Last Updated on Mar 11, 2020 by James W
One of the major challenges of being a financial copywriter is explaining complex financial concepts in a way that will not confuse or bore the reader. Finance is a complicated topic and there are a number of concepts – such as compound interest, investments, movements of the stock market, mortgage rates and much more – that are multi-layered and not easy to understand at first glance. Too often, the average reader gets overwhelmed when reading about these concepts and they are likely to disengage from the content – even if it is something that would have been beneficial to them.
The goal of the financial copywriter is to take a concept which the average reader would find confusing, overwhelming and uninteresting and explain it in a way that clarifies it and makes it captivating. A talented financial copywriter will be able to make even the most complex topics relatable to the reader.
If you are a financial copywriter who is tasked with conveying this type of highly specified information with a readership that might not understand it, what strategies can you use? How much detail should you use when dealing with complex technical subjects?
Use a Metaphor or an Analogy
Using figurative language helps us to understand complex ideas a lot easier, because it enables us to relate it to something that we already know. If you can find something ordinary that everyone will be aware of which demonstrates the idea, the reader will be able to understand it much better. Of course, make sure that the metaphor you use is simple enough and relates clearly to the topic – a very complex metaphor with a tangential connection will make things even more confusing.
Keep it Light
It is important to keep your writing light and lively when you are writing about potentially boring and confusing topics. The reader will be much more likely to want to click away, so you need to be as entertaining as you possibly can. You can make your writing sparkle with wit, sharp descriptions and an engaging and energetic writing style. Of course, how far you go with this will depend on the company image of the financial organisation that you are writing for. Some will want a livelier and more playful style and others will prefer that you write in a formal and professional way.
Explain a Topic Based on Something They Already Know
If you can find something that your readers are already familiar with and compare it with the topic you are trying to explain, you are already halfway there. It doesn’t have to be an exact comparison, but it can be enough for the person to understand the basic idea.
Anticipate What Questions They Will Ask
Think about the topic and what the average reader would know about it. What types of questions are they likely to ask when coming across this concept for the first time? If you understand the concept well, it can be hard to put yourself in the mind of someone who is unfamiliar with it, so you might need to ask a friend to help you with this. Once you know the main questions that someone who is new to this concept would ask, you can make sure that you address them in your financial web copy.
Don’t Include Every Detail
Let’s imagine you are writing financial web copy about a range of different mortgage products. It would be tempting to write pages and pages explaining in great detail how each mortgage worked, how the interest was calculated, what the terms were and all other attributes. Certainly this is important information for the client, but presenting it all to them in this way will be overwhelming.
Instead, you should boil it down to a brief description of how each type of mortgage works and what benefits they offer to the customer. If you are only presenting the most important information that the customer needs to know, you will be more likely to hold their interest. They can always come back later and read more supplementary content to gain a deeper understanding.
These are just a few of the ways that a financial copywriter can explain a complicated topic in their writing, in a way that is interesting, entertaining and easy to understand for the reader. If you can develop this skill, you will be able to write financial copy about any topic – no matter how complex or boring – which will engage the reader and help to build traffic and sales.