We all understand why context is important in a piece of copywriting. To create the impact we need, it’s vital to understand the place that your opinion occupies in the world. We need to appreciate the motivation and potential objections of the people that are going to read it. And we must know when to use a particular tone of voice.
But it’s also important to appreciate the physical context of the piece because they way that we read things differs depending upon where we read them. At the extremities, this is an easy concept to grasp. For example, if your audience is sat at a desk ready to research a new topic, the technical white paper you give them can sometimes be complex where it needs to be. But if they’re stood by the washing machine reading the clothing care label on a shirt, they’ll be looking for considerably more brevity.
What about in the middle? Perhaps where online and print overlap?
If you’ve ever copied brochure text onto a website you’ll know that your beautifully crafted sentences can quickly begin to look clumsy. Most of your audience is likely to quickly lose patience as soon as they exchange paper for screen. You probably have the exact same tendencies when checking your own work.
Review Copy Where People Will Read It
When we produce online content, we share it with clients by creating a simple, plain website for them to review. It’s fast to do, gives an immediate understanding of the physical real estate that your paragraphs are occupying, and will perfectly illustrate the reasons for making particular creative and grammatical choices.
The paper version is still important to capture comments and corrections. But clients can make it easier to review copywriting by asking to see the first draft in the same place as the final product.