Turn marketing theories into good copywriting practice

Had a really great day at Social Media Marketing 2010 yesterday. Learned lots, met so many interesting people and best of all, I had a really positive response to my presentation on Tweets That Travel. It's now available on SlideShare for anyone to view. Big thanks to Influence People for inviting me and putting on such an entertaining and inspiring event. I gained new insights from everyone's presentations, and in particular found myself scribbling lots of notes during Synthesio CEO Loic Moisand’s talk on How To Monitor And Measure Viral Marketing Campaigns. Rather than focusing on the monitoring side I was sat there thinking how his marketing theories could be translated into good copywriting practice.

He breaks brands down into four categories. Here they are, with some suggestions for copywriting below each one:

Boring brands (like insurance) As Loic says, create fun! Like the Compare the Meerkats campaign, there's plenty of room here to be quite quirky and different and do something unexpected. You might have a hard job selling it to the client...but once you do, then don't do things by halves. Don't be afraid to go off on a tangent but do it with confidence.

Functional brands (like phones, anything you just want to work) Focus on the online customer experience. Include lots of troubleshooting or help pages and clearly highlight useful features that people should be using. Talk as if you're on the customer's side and you understand their point of view.

Exciting brands (like Apple, Nike, gaming, anything with a buzz around it) Nurture the community, telling people clearly about the most exciting elements of the latest products. Highlight what's so new and so different about them, but repeat familiar phrases to promote the idea of a tribe, a community where everyone's talking the same language. Strong images are really important here; make sure the copy is not written in isolation.

Vital brands (like health products) Offer new insights into the latest developments alongside helpful items that reassure and explain. Clear, concise and friendly copy is probably better than anything too quirky or tongue-in-cheek. Even though people find certain products amusing - like haemorrhoid cream for example - the piles sufferers visiting your site for information may not find your jokes so funny!