What makes product description writing difficult? You have to give life to the inanimate. You have to describe something that people see multiple times on a daily basis, and do so in a way that makes them look at that thing differently in their head when they read your copy.
I mean, it gets really hard to write about something like tupperware. How about carpeting? Yikes.
Still difficult, but at least there is a lot to get excited about.
So, to help you go pedal to the creative writing metal with your car descriptions, here are a few tips to follow.
Tell a Story; Add Some Context
The easiest way to take the ordinary to extraordinary is to transport that thing to another place and time.
You tell me, what’s better—describing the simple car sitting in your all-pavement parking lot, or the one speeding down the interstate? Or perhaps the one slow creeping down a crowded downtown street on a Friday night, heads turning and eyes glued?
I’m not saying you have to craft a piece of award-winning fiction, nor do you need to gather facts from the car’s past to create non-fiction. But you can have fun with forming a hypothetical.
“You could buy a van, but why? To and from soccer practice, to the grocery store and home. This 7-seater earns respect..from nosy neighbors, yes, but importantly, from your critical kids as well.”
Think of it as simply painting a picture; placing the vehicle within the context of the potential buyer’s life.
If you have trouble with this step, think about car commercials. Winding roads, hair in the wind, one lane roads lined by redwoods. The environment and car’s surroundings make for the most compelling of descriptions.
Make an Emotional Connection
With the story tip above, yes, you’re helping the potential buyer visualize the car in their own lives, but beyond that, you’re setting the foundation for for an emotional connection. (“BE emotional” is one of my 4 BEs to copywriting success.)
What do prospective buyers of the car you’re describing care most about at the end of the day? It could be their kids, or their jobs. It could be the approval of neighbors or friends. It could also be appearing wealthy or attractive, or something else entirely. Match the car to the person who typically buys the car and appeal to their emotions.
As silly as it sounds, think about the last time you bought a car. Very few can say there wasn’t any emotional involvement, and that they were simply purchasing to satisfy a need.
Explain Every Visual Detail
This is a given, but honestly, it seems to also be the area where most people drop the ball. Why? Because most fall into the trap that, hey, there are pictures, so why do I need to go into much more detail than that?
It goes back to the above. You’re aiming to build an emotional connection with the reader. You want them to feel something when reading your description other than boredom.
When you’re describing the car, look at a picture and write down every feature you see (door, spoiler, rims etc.). After that, write down every non-feature you see, glare of the sun, reflection in the window, shine of the tire, etc. Take all of this info and start crafting, using everything from the tips above and below.
Appeal to All Senses
Taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound. You’re off the hook with taste, but appealing to the rest of the senses should be a goal here.
Take the visuals from the previous step and use them to appeal to the senses other than sight.
- Grip of the wheel
- Foot on the gas
- Securely seated
- Feeling when you first see the car
- Physical details of the car
- The profile of the car on a turn
- The look down the hood of the car, head on
- That new car smell
- Smell of leather
- Fresh air with the top/window down
- The revving engine
- Start of the ignition
- A rhythmic blinker
- Click of the door open
- Cushioned slamming of the door
As you can see, not everything you describe needs to be a key selling feature of the vehicle. The blinker? It’s one of the nicest sounds a car can make. Many people find it soothing, and just mentioning it can bring readers out from in front of their computer, and into the vehicle you’re describing.
Pretend Like You’re Giving a Verbal Presentation
Trust me, I’ve been there. We write to the voice in our head, and when doing so, everything sounds great. Then you read it and you’ve somehow picked up a robot accent?
So, as you go and when you’re done, read what you’ve written aloud. This goes for any type of copywriting, and most people do this, but it’s always a good reminder.
Don’t be Afraid of Proper Formatting
How would you feel if you were reading a cereal box you were thinking of buying and it looked like this:
Crispy flakes, gluten free, DELICIOUS! organic,
honey, Dried blueberries, spoon control, MORE
Like, why are car descriptions devoid of normal copywriting rules and formatting? They shouldn’t be. People who buy cars buy all of the other consumer products that are written by well-paid copywriters hired to skillfully craft product descriptions.
If you follow all of the tips presented above, you can’t help but use normal sentence structure to encourage reading. Then, if you still need to fit in all of your SEO keywords, create another section to do so.
To end, getting creative with your car description writing isn’t easy! But, there are some fairly low hanging fruits that will help you step your game up.