I'm Yash Gadodia, college sophomore at Singapore Management University studying some-degree-that'll-be-outdated-in-5-years-so-why-bring-it-up-in-the-first-place-also-why-am-wasting-valuable-wordcount-sorry-Blake. I'm the Team Lead at SMUMods.
We make college life better for students by providing a platform that solves their needs. For example, we provide professor and course reviews -
Due to supply and demand forces, it's imperative we have knowledge about what professors to 'bid' for. It's our first and biggest feature.
Why should you care about us? We're less than 2 years old at this point, but we've seen some significant growth. At SMU, we're used by pretty much every student. That's over 40 thousand users!
"Gotta bump up those numbers. Those are rookie numbers."
Now that introduction's over, let's talk about our journey.
You probably already know this - but when copywriting, it's important to know your audience. Know what drives them, and develop mental models for thinking like them.
What makes college students unique?
1. We're bombarded daily with advertisements. You can get a sense of the fatigue students feel by looking at this -
This is from 5 minutes of perusing on the various chat channels available to SMU students.
2. Short attention span / low tolerance for fluff. I speak from firsthand experience when I say it's really difficult to focus in the age of push notifications and TikTok feeds.
To be fair, it's tough getting anyone's attention these days.
3. Students LOVE, and I mean love free stuff. We go through great lengths to score free food and swag.
Queue at SMU for a giveaway, circa 2019
Of course, this isn't to say that all students are this way, but it is important to have some sense of what your audience looks like. It constantly changes, so do be in touch with your audience, always.
The SMUMods Team learnt very quickly that school administration and other clubs and businesses break the cardinal rules of copywriting every day -
Less words. Big headers. Do less.
Use an active voice.
Show not tell.
Have a little "oomph".
To give you just one example -
If any of you read through this in its entirety, I'll buy you a coffee.
1. Titles are short.
“Help us help you” would have been an even punchier title, but oh well.
2. We keep giveaways simple.
Easy to follow = More likely to work.
3. We keep it consistent. All of our banners and copies have our unique SMUMods design and tone to them.
We've formed a brand image and stick to it. Consistency across all pages.
4. We aren't afraid to make mistakes.
We tried a colloquial message in "Singlish" as part of one of our campaigns -
It didn't get the response we were looking for. So, we tried again.
Key takeaway here: You won't always score. And that's okay.
1. Grammarly and Hemmingway
2. MOM Test FTW.
Before we launch a copy, we always show our designs/copy to non-SMU people to get their truly unbiased opinion.
We're also constantly getting feedback from our users to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t. As mentioned earlier, know your audience.
3. Focus on the visual, never the copy.
Think of the copy as enhancing your visuals. It should always be visual first, then copy. It's a rule we stick to -
This was our most successful post ever. It beat the giveaways in terms of high organic social media engagement.
4. Keep it simple, (stupid).
Never use big, flowery language.
"Join us" - short, simple, tells you everything you need to know
5. ABL - Always Be Learning
Watch the copywriting exercises video
Marketingexamples.com is bae
There are way too many resources out there, so JFGI
That’s it, good luck with your copy!