Question: what’s the one easy way you can differentiate your business website from all the other businesses like yours? Answer: being creative with the words you use.
Think about it. Have you ever been looking for a particular product or service, like an accountant or lawyer, and you’ve done some Internet searches and reviewed a dozen websites and they all sound the same?
It happens a lot, in all industries and with businesses of every size. You might think, “Hey, there are just so many ways I can describe a mortgage, a kitchen renovation, an audit, a fill-in-the-blank.” The reason you think this is because 1) you’re too close to what you do and 2) you’re too worried about sounding different from all your competitors. Sounding the same as everyone else is safe, right? It’s also boring, and it certainly doesn’t make your business memorable.
Still, so many companies choose safe and boring. But there’s another, better way to communicate your message. In this post, we’re going to show you three examples of companies doing a great job with writing content that’s outside the boring, safe box.
Horny Toad Clothing
Horny Toad sells active wear. Think of all the companies you know that do that. What makes Horny Toad’s web experience such an awesome one is how they present everything. And we’re not talking about just the look and feel, either. We’re talking the words.
Here’s a screenshot of their description for a hoodie.
Horny Toad could have simply just stated the facts: what it’s made out of, sizes, and colors. But, instead, it chose to have a conversation. It tells a story. It’s warm and conversational, like we’re chatting with a friend. Horny Toad does this with all its descriptions, and elsewhere on the site. We especially love the company’s About section. Check out the screen shot below. Talk about personality!
Moosejaw also sells clothing, specializing in jackets and mountain gear and other outdoorsy stuff. Its site also provides a fun experience for visitors, as evidenced by the playful verbiage used in its “Moosejaw Madness” section. Check out the screen shot below. Who wouldn’t want to click through?!
Regardless of what we might think of the whole “group deals” concept and whether they work for businesses in the long run (you can read a post we wrote here about what you should do AFTER you run a Groupon), we need to give credit where credit is due: Groupon knows how to write copy. (Or its copywriters do!)
Always fun, always fresh, always original, Groupon breathes new life into products and services with their write-ups (something the businesses being promoted should take note of and use on their own sites!). Who knew a microdermabrasion treatment could sound so exciting?
So what is it about these examples that works so well? It’s a few things, actually:
- Keep your copy conversational. Remember, conversational and professional are not mutually exclusive terms. You can still sound professional and friendly at the same time. How to accomplish this? Using contractions can help (e.g. “you’re” instead of “you are”). Writing short sentences. Sometimes even writing sentence fragments. You get the idea.
- Do the unexpected. Who the heck would have ever made the connection between seventeenth-century sailors and facials? It’s completely unexpected, yet it works because it’s different, fun, and memorable.
- Talk to visitors like they’re, you know, people. The folks visiting your site are not leads. They’re not customers. They are PEOPLE first. Talk to them the way you’d like to be talked to.
- Use professionals if you get stuck. Sites like Groupon use professional copywriters for their copy (and we suspect Moosejaw and Horny Toad Clothing might as well). There’s no shame in that. Writers love to write. They love it even more when they’re given the freedom to be creative. Yes, it’s an investment. But if the writing is what makes people remember YOUR business instead of your 50 competitors? Well, that makes it a worthy investment indeed.
- Be consistent in all your copy, across all media. Otherwise you risk alienating customers and prospects alike. So the tone and style and words you use on your site should also be reflected on your social media accounts, in articles, in print advertising, etc.
We realize the tone in the copy examples above wouldn’t necessarily be appropriate for all businesses. That said, we bet that you could “push” your existing copy farther than you already have. Take a look at it and see where you can lighten up, differentiate yourself, and even have a little fun. (Or have a good copywriter audit your site.)
What sites do you particularly like because of their way with words? We want to hear them. Share in the comments!