05 Feb Using data to make better copywriting decisions

Using data and insight is a great way to avoid Frankencopy. It helps validate copy suggestions and creates stakeholders who feel secure with the creative direction.

So what’s Frakencopy? It’s when too many (often subjective) opinions inform copy. The content is often so compromised it stops reflecting the copywriter’s expertise or the user’s needs.

So here’s how to use data to make better copywriting decisions, stopping any Frankencopy from creeping in.

Guess then test

Close collaboration with a data analyst or insight team should be part of the copy process. Insight into user behaviour can narrow things down at the concepting stage and robustly show what’s working once live.

On a recent placement I worked closely with a data analyst, adopting a continuous test and learn strategy. Often initial content ideas were proven, but sometimes – and equally as valuable – an assumption was disproved. For example, the consensus in marketing media that people respond best to positive messaging was untrue for our audience. In direct split tests hard-hitting messaging had the most impact.

By proposing a content strategy and then using data to validate performance, you can adopt an agile approach, quickly abandoning less successful elements – leaving the resource to focus on what works.

Be specific

Well implemented analytics can be so specific, there’s no excuse for working from broad assumptions.

With data influencing your copywriting decisions, you can zoom in on the exact instance where a particular content approach works best. You can see if particular messaging only works at a certain time of year. Or whether one audience group responds to certain messaging above another. Or if you see a different response during the week compared to weekends, for example.

Create informed stakeholders

Stakeholders are experts in their field, providing feedback based on years of experience. Their passion for their field and the brand can make it challenging to keep feedback within a specific, objective remit.

By sharing data and insight with stakeholders, they can better understand why you’ve made certain copy decisions. So when presenting copy, include the latest audience insight to speed up the sign off process.

Often, when you can demonstrate to a stakeholder that your content decisions are based on users’ recent behaviour they’re convinced. By making them better informed they can feel more secure in your decisions reducing the need for extensive sign off.

A track record of data that shows the effectiveness of your content and strategy will help build trust and your position as a content expert.


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