Word count is one of the most debated elements of copywriting.
Going back and forth on how long a caption, blog, or sales page *should* be to move the needle.
Equating word count to success kinda makes sense.
Back in high school, you no doubt had to slog out X number of pages to get an A+ on a paper. Double spacing for the win, amiright?!
Perhaps, it’s one of the reasons why the “short copy or long copy?” debate rages on in the content marketing world.
Both have a place. But there’s actually an incredibly creative yet simple way to have more impact with fewer words.
Say hello to microcopy.
Microcopy is your best friend when it comes to website copy that converts.
The term might sound new, but the truth is, you’ve seen microcopy in action countless times.
For example, the words that pop up on error pages. The copy is used for signup fields or placeholders reassuring someone that you won’t steal their information. The copy instructs you what to do next (think: click here). That’s microcopy.
So what is microcopy in content marketing exactly?
Originally deployed by user experience (UX) writers to help companies develop simple ways to navigate people through a product, website, or app, microcopy in marketing informs users, so they’re more likely to take action.
Now microcopy has spilled over into the general online space. It’s used for:
Microcopy helps visitors get to clicking. It jumpstarts their client journey. And, when used strategically, microcopy is one of the most effective ways to share a brand’s values and messaging.
Branded microcopy gives your audience little snippets of personality and an elevated experience by incorporating your values and messaging.
Infusing your values and messaging into your content accomplishes so much – in only a few words. There are all kinds of reasons to use on-brand microcopy, but here are the main drivers.
When you swap out the general microcopy for branded content, you’re giving your audience a chance to connect with your messaging. Which means they’re more likely to build a connection and engage with your content.
People have very little patience online. If something doesn’t work, they’re quick to leave. But with clear branded microcopy that gives them direction, they’re more likely to hang around and learn about you and your brand.
People buy from brands they like, know, and trust. So, when you give them a clear path to all three of these through relatable copy, you’re much more likely to drive action and conversion.
If you have a website, app, or online product, the microcopy is often already built-in. But with just a few minor tweaks, you can make some drastic, extremely beneficial changes.
To inspire users to book their next trip, Airbnb incorporates clever microcopy to get the search started. The copy is conversational and inspirational in tone, and in just two lines makes you want to start searching for your next adventure.
Maryland Cookies cleverly incorporates its brand voice and messaging in a typically boring and straightforward section of the website – the cookies disclaimer. This microcopy shows they’re fun, relatable, and always keeping their products top-of-mind, no matter how a user interacts with their brand.
Here, Guru’s brand voice radiates warmth and connection. This microcopy accomplishes a few things:
When you strategically structure how and what you say in small ways, you’ll ultimately have a big impact on outcomes. Let’s review some of those benefits next.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing your microcopy if you want to boost your conversion rates and keep your audience engaged.
Microcopy is all about keeping it short and sweet. That means no industry jargon. No long paragraphs. You want simple copy that captures attention but also gets the key point across.
Here’s an example from Basecamp:
This 30-day free trial signup addresses their ideal customer’s pain point and solves a problem in just a few lines.
I know, I know! I just said not to worry about being too clever, but you still want to try and have some fun with your microcopy! The key with your website copy and content marketing strategy is getting your audience’s attention, which means shaking up the same old, boring traditional placeholder text.
Here’s how Mailchimp does that:
The error microcopy in their signup form lets the user know there’s an issue. But it does it in a way that reflects the brand’s cheekiness while still addressing the problem without being irritating.
Not only does this alleviate any frustration, encouraging the user to try again, but it also injects a dose of their brand voice that leaves a lasting impression.
Remember that microcopy is rooted in informing the reader of things they need to know or might be concerned about and getting them to take action. Don’t let the drive to be clever take away from the ultimate goal – information and conversion!
Here’s an example from Timely:
A lot of people may overlook microcopy, but after reading this post, I know you won’t be one of them!
Though you may feel like those long, juicy paragraphs are most crucial for connecting and converting your audience, that’s not necessarily the case.
The truth is, your brand messaging will really find its footing in the smallest of places online.
Using strategic microcopy in your website copy and content strategy will ultimately help you increase conversion rates, inspire returning customers, and build engagement.
Are you struggling with conveying your brand messaging in your copy? Reach out, and let’s talk about how we can create the impact you need.