From Shakespeare to Dr King, writers and orators everywhere have harnessed the cosmic power of repetition. There are many reasons why this particular technique is so powerful; it establishes rhythm and exudes conviction, and studies have even shown that it can convince people that what you’re saying is the truth. But does repetition work in copy created specifically to promote your brand?
Repetition in Copywriting
The answer to the above is a resounding (and repeating) yes, yes, YES. You can supercharge your copy with some well-placed repetition; just be careful of overdoing it. Less is most definitely more.
Here are three reasons why repetition is an awesome copywriting weapon to wield, and why you should definitely be harnessing the power of repetition in your copy.
1. The Entire History Of Popular Recorded Music Is On Your Side
Fortunately for us writers, human beings are well-versed in repetition thanks to a near-century of popular music. Almost every single successful pop song incorporates repetition of some kind, and the majority do so in a very standard pattern: verse – chorus – verse – chorus – bridge – chorus.
Note that the chorus is repeated three times, often with exactly the same lyrics. Artists with less integrity might even (shock horror) copy and paste the initial chorus two further times (probably looking at you, David Guetta).
But why is this such a winning formula? Repetition gives a song unity. It keeps listeners expectant. And it offers a comforting sense of familiarity. Rest assured, it will provide similar advantages for your copywriting.
2. It Will Help Snag The Scanners
Let’s be real: this is the internet. People don’t read. They scan. This is a big reason why you should use a repetitive technique in copywriting (as well as keeping it all simple).
You might have been sold the lie that every word counts – when it comes to the cruel world of internet commerce, it most certainly does not. Regrettably, attention spans in 2021 have been whittled away to kittenish proportions.
You have to make sure your message gets through this nigh-on impenetrable wall of inattention, and the best way to do that is hammering it home with a few reliable repetitions. This way, even if readers miss the first instance, you can snag ’em further down the line.
3. Stick It In Their Heads
Once your message does get through, repetition ensures that it has a much better chance of sticking in your readers’ collective heads. Some of the most famous lines of books, songs, speeches, poems, plays and films utilise repetition, and most people can easily recollect them even after hearing them just once…
‘You talkin’ to me?’ ‘Let it snow…’ ‘And miles to go before I sleep…’ ‘It was the best of times…’ ‘To be or…’. These are just a handful of examples where we’re willing to bet your mind involuntarily continued the famous repetition.
Of course, you don’t need to aim for high literature with your copy – but do remember that repetition is a powerful device with a proven track record. Use it, but don’t abuse it! (Yep, rhyming is also up there, but that’s a topic for another article.)