This post is written by our uber talented copywriter, Jenny. This ridiculously funny gal is not only a sun-loving New York dreamer with a solid addiction to red wine, but she’s a wordsmith with serious writing pizzazz and we love her for it…
I recently met a charming, friendly, successful friend-of-a-friend at a birthday dinner. A manic sanguine, I found myself on the ‘up’ this particular evening, managing to spark the type of punchy banter I’m widely renowned and admired for. From all vast and exotic corners of the globe, countless men and women embark on the arduous pilgrimage to meet with me and sharpen their banter-skills over a drink and a bowl of fries with aioli and relish. I digress.
On Part III of the ‘Beginners Guide To Chit Chat’, my new friend and I reached the obligatory ‘Exchanging of Professions’. Me: Communications Manager and Copywriter. He: something concerning construction, building materials, and so on and so forth. I was surprised to learn that the term ‘Copywriter’ is not a widely understood one; I even found myself physically demonstrating the act of typing into thin air to help illustrate what I do, although someone could be forgiven for assuming I was either a pianist, a terrible masseuse or that I had a bad case of the shakes.
Copywriting is the stringing together of words in a most finite and strategic way. This includes absolutely anything that needs to be written to promote your brand: newsletters, emails, pamphlets, flyers, web content, blogs, graffiti art at the local skate park, tramp stamp tattoos, sky writing and braille. It’s an art, it’s a science, it’s law, it’s the vibe, it’s the constitution. And yeah, it’s Mabo. If your brand wants to talk to your audience, you’re going to want to do it strategically. It’s no lie that a spiffy logo and magical design will catch their eye, but paired with copy, you’ll capture their heart and mind.
But enough faffing about – here is a list of reasons why your brand NEEDS copywriting like I NEED a Malteaser Bunny every time I pass those pesky point-of-sale boxes at the Coles checkout.
- COPYWRITING IS YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE AND YOUR MIND ON A PAGEIt’s easy enough to assume you can safely write your brand the way you see it in your head (for tips on writing a brand that has you written all over it click here). After all, you know it better than anyone else, right? It’s particularly perplexing then, when you find yourself struggling to distill and finesse all those explosive thought catalogues and mind-crafted sentences into tangible existence. The novelist Gustave Flaubert found his own products to be a truly painful labour:
‘I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.’
When you’re fully submerged in the life of your brand baby, you can be excused for developing those loveable blind spots or roadblocks that can make writing about your brand quite overwhelming, infuriating even. Having the courage, direction and wisdom to aptly brief a copywriter and give someone else the reigns to help mould your idea into the right communication for your audience is a move you won’t regret. Unless you don’t brief correctly (read this), or you reach out to somebody who isn’t actually classed as a copywriter… but we’ll get to that.
- COPYWRITING PROVES YOU BACK YOUR BRANDYour people are a savvy, intelligent bunch. They have an almost superhuman capacity to detect BS, and on the contrary, an uncanny ability to gravitate toward authenticity, humour and relatability. So by investing in clever, sincere copywriting, you will prove that you back your brand and respect your audience. Respecting the intelligence of your people is paramount, so don’t sell them short!If you land the right copywriter, you will notice their unyielding attention to your brand, and their ability to champion it as they take on the challenge of delivering the right tone to your audience. They are skilled wordsmiths with an inherent gift for language – this speaks volumes when you start to see the outcomes and heads begin to turn.
- COPYWRITING GETS YOU NOTICEDI’ll say it again for the speed readers – design turns heads and copy turns minds. Together they’ll take hearts captive and there you have your formula for loyalty (…as long as your actual product or service walks the walk). If you’ve created an A4 Flyer in Microsoft Word with a clip art template and Cambria font, I don’t trust you to deliver, because I am a petulant and entitled Gen-Yer. The following generations will be even less forgiving of poor aesthetic, and soon we will be lamenting the day we ever created internal cameras on iPhones. Which isn’t the point here, but it’s harrowing nonetheless. What is important is partnering good design with excellent copy.
Because copywriting is necessary on every platform you use to promote your brand, you enter a whole new realm of science once you’re writing for online. SEO is a mysterious woman because she won’t stand still for long and the magic ingredients required to steer her change sporadically as Google sees fit. Still, Search Engine Optimisation is vital to investigate as you juggle writing the heart of your brand with writing to impress those internet angels who bless certain key words and useful phrases with higher rankings. If Google notices you, err’ybody will. When writing copy for your website, you might consider a consultation with an SEO expert to ascertain the keywords for your brand that a copywriter can then work with. Alternatively, many copywriters are becoming more up to scratch with writing SEO copy themselves. However, don’t let your focus on SEO turn your writing into repetitive slosh concerned only with buzzwords and rankings, because that will strip away your authenticity and you’ll be less inspiring and more robotic. Find the balance.
- COPYWRITING INCREASES SALESTo state the obvious, words sell. I mean, seriously, you’ve got to write something down. At the very least, a flaky description of your product or service with a measly call-to-action tucked away to the side. At the shinier end of the spectrum, you’ll recognise that words hold the power to tell a story, rather than just list your features, advantages and benefits. Come on team, you’re better than that!
If you are able to accurately blend all your product attributes and features into words that tell your story in a unique and endearing way, people will flock and sales will spike. And it’s all champagne showers and cheese platters galore from there on in. We’ll be eagerly waiting by the letterbox for our invite.
- COPYWRITING CEMENTS YOUR BRAND VOICE AND STRATEGY
Words bring your brand to life. We are talking the full-on personification of an inanimate entity here. Siphoning its characteristics and quirky traits and allocating them to various platforms is the type of wizardry your copywriter will perform. This personification lends a ‘voice’ to your brand, builds its character and before you know it, steers strategy for future content. Given the interactivity that many platforms offer, the dialogue between your brand and your people will continue to evolve and further cement your content marketing strategy. Yippee ki-yay.
- BECAUSE BAD COPY MEANS BAD BUSINESS
Alarmingly, my visibility while driving at night is becoming sketchier with each passing year, but I have thankfully retained my 2020 vision for spelling errors on anything and everything I see. So disturbed am I when I happen upon these errors in novels, on email, in pamphlets, even in toilet cubicles of Westfields all over, that I internally weep in despair at this first world quandary. Since when did we become so illiterate that we actually cannot determine which ‘your/you’re’ or ‘there/their/they’re’ makes sense contextually in a sentence? I blame MSN, or as my mum would call it, “that SMN nonsense”. And to be clear that this isn’t intended to bash on those grammatically-challenged among us, my brain often short fuses while I drive, confusing my ‘left’ from ‘right’ and causing considerable embarrassment as I take wrong turns as a result.Bad copy means bad business. You might have the most resplendent design to have ever graced the Earth, but if you can’t get your words in order, or if your grammar makes your text read like pig latin, then you’ll reap what you sow. Dingbats will buy you, or nobody at all. Learn how to brief correctly, considering what your brand really means, who it is talking to, and what it seeks to achieve. A good copywriter will know how to elicit this gold from your brain, but you’ll want to give them all the jewels to achieve the best outcome.