Who Needs Copywriters?

saturated writing (by tnarik)

There’s an area of web development that often gets overlooked. The design may be fantastic, the technology cutting edge and the subject very worthy – but it is also essential that the message is loud and clear, and simple to follow.

Before our designers and programmers get busy on a web project, we often work on the “” of the content, to help our client’s message shine through.

In this blog post, Leif Kendall talks about what he does as a professional copywriter and how copywriting can help your organisation or business to communicate, persuade and sell.

- Premasagar


Writers with marketing skills

Copywriting is quite different to normal writing. So while you might be a talented poet or letter writer, you might not understand the persuasion and marketing principles that copywriters can use to your advantage.

A good copywriter will write with many things in mind. Copywriters must consider how to address several personality types simultaneously, how to allay fears, mention features, highlight benefits, mix in social proof (testimonials) – all while being persuasive.

An outside view of the inside

One big bonus of employing a copywriter is that you get a fresh brain thinking about your business. This fresh brain might spot something you’ve missed or something you could make better. A good copywriter will put thought into their work, looking for ways to help you communicate more effectively to more people.

Speaking their language

A common failing in business communication occurs when the people writing the copy forget that the public (your audience) are not aware of your business and your industry jargon. A copywriter writes with your readers in mind – so your copy will address their needs, in their language.

Traffic-stopping web copy

Writing for websites requires even more specialist knowledge than offline copy. Web copy requires an understanding of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), usability, internet conventions and conversion rates, as well as the marketing and advertising principles mentioned above.

Investing in your corporate voice

Remember that words do a lot of talking for your business, so it’s worth investing in the best copy you can afford. Unprofessional communications and marketing material can actively work against you, telling potential customers things you didn’t intend to say. The right copy can work in harmony with your operations and help you to be heard in a crowded market.

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6 CommentsRSS Feed

  1. rapella

    Good points, Leif.

    Alas, people don’t read websites – copywriters need to invent or devise copy for non-readers.

    Saluti

  2. Thanks for the comment Rapella!

    I totally agree that web users typically don’t read everything you put in front of them. Copywriters need to understand that and write content that can be easily digested – with key points inserted in conspicuous areas (headlines, different formatting).

    Having said that, I think the web makes readers and writers of all of us, perhaps more than pre-internet times.

    The web provides far more opportunities for interaction than traditional print or broadcast media. We may all be skim-reading on the web but we’re more involved in creating media and interacting with it. So I think people will be reading (and writing) for a little while yet.

  3. Judy Olsen

    Nicely put.

    People know when they can’t draw, but they all think they can write. Especially after the two week module in their marketing course.

    I’ve had teachers ask me to pass them work to ‘earn a bit extra-I used to write for the student mag, you know’.

    And then there are the journalists who *know* they can write copy, but are equally sure copywriters shouldn’t be allowed near newspapers.

    Sorry, 30 years at the ink-face can make you bitter!

  4. Hi Judy,

    There is definitely a problem on the web of everyone thinking they can write. And in many cases that’s nice, because people should get involved and contribute to the web, but businesses should be careful with copy.
    I think part of the problem is that businesses don’t value websites enough, and don’t allocate enough funds to make their websites powerful business tools.
    Of course, many businesses become disenchanted with the web because they get little return from it – but that’s probably because they’ve spent the bare minimum on their website, and neglected things like design, copy and photography.
    Leif

  5. Great post, both – I couldn’t agree more.

  6. Great article Leif. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

    Rapella has a good point about people not reading websites. Many people tend to ‘skim read’ which is a completely different kettle of fish.

    So, you need to make sure the main selling points are visible and loud, so skim readers can pick them up. However, you also need to make sure the copy is compelling and deep for the people who will take an active interest and read right through. Such people are out there and are usually the most likely to buy.

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