What is Hype and When Should You Use it in Your Copywriting?

What is Hype and When Should You Use it in Your CopywritingUsing Hype to Boost Your Copywriting

As a copywriter you will come across the technique of hype. This can be a powerful tool in the right hand encouraging the reader to take action from the copy. However hype can also fall flat and put readers off by being too ‘salesy’.

What is Hype?

Hype is a big part of sales language. This is basically when a point is exaggerated for a specific purpose. In sales pitches and content writing hype is used to present the product in the best light possible. The aim is to use embellishing words such as ‘amazing’ and ‘fantastic’ to leave customers in no doubt of its benefits.

Here is a quick example of hype vs. standard copy:

1. Standard Version

Easee Wipe is a strong cleaner that can be used around the home.

2. Hype Version

Easee Wipe has a powerful cleaning action which can offer truly amazing results in the home.

As you can see in the second example keywords such as ‘powerful’ and ‘amazing’ are used to leave the consumer in no doubt that the product could be useful to them around the home. This can provide a much greater incentive to buy. You can see that when used properly hype can be very useful for copywriters.

Backup Claims

The most important thing to remember about successful hype is that you cannot take your copywriting too far. You need to be able to back up your copy and any exaggerated claims should be based in fact. If you overuse hype it will put the whole article or sales pitch into question.

• Consumers are quite sophisticated these days and will quickly spot any web copy that seems ‘too good to be true’. If you overuse hype that you cannot back up you could destroy the creditability of your copy.

• Never lie. Its fine to boast about products and exaggerate their benefits but you cannot just make up things. Deceptive product claims are not only unethical they can also cause bad feedback for the business later on. Customers buying products based on the claims copywriters have made will complain if they find out these are untrue after making a purchase.

• Readers will not believe wild claims that have no evidence to back them up and this will damage the connection you are trying to establish.

• Keep your web copy firmly based in the realms of fact and not fiction but don’t be afraid to make these facts seems as attractive as possible.

• Reputation for any business is a valuable commodity. You need to be able to provide copy that will encourage consumers to take action without damaging the credibility of the products or services.

Writing Hype

When you are writing web copy that utilises hype you need to keep things looking really professional. Make sure the copy reads well and is properly checked for spelling and grammar. If your copywriting  is poorly produced then it will detract from the message you are trying to convey and will also reflect badly on you as a writer.

Avoid using caps when writing online copy. You may feel like highlighting certain aspects of your copy such as the world ‘SALE’ or ‘BUY NOW’. In reality using caps in copy is very much like shouting at someone. Many readers will find this annoying and feel like you are trying to bully them into taking action. This will have the opposite effect and put people off.

You need to write hype so that is suggests and not ‘tells’ people outright what you want them to do. The subtle approach is much more effective for copywriters and will suit the more sophisticated target audiences out there.

  • Kai

    I think that hype is a valuable tool, but only when applied with a very gentle, skillful hand. There’s a difference between catching someone up in the excitement, IMO, and excluding them from it.
    Great post.