Digital copywriting is the business of persuasion. Our job as digital copywriters is to keep finding inventive ways to effectively convince audiences to buy into brands. It’s a skill that requires empathy for the buyer, a total understanding of the product or service’s unique selling point, and a generous amount of creative flair.
But what any digital copywriter will tell you is that you can possess all three and still find yourself staring at a blinking cursor with no idea on how to move it. We’ve all been there, but what I’ve learnt is that creativity is more science than art. It’s not about coming up with a completely new idea but about finding new connections between old ones. I rely on a toolkit of valuable online resources to help me achieve these inspired new connections.
The following tools create a conducive environment for creativity to strike and they help the rest of the League content team produce impactful digital copywriting that outsells the competition.
Word Hippo is a convenient combination of several useful writing tools in one. Not only is it a dictionary, thesaurus, translator and rhyme dictionary, it can also help you solve crosswords. Swapping synonyms can mean the difference between flat and compelling calls to action and rhymes take advantage of fluency heuristics to create unforgettable zingers. Whatever you’re after, you’ll find yourself returning to Word Hippo over and over again.
Have you ever had a word at the tip of your tongue but couldn’t quite get it out? Now there’s a tool for that. But more practically, the Reverse Dictionary helps digital copywriters with word economy. You have a limited time to grab your audience’s attention and condensing a phrase to a single term gets you there quicker. Brevity is the soul of wit and the essence of punchy copy.
Successful copywriting requires a keen editing eye and the Hemingway Editor can be your digital equivalent. This online tool and app is a free resource that helps you assess the grammar, fluency and, most importantly, readability of your copy. It can help you eliminate filler words, weak adjectives and passive phrases. It also assigns a grade level to your writing’s readability so you can optimise the accessibility of your copy for your audience.
Unsuck It is another tool that can help you make your copy more accessible by eliminating stuffy corporate jargon. The search prompt cheekily asks: “What terrible business jargon do you need unsucked?” You can convert terms such as bandwidth and bucketise to more easily understood layman terms like time and categorise. It’s a valuable resource when you’re humanising corporate brands or technical concepts to general audiences.
Traditionally, writers are trained to avoid clichés and hackneyed sayings. However, familiar phrases trigger the memory, which make them an excellent digital copywriting technique. With the Phrase Thesaurus you can look up thousands of English idioms, phrases, lyrics and famous slogans. Putting a twist on an old saying by substituting a similar-sounding or -looking word can result in clever copy for headlines, subject lines or straplines.
Ludwig is billed as a service for non-native English speakers and students who want to write more accurately and in sound context. It allows you to search phrase and sentence usage across a vast online library of reputable sources. For digital copywriters, it can help you figure out how common or niched a phrase or sentence is. If you’re writing for gardeners and your phrase can be found in Gardener’s Digest and Horticulture Quarterly, it’s safe to assume your audience is familiar with it, but probably not anyone else.
Word Associations Network
Playing with word associations is a time-honoured brainstorming technique and the Word Associations Network does it all for you, saving you the time and effort of assembling a team and scheduling a brainstorming session. Enter a single word like furniture and the online tool will respond with close (and distant) relations such as carpenter, mahogany and antique. When used cleverly, the results can inspire conceptual thinking and help you communicate boring topics in abstract and captivating ways.
The worst waste of time in digital copywriting is trying to write from scratch. The most effective copywriting techniques have already been tried and tested – all you have to do is to learn and apply them in unique ways. Using copywriting formulas not only saves you time but also teaches you the craft of composing compelling copy that stands out and prompts action. When you understand the rules, you’ll know when to bend and break them for the most potent results. Here’s an almost-exhaustive list of copywriting formulas to get you started.
Producing lively and persuasive copy that connects features to benefits and brands to customers is one of the things we do best at League Digital. Content is an essential part of successful branding and we know how to apply the science that makes the art happen. Learn all about our approach in our digital marketing guide.