When it comes to marketing and social media, having strong copy with smart keywords can help us catch people’s attention and boost our engagement. Why? People gravitate towards copy that tells a compelling story and is easy to read.
Following good grammar can help us with creating that kind of copy for our marketing. While it may not always feel like the most exciting subject, following accurate and succinct grammar rules can help us create copy that hooks people in.
Here are some simple but impactful grammar rules you can use to spruce up your copy. –
Avoid using “be” and “is” when you can.
Which sounds better – “He is a good singer,” or “He sings beautifully”?
Grammatically speaking, there’s nothing wrong with using “is” and “be” in a sentence. But challenging our sentences and replacing these phrases with stronger verbs or adverbs can give our copy just the kick it needs to pack a punch. It’s the mark of a great writer!
Cut out the “fluffy” words
It happens to the best of us – to beef up our writing, we add a bunch of extra words that we don’t necessarily need. While it may help us look more sophisticated at surface level, we are making our audience read more. Sometimes, our unnecessary words may even cause them to stumble while reading!
Here’s a classic example –
Instead of saying: “Boston is very beautiful, and it really has a great culture,” — we could (and should) just say: “Boston is beautiful, and it has a great culture.” Same message, different results. It gets to the point much quicker!
You want every word to pull its weight. Sometimes, it can help to read certain passages aloud to gauge how effectively your words flow. If you ever feel like you’re rolling your tongue trying to say a sentence — there is a word in there that you can cut out!
Here are some common words we use that take up more space and often can be condensed into something else that gets more to the point. –
“In order to”
“As long as”
“For the most part”
“During the course of”
“Each and every”
When appropriate – use an active voice
Taking an active tone with our writing gives us more direction and helps us take control of our narrative with more confidence. With an active tone, our subjects drive the action and call the shots!
A quick rundown of using a passive voice vs. an active voice:
In a passive voice, the subject in a sentence receives the action.
In an active voice, the subject in a sentence performs the action.
Take a read here — which one sounds better? “Websites can benefit from great copy,” vs. “Great copy drives web traffic.”
The key to using a more active voice? Taking strong verbs and linking them to your subject — whether it be a brand, service or product.
Don’t go too big on vocabulary
Fun fact — many business writers advise that the average reader prefers to read words that are at a 7th or 8th grade reading level. So, when writing for social media and marketing materials, you’ll do better to use average everyday words people use instead of using words you may only find in an SAT test.
Here is a fun example — “Buy our sophisticated flowers — they’re resplendent and versatile!” vs. “Buy our flowers — they’re beautiful and work for any occasion!”
Your call-to-action becomes much clearer, and your overall message just reads more smoothly!
With these tips, your copy will shine. One perk to the modern digital age? We have many dictionaries and grammar resources at our disposal, thanks to good ‘ole trusty Google. If you ever need some inspiration or clarification, grammar websites are ready to lift you out of any word pinch and help you craft the best sentences for your brand.
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