Posted by Megan Oldcorn
We know that words are important, but when budgets are tight, they usually slide way down the list of priorities. And while many business owners or marketeers will hire a designer or web developer, they’ll never think to pay a copywriter. After all, anyone can write. Right?
Er, not really. On the face of it, writing is easy – almost anyone can jot down words – but there’s actually real skill in creative copywriting. It’s like thinking that we can all splodge colours onto paper, so anyone can paint a masterpiece. A real artist will spend time mixing the right colours and carefully putting them together to create an evocative or emotive scene. Copywriting is no different; painting and writing involve almost identical processes, and they’re both just as hard to get right.
So here’s why copywriting deserves a chunk of your budget:
It involves skill and strategy
An experienced copywriter uses words like tools to create their finished product. They’re well versed in techniques like persuasive writing, storytelling and rhythm, and can use them to full effect. If you pick apart a powerful piece of marketing copy, you’ll find that there’s a lot more going on than you think. Just take a look at our previous article on poetic techniques to get a sense of what that might be.
A copywriter will also be able to bring a strategic stance to their work – they’ll think carefully about your audiences, competitor set and overall goals when creating any piece of work. They’ll also know how to gauge its success, which means they can replicate great results or tweak the approach for next time.
And finally, they’ll also be familiar with one very valuable technique: saying less. When selling a service or product, especially one that you feel truly passionate about, it’s always tempting to wax lyrical about its benefits. In contrast, a copywriter will be able to take a step back, consider the context objectively, and cut out unnecessary words and messages for maximum impact.
Good writing takes time you don’t have
Chances are, you’re not a professional writer, which means that your day job is doing something else. You might be organising events, answering sales calls or lovingly making products at your kitchen table – whatever it is, you’re doing it because it’s what you most need or want to do. It’ll always be the thing that’s most important to you. But this also means that trying to write a brochure or a website full of content becomes an additional (and perhaps unwelcome) burden.
Often, the net result of this day job v. extra job faceoff is that the extra job – your content – ends up being rushed or stressful. You might find yourself missing a website’s launch date because the copy wasn’t done on time, or it may simply be that the words you have written aren’t quite as good as you’d hoped. Alternatively, you might end up simply reusing existing content, which isn’t necessarily right for the format it’s now in.
For a copywriter, your project actually is their day job, which means that it’s the most important thing to them. There’ll be no missed deadlines, no rushing, and absolutely no stress – just one less thing for you to do.
Readers love personality
Authenticity has to be one of the most overused words in marketing right now. However, the word itself is everywhere because this really is something that people care about. These days, interacting with a genuine brand is hugely important.
If your company claims to be caring (or friendly/ethical/fun/proactive) but this isn’t backed up by a customer’s interaction with you, their “fake-o-meter” starts flashing and bleeping, and you’ve failed a test you didn’t even know you were taking. Staff training, décor and visual identity can all contribute to showing your personality, but written communications are also a key component – especially when so much customer interaction now takes place online. An experienced copywriter will work with you to ensure that everything you put out there is written in a consistent and (here it comes) authentic tone of voice.
Writing represents the quality of your product
Rightly or wrongly, most readers make a judgement call about the overall quality of a product or service based on outside factors such as design, imagery and copywriting. Bad writing – whether it’s riddled with errors, confusing, off-brand, lacklustre or just plain wrong – will invariably affect a customer’s faith in your company. It isn’t really fair, but it’s a niggling doubt that creeps in: is this representative of the overall quality here?
On the flipside, good writing helps to show what a high-quality product or service you have. It speaks of professionalism and expertise. And if you’ve invested heavily in design, it helps to maintain the good first impression set by this – nobody wants to pay a designer and developer to create an all-singing, all-dancing website, and find that it’s let down by sub-par copy or grammatical errors. This is your digital shop front, so make it as beautiful as possible.
You’ll see your money again
It goes without saying that if we’re describing copywriting as an investment, we expect you to see a return on it. Everything we’ve outlined here, such as an increase in trust, clear messaging, strategic thinking, and persuasive techniques, all ultimately contributes to your bottom line. For a better user experience, increased engagement, and more conversions, investing in a copywriter makes great sense.
Need help? Get in touch with our content team.
If you found this interesting, you may also like Web content part 1: why content first?