After reading this headline, I can imagine many of you are shaking your heads thinking ‘Gheeze Matt, what planet are you on? Don’t you know you should keep it short and simple?’ Allow me to explain.
Yes, it’s true – generally speaking you should keep copywriting simple. Unless you’re writing for a highly educated niche, you need to use language that’s easy to understand to ensure as many people as possible get what you’re writing about.
But there can be times when making your copywriting more complex can be a powerful tactic.
Complex copywriting can position you as an expert
People like to buy from experts. They like the reassurance knowing they’re buying from someone who has done their research, understands the problem inside out and has identified the best solution.
So how can you make yourself sound like an expert?
By getting into the fine detail on how your product works.
Using complex, technical language, which your reader might not understand, can suggest you have a deeper understanding of the problem your product solves. It can signify to readers that you know your stuff. It can also suggest your product has a ‘special feature’ which your competitors don’t have.
Discuss a feature in greater depth can differentiate your product
In TV adverts for moisturising creams, toothpaste and washing powder you’ll hear all sorts of pseudo science and grandiose claims about how their product works. Whether it’s baking soda or licorice extract, often they’ll focus on the ‘special ingredient’ that makes their brand superior and revolutionary (even if it’s virtually the same as the cheaper tub on the shelf below).
You can apply this tactic to your own copywriting, by discussing how a feature works in greater depth than your competitors.
Differentiating a product from cheaper alternatives is always a challenge for copywriters. But making a simple product sound complex is a powerful tactic you can use to justify a higher price tag and give it that extra ‘Wow’ factor.
9 thoughts on “Why Complex Copywriting Can Give Your Product the WOW Factor”
I am a bachelor student who’s currently studying in B.A. in Language and culture (international Program) and I’m looking for some advice on how to become a copywriter. I’ve never had a professional experience in this career before but I’ve done quite a several thinking for other people. Many said that i should become a copywriter. I know that to become a copywriter there’s no particular degree for that but do you have any suggestions? I would really appreciate it. For the article, i really do agree that sometimes complex copywriting can be surprisingly effective!! I have witnessed many others who would buy products simply because it sounds “sophisticated” lol
Great post! This very helpful. Thank you for posting this.
I both agree and disagree. I think complex writing does have its place – but I think rather than making YOU sound like an expert, I think it’s role is to make the customer FEEL like an expert themselves.
For example, the meaningless cigarette claim from the show Mad Men: “It’s toasted”
Or the claims we see in grocery checkout lanes: “Now, with flavor crystals!”
Or the 80’s standby favorite selling feature for sugar free anything: “Made with Nutra-Sweet!”
The average Joe has no clue what any of those named mechanisms mean, but he or she DOES know that having a product that can make such claims sets him or her apart as an INFORMED and SOPHISTICATED buyer of a product I DO know and understand.
As the popular lyric from the early 2000’s spouted: ” I don’t shop where the rest buy . . .”
I think that complex copywriting is best directed toward sophisticated, aware audiences who know they want what you have to offer, but are looking for a reason to justify their purchase. It’s a qualifier for an objection you’ve already overcome and a preference-maker.
Do you feel that the audience’s understanding of the product as a whole can influence whether the copy could use a complexity injection?
@TAtells I think getting complex is a great way of differentiating a product when all other factors are equal, and you want to avoid a race to a the bottom on price. Joe Sugarman is the master at this approach.
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