When getting ready for your race or event, there are probably a million things running through your head: how to drive race registrations, scouting the perfect course, permits, what to put in your schwag bag, which online race registration platform is going to be the best....I could go on for miles.
But you know what you’re probably NOT thinking about? Copywriting. And that, my race-throwing friend, could be a problem.
What’s copywriting, you ask? According to Wikipedia, copywriting is “written content conveyed through online media and print materials. Copy is content primarily used for the purpose of advertising or marketing. This type of written material is often used to persuade a person or group as well as raise brand awareness.”
So in a neat little nutshell, copywriting is any written communication that allows you to connect with your audience, show them who you are as a brand and convinces them to lace up their ASICS and hit the pavement with YOU. This can be in the form of website copy, email marketing, social media, text messaging… really anything that involves stringing words together.
For most people, the copywriting struggle is REAL. And it’s not like you, as a race director, spent years studying and learning the psychology of copy, amiright?
But fear not! We’re here to help. If you want to write great copy, all you need to do is follow the 5 C’s: 5 copywriting tips for race directors that will have your runners signing up quicker than you can say Free Shot Bloks!
Keep It Conversational
One of the biggest mistakes that newb copywriters make is writing in a voice that’s overly corporate, stuffy or formal (clearly not a problem we have).
The best copy is conversational - when people read your copy and feel like they’re speaking to, you know, a REAL LIVE person instead of some faceless corporate drone, they’re going to be about a zillion times more likely to want to continue reading and, eventually, start running.
People connect with other peeps, NOT with corporations or brands. If you want the athletes to come a runnin', don’t write like a drone - write the way you speak.
Keep It Concise
If you’re looking for an avenue to get out that epic 1,000 page novel that’s been hiding in your subconscious since college, let me give you a piece of advice: copywriting is NOT the place to do it. With the ridiculous amount of information people are bombarded with on the daily, it’s dang near impossible for people to stay attentive when faced with pages and pages of copy.
Or in other words: Ain’t nobody got time for that!
A good rule of thumb is to say what you want to say in as few words as possible. Use contractions wherever you can (like “that’s” instead if “that is”), eliminate unnecessary adjectives and “filler words” and get your message across in the most concise way possible.
Keep It Captivating
The last thing you want is for your copy to leave people yawning. This is your opportunity to shine, so use language that’s engaging, motivating and (for lack of a better word), sparkly.
You’ll also want to include strong calls-to-action to get your desired outcome from your athletes (whether that’s signing up for your free online race registration or opting in to your email list). Make the call-to-action impossible to miss (even for Mr. Magoo) and use that sparkly language to inspire your athletes to ACT.
Keep It Confident
At the end of the day, copywriting is a sales tool. No matter what type of copy you’re writing, your end goal is to get athletes to the starting line. And the only way that you’re going to convince those bombarded-with-other-copy athletes to give your race a go is if they feel that you’re the race they just can’t miss.
Be confident in your copy - include athletes testimonials from past events, info on why your race is the next level of awesome and how this is an event they’ll kick themselves for missing out on.
The more confident your copy is, the more confidence athletes will have in choosing you as their next race.
Keep It Clearly Structured
Like I mentioned earlier, people are easily overwhelmed with information, which is why you don’t want your copy to be super long. But even if you keep your copy tight and concise, if it’s poorly structured, your athletes ain’t reading it.
Structure your content so that it’s easy for your athletes to read and absorb. Use short paragraphs and headers to make the content quickly skimmable. Avoid types and fonts that are too small and large blocks of text. Use images to break up your content.
The better you structure your content and the easier it is for your athletes to read, the more likely it is that they’ll read it. (#duh)
If you follow the 5 C’s of Copywriting, I pinky promise that your copy is going to convert into a truckload of athletes signing up for your race. So roll up your sleeves and get (copy)writing!