bit or get it in better working order.
10. Don’t Go it Alone
If you’re writing copy for something that’s crucial go to Upwork and hire a copywriter to write three different versions for you of what you wrote. Ask them to write a version or two of a paragraph. Perhaps even a five-paragraph version would do.
11. Run a Test
Test long vs short form ads on Facebook. The success of your marketing all boils down to your message and the words that you use to convey that message. When your marketing isn’t working or isn’t performing the way that you had hoped, it’s usually because of your messaging.
12. Other Reasons Why Your Ad is Underperforming
There are other factors that can limit the impact of your marketing. Perhaps your targeting isn’t dialed in on a Facebook ad. Your ad might be dialed in and you get a lot of clicks. People are going to your website, but they’re still not filling out the form. Now, you know that the problem is something on the website. It could be the landing page or the form to look at, but quite often when your marketing isn’t working or performing the way that you had hoped it would be, you got to look at your message and the words that you use to express that message.