Damn good copy is damn good marketing
Effective copy is your most important marketing tool. In fact, some might say that good content is more important than nearly EVERYTHING else in business.
Good copywriting can make or break your business. In fact, many would say that drumming up mutually beneficial words that help connect customers to your product is the most important part of your business. But few business owners can master the art (and science) of good content while also prospecting clients, managing other employees, and overseeing practically everything else required for daily operation.
Herein lies the problem for the top brass charged with driving businesses forward.
Who has the time?
If you don’t already have a go-to copywriter, this article may cause you to frantically open your LinkedIn network, hunt down my writing portfolio, and hire me on the spot.
If you already have a go-to copywriter, then you know that what I’m saying here is true. In fact, after reading this post about the importance of copy in marketing, you’re likely to dial up your beloved copywriter’s number, beg them for their undying loyalty, and offer them a big fat pay raise for all their vital and irreplaceable work.
Consider yourself warned.
*But do I really need a copywriter to hit my marketing goals and improve business?*
Yes. The answer is a resounding yes. Here’s why.
Words matter. Powerful messages resonate and inspire action, especially in business.
The American Writers and Artists Incorporated (AWAI) 2019 annual report found that B2B marketers view higher quality and more efficient content creation as the most important factor for improving their marketing strategy. This means that the overlap between copywriting and marketing is bigger than ever.
Still on the fence about the importance of effective copy in marketing? The AWAI report lists a few other convincing stats:
47% of B2B marketers choose to outsource content work to produce higher quality copy
The average return on an email marketing investment is $44.25 for every dollar spent
1 in 10 blog posts are compounding, meaning organic search increases traffic over time
Companies that publish 16+ blog posts per month get 3.5X more traffic than those that post four or fewer posts per month
With potential like this, there’s little benefit to leaving words to just anyone. It’d be unwise to let the CEO brainstorm blog articles a few evenings a week when time allows … or your social media manager craft Instagram caption copy just before hitting “share”… or your graphic designer write landing page content that simply matches his desired layout.
Not All Marketers are Created Equal
Given that the ROI on good copy is high, it behooves companies to hire someone nerdy about nice sentences and good stories.
Enter content creators.
When businesses first think about who they need on their marketing teams, they list SEO specialists, graphic designers, social media managers, etc.
More often than not, these people are also tasked with producing the copy that correlates with their work.
But most marketing strategies will fall flat without quality content … conversion-friendly landing pages won’t convert, key article backlinks will feel spammy, and promotional emails will go unopened.
Let’s take the concept of Search Engine Optimization for example. A business might hire an SEO strategist to boost the company’s visibility on Google so that customers flock to their website in droves. They might accomplish this by suggesting industry-related keywords to use throughout the site or promoting company content that houses as many backlinks as possible.
Should the SEO strategist also be tasked with creating this content?
Unnatural articles and clunky, keyword-heavy website content will do nothing to connect with the customer in a meaningful way.
Google’s algorithms reward websites for their ability to grip their target audience along with their ability to persuade and convert. Google’s first page listings are only given to businesses who keep eager visitors glued to the page.
How do companies go about (hypothetically) gluing customers?
Through relevant, clear, conversational, valuable content.
4 Characteristics of “Damn Good Copy”
Copywriters are your best sales representatives in disguise.
Pretty websites don’t sell things. Words sell things. Flashy social posts don’t engage people. Words engage people.
So then, if good copy truly is a business’s most effective marketing tool, what qualifies good copy? I believe it boils down to four things.
1. Good copy is not about you.
As humans, we love a good story. We love it even more when it’s a story about ourselves.
Donald Miller’s “Storybrand” concept says that most customers don’t care about your story, they care about their own. Good copy tells a story in the most unselfish way. It spins a tale about your customer’s needs, wants, desires, and problems.
As you begin explaining your products/services/offerings/value online, make sure it’s not about you. The customer must see themselves in your story, answering their inevitable question, “how will this help me?”
2. Good copy is conversational.
When done right, good content plays the role of a guide; a trusted confidant that oozes authenticity and ability. Effective copy is never the hero – because that kind of confidence often reads too strong. Effective copy is the ever-steady best friend in the Rom Com movie whose sound advice influences the main character’s actions at just the right time.
Remember that while content creators are salespeople in disguise, no one likes to be sold. Words and phrases that read as conversational, friendly, and educational resonate much more than stuffy, overly “corporate”, forced, or aggressive words.
Think of it as “you and me” dialog. Like two old pals chatting on a Sunday afternoon.
3. Good copy clarifies.
Good copy connects you to your clients and drives them to action. It bridges the gap.
Our brains don’t like to process complicated information. We have a better shot at digesting information quickly when it’s simple and predictable.
Most customers won’t know a whole lot about your business at first visit, nor should they have to. Effective content will translate the intricacies of your business into the basic essentials needed to make an informed decision -- no critical thinking or reasoning skills required.
4. Good copy solves problems.
Every customer comes to your business with questions burning inside them. If you don’t answer them like, yesterday, they’ll move on.
Good copy can offer the right solution, but only after we’ve identified what your customer wants, what problem you’ll help them solve, and the future benefits they can expect to enjoy after buying your products or engaging in our services.
It all goes back to this:
What do you do, offer, provide?
How will this help me? Or how will not having this hurt me?
How do I buy it?
While great copy is essential, it won’t do much good all by itself. Remember that every creative professional has equally essential talents that when combined together, form the most powerful, vital, and influential marketing team to ever exist.
Don’t leave fundamental content strategies up to just anyone. Important things fall short when just a few people wear all the hats … and your business can’t afford that.
Could you use an experienced copywriter and content creator to help promote your brand and influence revenue?
I know a girl.
Her name is Lauren and she’s super excited to meet you. Say “hey” here.