Written by John Feeny
Skill or Art?
Writing a poem can be hard. A good one takes time and thought. If a writer is successful, the poem will say something interesting about life.
But there’s a catch: a writer only has a very small space and a few lines to get it done. Choosing just the right words is very important. It takes a skilled writer who also is a bit of an artist.
It’s not easy, and there aren’t a lot of people who are really good at it.
Working as a copywriter is similar. Copywriting is all about selling products, but the writer has to do the same basic thing. He has to present a picture of something in a very powerful way…in as few words as possible.
It takes skill, but it’s also just as much an art as poetry, writing music, or writing a song.
It can either be fun or drive you crazy. A copywriter may have a great idea sitting in front of their computer. A copywriter might have an ‘aha’ moment in the shower, shaving, brushing their teeth, driving, or running. Writers sometimes do their best thinking when they’re not thinking at all.
The Business of the Art
So, what does a copywriter do?
A copywriter usually works for a company that sells something for another business, working with others in the company to create new ideas that advertise a product. A good copywriter ends up helping a business to save time, increase hits to their website, create a good image, and produce sales.
The Role of a Copywriter
A copywriter’s role has four important parts.
1. Thinking Like the Customer
When a copywriter begins working, they have to put themselves in the customer’s shoes. A good copywriter has to be able to look at the product from the outside, learning all that they can about what the company trying to sell and ‘listen’ to the product’s audience.
A copywriter has to figure out why the product ‘matters’.
There are a few ways to do that:
- Starting from scratch: Learning everything about the product and the company
- Interview people: Allows the writer to get a ‘feel’ for what regular people think about the product
- Customer Reviews: Reading comments from people who’ve already used the product
The writer’s job is then to create a message that makes the customer think in a bigger way about a product. There are a few ways to do this as well:
- Present a new way to look at the product: Change the way a customer thinks about a product. Compare it to something else the customer knows
- Write something catchy: similar to a ‘jingle’ that helps the reader to have ‘good feelings’ about the product
- Use the customer’s five senses: Help the reader to see, hear, taste, touch, or smell the product
Sometimes a company will try to write their own copy. This usually doesn’t work. Employees know the company and the product. They don’t have to do any research. They probably think customers know about the product, too, but they usually don’t. A copywriter’s job is to advertise like a business, but think like the customer.
2. Maintain Brand Consistency
One of the most important things that copywriting services give a company is an image that a customer can trust: a brand.
Many people think that a company’s ‘brand’ is their logo. A company’s logo is similar to the ‘brand’ that cowboys would put on their horses or cows. The company may have it on their website, but it’s only one part of the brand.
The brand is all the ways a company reaches out to an audience. It includes the logo but also the style and sound of the writing.
The brand is the company’s ‘voice’: the way it speaks to its different audiences.
The copywriter’s job is to create that voice, using the power of words to give the brand the best chance for success. To do that, a copywriter has to know the different audiences that may be buying a product.
Copywriters may be writing copy for any of the following channels:
- A social media marketing campaign
- Email outreach
- A blog
- Something for a company’s website
While different channels need different styles and tones, the brand’s voice always has to stay the same.
3. In-depth Brand Discovery
A company takes on copywriting services for one main reason: the owners want customers to find them on the internet. They want their website to be noticeable.
Being found on the internet isn’t easy. There’s a lot of background noise from other companies in the internet ‘jungle’. The goal of any company and a good copywriter is to be on the first page of a Google search – to stand out and reach its audience right away.
To do that, a copywriter has to use Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is how to ‘put on the best face’ for the Google search engines. SEO includes these ideas:
- Good Structure: Use of headings for different sections and bullet points for easier reading
- Short Paragraphs: Since many readers skim or skip ‘walls’ of text, short paragraphs also make for easier reading
- Easy Sentences: The average internet user reads at a 6th-grade level
- Good writing: Attracts Google’s search engines, which makes a website easier to find
- Keywords: Important words that people use to search for your site
- Boldface: highlighted words and phrases get Google’s attention
- Internal and External Links: Writing should be linked to solid outside sources and pages on the company’s own site
- Video: Chances of a first-page Google result increase 53 times when a writer uses video.
The bottom line is that a copywriter needs to create material that looks and sounds great. It also has to make it easy to find the company.
4. Ensure Return-on-Investment (ROI)
The people running the company are running a business. They want to make money. The most important way is to be smart about how they use their materials.
Everything during a business day burns money: turning lights on in the office, buying coffee for the office, selling a product, etc. It’s all part of running a business. Good copywriting helps a company save and make money at the same time.
As mentioned above, some companies have their own workers do their writing. This usually doesn’t work, for two reasons. First, these workers are probably not writers, so the copy will probably not help sell a product. Second, having an employee use business time to write copy takes them away from their own job.
Trying to save money ends up costing money.
Hiring a digital marketing agency to do the advertising makes a lot more sense. In today’s internet age, copywriters are like the old ‘door-to-door’ salesmen. In this case, though, good writing is like a salesman that never sleeps. Even when a customer looks for and finds your company on the internet late at night, a quality salesman is always there.
The website becomes an office that’s open all night. The people who run the company have put time and money to good use.
Partner with Amplihigher
If you’re looking for a copywriting agency to tackle your business project(s), contact a member of our team.
Everything we do begins with your ideas and goals. We’ll create a message and brand voice that will rise above the internet’s background noise. Contact us today, and we’ll get started on your ideas right away.