GUEST BLOG - Copywriting - The Cinderella of Marketing
Posted on 2nd September 2019 at 22:44
It's odd how the value of words in business, and the skill required to craft them effectively, so often go unappreciated.
Yes - we copywriters feel unloved.
Our products (words) and our skill (putting them in the right order) are the sad, neglected, Cinderella of marketing.
You know when you meet someone for the first time? Before long, you’re asking about each other’s jobs - that old ‘What do you do?’ question. I find the chat often goes like this -
‘What do you do?’
‘I’m a copywriter’
‘Oh, right - what’s that then?’
‘Well, I get businesses more clients by writing words for their websites that are clear, concise and compelling.’ (the seasoned networkers amongst you will recognise the well-rehearsed ‘elevator pitch’).
So far, so good. But it’s here that the conversation takes a deeply disappointing turn.
‘Oh, I get it! Words for websites. Actually, I don’t need a copywriter …’
(take your pick for what comes next …)
1. ‘I got an A star grade in English A-Level.’
2. ‘My friends say I’m great at writing.’
3. ‘My wife’s really good at grammar and punctuation. She checks over everything I’ve written.’
Website content - just an afterthought
Don’t believe me? Ask any web designer. They take on a new client. At the initial meeting, this client is excited at the prospect of owning a new website. They talk in animated fashion, about the graphics and the overall look of the site. They dream of how its user-friendly functionality will soon have new customers beating a path to their inbox.
Fast forward a month or two and the web designer presents the client with their shiny new website and declares, ‘There you are! That’s the design finished. All you have to do now is add the copy - you know, ‘words’.’
The client’s interest visibly wanes. He glances at his watch and mutters something about setting off to avoid the rush-hour traffic.
For so many business owners, well-written copy is just an afterthought, not to be taken seriously; an aspect of their new website that will somehow, magically, look after itself. Some clients, having been presented with their copy-less website, simply slide it to the bottom of their to-do list, where it lies, for weeks, for months, sometimes years, gathering dust.
Good Copy does the heavy lifting
Visually engaging web design is critical - if your site is to grab and keep the attention of the visitor, clearly this is a must.
A beautiful, essential canvas
The design might be attractive, the imagery sublime, the website structure well-conceived - but here’s what is so often ignored. Important as they are, these elements are little more than a beautiful, essential canvas for that vital ingredient called ‘words’.
Well-researched, imaginatively collated, arranged and formatted words will
grab your potential clients’ attention
keep them on your website
persuade them to engage with your website
convince them to place an order, send an email or pick up the phone
Oh … and they’ll get you high up on Google too.
The words on your website do the heavy lifting. In short, your words get the job done.
So, what is good copy?
Is good copy lovingly-constructed lengthy sentences worthy of Jane Austen or Charles Dickens?
Is good copy long, 'professional-sounding' words? Does good copy slavishly follow the rules of grammar? The answer to these questions is an emphatic 'no'.
I’ll ask the question again. What is good copy?
Good copy is ... copy that does the job.
Whatever that job might be.
Persuading potential clients why they should pay for your services
Convincing a nation to cast aside all common sense and vote for you
Leaving a note for the milkman, requesting that he stop sleeping with your wife.
Use words well and you’ll give yourself the best chance of getting people to do what you want them to do.
Words in business matter so much. Words make the offer. Words seal the deal.
Words … make stuff happen.
He’s an SEO Copywriter. He uses his love for language, to get businesses more clients - writing words for their websites which are clear, concise and compelling.
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