Have you ever whispered to yourself in a dark corner – ‘what is microcopy?’ Perhaps you’re up with the lingo, but want to take your brand’s microcopy to the next level. Either way you’re in luck.
Here we’ll run you through exactly what microcopy is, how to use it and our top picks for brands killing it with theirs.
As a savvy business owner (look at you go), you’re always looking to improve the user experience (UX). And as part of that, online interactions with your brand are pretty important elements.
But apart from your social media presence, website copy, blog posts and promotional materials (plus all the other hoo-ha in between) – what else can you do to truly pop your head up and shine brighter than others in your industry? What is microcopy capable of, and how do we make it sparkle?
We like to think of microcopy as the chocolate filled tip of an Aldi Cornetto. You weren’t really expecting it, but it left a good taste in your mouth.
The only problem? This little fella can leave even the most seasoned business owner scratching their head when the term is thrown around a dinner party (some soiree, huh?). But never fear, you’ll be a microcopy rockstar in no time at all.
Spoiler alert: YES.
Microcopy is a little area that often goes unnoticed. So, this is good news for you. By seeking out the answers to your “what is microcopy?” woes, you’re one step ahead of the pack (go shout yourself a whole family sized packet of chips to celebrate – you deserve it!).
Microcopy is an element of the UX that often fails to grab the attention of brands when building online materials. But it acts as an extension of your brand message, personality and more.
Instead of riding the same wave as most and using things like ‘page not found’ in your microcopy – let’s cruise you towards something more along the lines of: ‘this page is off grooving to some beats. But don’t worry, a bunch of his friends are more ‘inside’ sorts of people. We’re almost certain they’ll have your answers as well – hurrah!’
We’re going to get your microcopy know-how up to cheetah-like speed. But first, let’s have a look at exactly what microcopy is.
You know that message you receive when you reach a forbidden page on a website?
The one that pops up after you’ve opted-in to a mailing list?
Or hovered over a box or filled in a contact form?
Yep, that’s microcopy.
In a nutshell:
But we think we’re all on the same page here when we say… Cliches and generic ‘robot-like’ messages are pretty boring.
And if your reader is in either of these realms (seeking more information or needing a little shoulder rub of reassurance), you can totally use that to your advantage.
That’s why personality-packed, helpful and refreshing microcopy is seriously powerful.
Whether we like it or not, microcopy plays a role in every business’s online presence and interactions. Sure, it might be a sub-role (like the guy playing a hand-painted tree in a stage show). But it all adds to the bigger picture.
Essentially, your microcopy acts as a:
In true Readcity form, we’re kinda obsessed with brands who have fun with their microcopy. Here are a few of our faves:
Despite changing their look to something that’s a little bit yuck, Mailchimp nails their microcopy.
On page redirects, they stay light and humorous. Mailchimp also takes full responsibility for losing the page. While a move like this could create brand distrust, pair this message with a mystical animal down a hole and we’re okay about it.
It’s not every day that you scroll all the way down to the bottom of a website to check out their footer. But Mailchimp’s squeezed in some cheeky microcopy that we absolutely adore.
Colloquial language humanises the brand in an area that could otherwise be quite impersonal.
Wording like “learn more about how to do things.” And “…how real Mailchimp customers use our stuff” are cute ways to extend the brand’s personality.
When Frank Body asks themselves “what is microcopy?”, they don’t hesitate to let their stellar selves shine. If you’re yet to check out their clever social media presence, sassy website copy or dangerously cool marketing materials, get to it – STAT!
This 100% cheeky and 100% lovable brand leaves nothing to chance and even kills it with their microcopy.
See what we meant when we said microcopy can extend the brand’s personality? Yeah, Frank Body is at it again.
We’re not even mad when we land on Frank’s lost pages because they’re cute, sass-city and creatively clever.
As a website user, it can be downright frustrating coming across a page without live chat. Maybe that’s just us… But Frank Body softens the blow with a personal approach that melts our hearts, and live chat withdrawals.
Hands down one of the more revolutionary brands in the beauty space (no exaggeration), Go-To Skincare knows where it’s at when it comes to microcopy.
Apart from stocking some payday swallowing products with equally as fab product names and descriptions, we’re crushing HARD on their microcopy.
With a younger target market and preppy feel, Go-To’s page redirect continues the sassy goodness.
Offering two options below also gives the reader reassurance and options for what to do next.
What is microcopy to you? For Go-To, it’s an opportunity to shine anywhere and everywhere. For a page that is likely to be seldom clicked (the cart button without anything in the cart), Go-To don’t let that real estate go to waste. Instead, a clever call to action has been included in the copy to encourage purchases without the salesy ‘irk’ feeling.
Now that you know exactly what microcopy is, why it’s important and how other brands are using it, it’s time to get grooving!
What is microcopy doing to help you stand out? Here are some key tips to get started on your own microcopy audit.
Have you mastered your micro text? Go you! Then we’re guessing you’ll also want to take your product descriptions to the next level and catch up on the latest SEO tips for 2019 too.
Your friendly, neighbourhood copy tour manager. Here to help ambitious business rock stars like you rock your copy at every stage of your biz road trip.
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