Descriptive writing can take your copy from boring but functional to a sensory experience that draws readers in. By using description in your business or marketing copy, you can make a bigger impression on readers whether you’re trying to develop a following or sell merchandise. We all know the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but you can actually create a picture with your words to get more impact from your writing.
Descriptive Writing Isn’t Just for Essays
In keeping the tone of professional writing formal, description is often minimized or left out altogether. That doesn’t have to be the case. For example, make your “About Us” actually tell the customer something about you. Instead of simply listing the basics of your company history and accolades, show the reader what the company is really like. Tell the story of the company, including details about the people who founded it, the offices where you work, the atmosphere of the organization. Creating character can help people feel loyalty to your company. If you describe what the company is like in such a way that people can picture working or visiting there, they’re more likely to perceive doing business with you as they would with a local business, rather than a large, characterless corporation.
If you’re writing marketing copy about products, you often have just a paragraph or less to get the main selling points across. Use your words judiciously and you can still pack a lot of description in. At first using more description may slow the writing process down, but once you get in the habit of thinking about using your senses, you may find your work is a lot more creative and more enjoyable to write. Here are some ideas to get started:
Engage the Senses
Thick description goes beyond the basics, the surface level descriptions, and creates images that evoke texture, aroma, and the way a person, place, or thing makes you feel. Using thick description in your writing can produce copy that uses your creative skills and makes readers want to do more than skim
Close your eyes and picture what you’re writing about. Often we focus primarily on what things look like on the surface, but our other senses are just as important in creating an impression of an object or a place. Brainstorm words or phrases you would use to describe your subject. What does it smell like? Feel like? How does it move? If it’s an object, where would it look best? What sorts of uses best capture the object’s appearance, texture, etc.? People don’t just want to know what something does; they want to experience using it. Engaging more senses in your marketing copy can help customers feel more drawn toward your products.
Describe with Purpose
Zero-in on the details that matter. Why are you describing the person, place, or object? If you’re writing marketing copy, what are the main selling points? Once you get going, it can become easy to get carried away. Focus on what details in your description are crucial to the motive of your writing. This strategy is especially important if you have a tight restriction on words. The more focused your description is, the more powerful it will be in serving your purposes.
Pay Attention. Practice.
Before you start work for the day, spend a few minutes describing your surroundings. Jot down some notes. Get your brain actively thinking about descriptive language. If you work at the same desk each day, take a mental journey. Think about the details of your childhood bedroom, your last vacation, the best or worst meal you ever ate.
Practice outside of work. If you’re stuck in traffic, describe the scene to yourself. In an especially good life moment, take mental notes. Write character descriptions of your friends and family. Get a little practice capturing the textures, sights, and smells of every day. It could take as little as five minutes, but make a big difference in your writing.