A recent conversation with a client brought to mind a blog post I wrote several years ago. The client was insisting that his social media intern could probably write their website copy. I, of course, politely disagreed, and cited many of the following reasons to support my argument. Fortunately, this client always approaches problems with an open mind, and I was able to persuade him to my point of view. But I thought I’d re-post my original piece just as a refresher and because I think it applies now more than ever. Thanks for indulging me.
** Originally posted March 15, 2011 **
There was a great line in a video called Truth in Advertising in which, commenting on a particular creative’s talent, the person says “Creativity speaking, he is the cheapest.” Unfortunately, this seems to be a sentiment overtaking the business world. In particular, copywriting is being looked at as a commodity and so decisions are being made based upon price.
In today’s content-driven, social media world, the role of a copywriter has become more important than ever. And while tweets may not need that professional touch (although it could be argued that they do), writing Web copy, blogs, brochures, print ads, or broadcast copy requires more than just someone with good grammar who can string a sentence together—especially if that writing reflects on your brand.
Well written copy builds brands. It helps focus a marketing message and drives customers to act. Well written copy is relevant, personal, and engaging. Well written copy strikes a bargain with the reader: if you read the copy, you will receive a benefit. Well written copy can be the difference between a market-leader and a market-loser.
Here are five quick examples of what a professional copywriter can offer your brand.
There is a difference between writing about something and knowing how to write about something. That’s why the President uses a professional speechwriter to influence voters. And that’s why companies rely on copywriters to help communicate their message in an effective manner
Let’s say you wanted a house. Given the materials, you could probably build some kind of shelter yourself. But if you hire a builder, the job is done quicker and more effectively. The same is true for copy. You could probably write something yourself, but a copywriter can usually do it a lot more effectively because they have the experience and skill.
Digital media (Web sites, blogs, social media, etc.) has given individuals and companies a relatively free media outlet to say as much as they want. But just because you can say everything, doesn’t mean you should say everything. From a brand’s perspective, if you capture a customer’s attention you should make sure you communicate your message quickly and effectively. With a Web site, for example, a copywriter can help you do this by focusing your message through directed, message-focused headlines and clear, concise copy.
A copywriter can create a consistent copy style that will appeal to a target audience, develop an appealing personality for a brand/product/company, and establish a unified voice. In the end, customers hear a consistent message delivered in a consistent style.
5. Lead generation
Well written copy will always sell your brand/product/service (either overtly or subconsciously). Professional copywriters understand the lexicon of influence and can use it to create leads or sell products. In a print or Web environment, they can create motivating calls to action that begin relationships, turning people into customers. Copywriters even know when not to say something—to lure the customer into picking up the phone or providing their email address.
Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg. The important thing to remember about hiring a copywriter is that, as with everything else, you get what you pay for. What do you think? Is copywriting (i.e., marketing and ad writing) becoming a commodity?