3 Guiding Principles for Writing Great Taglines

blog author
Chris Murvine
CEO | Founder

Copywriting is difficult.

Maybe not difficult like digging trenches or performing surgery is difficult, but difficult like singing or pole vaulting is difficult – it looks effortless, until you try it for yourself.

As a digital marketing agency, copywriting is at the heart of everything we do. Websites, PPC advertising, social media marketing, online lead nurturing – in addition to great design, the success of each tactic is made possible by great copywriting.

There’s a very specific type of copywriting that has consistently proven itself to be very difficult to execute regardless of the client’s industry…

Taglines.

Taglines find themselves in a strange position within our evolving digital marketing industry. They’ve expanded their reach to the myriad digital collateral we work with daily. The highly actionable copy of landing pages, calls to action, even blog post titles are essentially taglines adapted to new media.

That's why we've compiled a short list of 3 Guiding Principles For Writing Great Taglines.

Guiding Principle # 1: Keep it short.

Brevity has been an ad copy foundation as long as there’s been ad copy – but it deserves repeating now that versions of your taglines will need to fit inside small graphical elements like customized social media profile images, and call to action buttons.

Guiding Principle # 2: Start with ‘Why’.

I stole this one from Simon Sinek, but it’s still the best marketing advice I’ve ever heard.

In his book (and awesome TED Talk) Start With Why, Sinek argues for messaging to focus on the benefits to the consumer (the WHY) as opposed to the product or service you provide (the WHAT).

The benefit here is that you’re no longer selling an individual product or service but rather the guiding principle behind your very organization – WHY your company exists – which you can use to align yourself with the thousands (or potentially billions) of likeminded individuals out there.

This is a tough Guiding Principle to remember, particularly because you spend your whole life with your product and service and understand all too well the features. But I promise, the general population doesn’t care about your product specs. Inspire them – start with Why.

Guiding Principle # 3: Take a lesson from the Bard.

Shakespeare will be eternally famous for his use of meter as a way of connecting emotionally to his audience. That da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM that pulses through Shakespeare’s plays – it’s called “iambic pentameter” and according to scholars it’s the meter that most closely mimics spoken English. But I’d argue it’s the spoken sound that most closely mimics the human heartbeat. It’s a primal rhythm developed to help stage actors remember their lines – but you can use it to help consumers remember your message among the, literally, millions of stimuli they receive each day. Think “Come FLY our FRIENDly SKIES” or “the ROAD will NEver BE the SAME” – it works.

Need help with meaningful copywriting and implementing an inbound strategy for your business? Contact us to get started.

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