Nobody wants to sweat the small stuff… unless we’re talking about copy.
To be more specific: Microcopy.
Microcopy is the tiny snippets of words that punch way over their weight class when it comes to your brand’s overall messaging.
It’s not a well-known term to most, but it’s something you use every day as a business owner.
Today, I’m going to show you how you can use it to up-level your brand voice.
What is microcopy?
Microcopy refers to the little tidbits of copy found across websites, on apps, and even on product packaging. And I guarantee you’ve used it before.
I’m talking about things like eyebrow copy (the keyword or phrase placed above the main headline) on your website, footer copy, and preview copy in emails.
These places are a gold mine to go ahead and include some quirky messaging that provides extra clarity.
The term “microcopy” started in the User Experience (UX) world but has become a staple in the copywriting for online business space because it’s essential in supporting the customer journey!
It’s super important to your brand voice because it helps the reader get a better grasp on the bigger picture and story about your business.
Here are a few of my favorite examples!
Why it matters for your business
Yes, microcopy does help guide people through the customer journey, but more importantly, it builds trust.
If I, as a reader, can’t understand what you do because it’s not clear enough in your copy, then I’m not buying. And you know what microcopy does? Clarify that all. Across. The. Board.
It keeps people from getting confused when buying from you, filling out forms, clicking buttons, etc.
It also keeps your readers from having heavy cognitive loads, which is just the amount of brain power someone needs to use your website. If it’s overwhelming, hard to navigate, and so kitschy that people don’t know where to find things, you may be losing a customer.
Basically, microcopy helps you keep things clear and simple enough for people to use.
How to write on-brand microcopy
I believe in the power of copywriting because it has a knack for storytelling and relating to your audience.
And that goes for everything you write, not just your about page and some Instagram captions. Microcopy is just as important as any other form of copy in your business.
Here’s how to write it well.
Keep it short and sweet
By now you probably have caught wind of the fact that microcopy is short and sweet — mainly because you don’t have a lot of space for it to be much else. You have to be to the point. No rambling here!
Instead, convey the main idea in as few words as possible. This is a core principle for copywriting in general, but it’s even more important with microcopy because most of it is just a sentence long (at max).
I don’t know your audience specifically, but I do know that everyone likes to laugh. Copy that has humor, wit, intelligence, and relatability in it always performs better.
Why? Because at the end of the day, we’re human and need a mental break from the marketing messages flung at us day in and day out.
Good comedy paired with good copy breaks us from the norm and gets our attention. Microcopy is your perfect way to be funny. Or witty. Or punny. Whatever floats your boat, friend.
But keep in mind that there are different brands of funny.
Sometimes my husband doesn’t find the TikToks I show him to be funny (he’s wrong though). Sometimes he’ll show me something online he can’t stop snickering about, and my expression never changes because I don’t think it’s funny. Some of us like Schitt’s Creek, and some of us like Saturday Night Live.
Everyone’s got their own brand of funny, but you need to know enough about your brand voice to establish your business’ sense of humor. It may take you a few trial and error experiments, but like any good comedian, you have to test out your material to gauge where your audience is at.
Use power words
There’s no doubt that part of writing good microcopy is adding an element of sales pitching to it. But how do you do that without sounding like a cheesy used-car salesman?
This is something I get asked about A LOT, but sounding salesy isn’t always a bad thing. It’s just part of running a business. You have to make money to keep the show going.
The trick, though, is to write for your people by using their words. To find that out, you can:
- Dig into Facebook threads
- Check your surveys for common threads and specific wording that comes up often in long-from responses
- Re-read your emails and see what your clients have said
- Go on people’s Instagram that you’ve worked with in the past and see how they’re talking
Then, you can formulate your research into powerful words that are going to resonate with your audience. It’s not always about sounding the coolest, smartest, or funniest — it’s about meeting your audience where they’re at.
Conduct a microcopy audit
You’ve written microcopy in your business before, you just may not have known that’s what it’s called.
Go back on your website, socials, etc., and conduct an audit to see how your microcopy stacks up to what I’ve said above.
Look at it from the point of view of someone who’s never worked with you, and ask yourself:
- Is it clear?
- Is it simple?
- Does it inspire action?
- Does it convey the tone well?
- Is it perhaps too creative to understand?
When we’re in the thick of it, we don’t always notice how jargon or overly-creative/witty/clever phrases can be confusing because we know what they mean. But your audience probably doesn’t.
Check cover to cover (digitally of course) for ways where you can add little Easter Eggs of microcopy goodness.
How to add personality to your copy
You want to get the right messaging out there, even if it’s through the little things. You want to connect with your audience so you can attract your dream clients and keep on doing the work you love. But you can’t do that without writing a captivating, customer-driven website.
“What if I don’t know my brand voice yet? I’ve kinda just been winging it but I know I need to liven it up!”
Ahh yes — brand voice. That’s another thing you need to jazz up your copy. I know it’s not always the easiest thing to master, especially if you’re used to writing like you talk or doing things on the fly, but I’ve got something that can help.
Grab your FREE Brand Voice Guide here! It’s one handy-dandy document that helps you analyze your voice and capture your style for one heck of a website.
You’ll get writing prompts that help squeeze out your personality and tips on how to take a strategic approach to it so you can bring home the bacon (and some biscuits and gravy too)!
Reading Time: 4 Minutes Reading time: 5 min. Nobody wants to sweat the small stuff… unless we’re talking about copy. To be more specific: Microcopy. Microcopy is the tiny snippets of words that punch way over their weight class when it comes to your brand’s overall messaging. It’s not a well-known term to most, but it’s something you use […]