It’s all about the right mix: good copy for strong international content

In today’s digital world, everything revolves around content. Demand for good content is higher than ever. According to statistics, 70% of people would prefer to find out something about a business in an article rather than through advertising, and 25% of the time spent online can be attributed to social media sites and blogs.

But what exactly is content? And what’s the difference between content and copy? So let’s first clarify the meaning of the two terms. Content is written text and good content that educates, informs, and entertains – or in other words tells a story. Copy is the written text that sells the story and encourages action. However, the two terms are becoming less and less separable because content is ultimately aimed at both telling a brand’s story and selling. In this blog, copy is therefore treated as an essential element of content writing. This is because a good, globally successful story can only be realised with a strong copy.

Transcreation; Creative translations with Apostroph

Creating strong copy

As a language service provider, we deal with advertising texts every day. We write and translate texts that are intended to attract the attention of our customers’ target groups in numerous languages. But what’s the best way to create strong copy? And what role does language play in this?

Let’s start by turning our attention to the translation process. Translating a text into another language is not nearly as easy as it sounds. This is because transcreation services are often required. Transcreation – this coinage is derived from the terms “translation” and “creation” – goes beyond the traditional translation process. On the one hand, fixed expressions and plays on words are adapted linguistically. On the other hand, cultural peculiarities are taken into account and it is checked whether the text matches the image. Transcration is about repackaging the message and adapting the marketing text specifically to the different countries, cultures and target groups, but without changing the actual statement.
For more extensive texts, it is sometimes even necessary to tell the whole story in a different way. Let’s take bicycles as an example. In Western nations, the bike is seen as a means of getting from A to B in a relaxed way or getting some exercise. In many developing countries, on the other hand, a bicycle is the most important means of transport available. This significant difference in the different markets must be taken into account in any case when writing an advertising text for such a product.
Transcreation is ideally suited for strong copy aimed at the target market within the following fields of application:

  • Slogans and taglines
  • Headlines
  • Online advertising
  • Social media content
  • Creative marketing texts

Copy to go

When you draft a text from scratch, make sure that it is “easily digestible” and contains expressive “takeaways”. This starts with an attention-grabbing headline. Let’s take the following two headlines as examples – one comes from a healthcare provider and the other from a beverage manufacturer:

Patients are our top priority when it comes to health

New product: We now have a new kind of cherry beer in our international product range

The two sentences are OK in principle. They are grammatically correct and the sentence structure is flawless, and they get the intended message across. What is missing, however, is the decisive pizazz and vigour. However, this can be achieved simply by rephrasing them in a way which still preserves the message. So let’s turn the sentences on their head:

The health of our patients is always our top priority

The cherry on top: discover the newest flavour in our international beer selection

The new options are more catchy, more personal and give more impetus. They immediately attract readers’ attention much more effectively. Do you notice the difference? Thanks to the changes, did the headlines immediately engage you and make you curious? Then it’s clear to you now that every piece of advertising simply has to be very well formulated – it has to be relevant, precise, easy to read, informative and convincing!

Consistently delivering up-to-date advertising texts

What makes good copy or great content? Creativity is the be-all and end-all of every piece of copy you draft. Marketing knowledge, a sound understanding of language, conceptual thinking, and the ability to put yourself in the target group’s shoes are also necessary.

External factors also play a role. For instance, the quality of an advertising text stands or falls on the customer’s briefing. The key factors involved include knowledge of the content, the objectives and the intended use, as well as information about the target group, the text genre (narrative, descriptive, procedural, etc.) and the language style. In the age of the Internet, search engine optimisation is also an essential point. For example, there are clearly defined keywords for international advertising texts for each country.

Finally, it is important to keep up to date with market trends and developments. Only in this way can you deliver content that will captivate your readers and arouse their interest even more. Do you need a strong advertising text for your international target group? Then contact us – we will be happy to help you!

Find out more about our transcreation, copywriting and language services here.

Do you have any questions or are you interested in working with us?

I would be happy to answer your questions or introduce you to Apostroph Group and our services in a personal meeting.
Nadia Gaille
Head of Customer Success

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