Descriptive copywriting – The art of getting emotional

| May 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

Red love heart imagined as a drop of red waterCan you describe your products and services so eloquently that your audience keys straight into your sales message?

You want your content to hit readers where it has the biggest impact, a cupid-like shot straight to the heart. Here’s why descriptive copywriting is so important. 

Creating content with added empathy

When you add depth and texture to a piece of content, you increase its appeal. It’s an empathy thing, something humans are incredibly good at. One way to do it is by describing, briefly and succinctly, emotive stuff like smells, feelings, flavours and colours.

How does descriptive copywriting add oomph to content? It creates a vivid picture much more powerful than the bare facts, and helps us make that all-important emotion-led buying decision.

Emotion led? Yes. Several research projects since the world’s financial collapse in 2008 have concluded that none of us, not even economists and fund managers, make logical decisions based solely on facts. We make emotionally-led decisions. We do it all the time, under every circumstance. It’s part of the human condition.

Economists are adopting new models based on our creative decision-making processes and the way they affect the world’s financial markets. Marketers need to do the same thing. It makes a lot of sense to appeal to people’s emotions as well as their logical side.

So how do you describe things like feelings, flavours, smells and colours to add power to your content? Here are some examples.

Describing feelings – A terrifying horror movie

  • Expressed factually – A new horror movie starring Johnny Depp, Delia Smith and David Cameron.
  • Expressed with emotion – Evil runs bone-deep in this powerful, spine-chiller of a horror movie starring Johnny Depp, Delia Smith and David Cameron.

Describing flavours – Ginger and lemongrass cordial

  • Expressed factually – Ginger root and lemongrass cordial.
  • Expressed with emotion – A wonderfully exotic, spicy cordial blending tangy root of ginger with fresh, citrussy lemongrass.

Describing smells – Wallflower perfume

  • Expressed factually – A perfume created with essence of wallflower.
  • Expressed with emotion – Capturing summertime in a bottle, this luscious perfume is vivid and sweet, rich in exotic essence of wallflower.

Describing colours: a red dress

  • Expressed factually – A 100% cotton red A-line dress with 3/4 sleeves and a scoop neck.
  • Expressed with emotion – Get noticed in this deliciously pretty scarlet cotton dress with its elegant three quarter sleeves, sexy scoop neck and floaty A-line silhouette.

This is not a novel

You’re not writing a novel. You’re writing marketing materials, or at the very least content driven by a marketing plan. Don’t get carried away with the descriptive stuff.

While being descriptive will add to your overall word count, less is more. As long as the words you add support sales, extra verbiage isn’t an issue. It’s only when you add fluff and guff – aka pointless padding – that longer content becomes a problem.

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Category: copywriting and marketing

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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