The short answers – selling with words and, yes.
If you’ve ever enjoyed a scroll through LinkedIn, you’ve probably come across the word ‘copywriter’ before.
And if my experience of networking is anything to go by, you’ve probably asked yourself a few times “what actually is copywriting and do I need to pay more attention to it?”
In this post I’ll explain what copywriting is, why it’s important, how it differs from content writing, and whether you should invest in copy for your business.
What IS Copywriting?
In the creative industry, the role of a copywriter is often mistaken for one that’s meant to WOW audiences with artistic prose and fancy wordplay.
Something that wins awards and makes people say, “ooooh that’s an artistic, entertaining, creative ad!”.
Unfortunately for business owners everywhere, that’s not the case. And this misinterpretation leads many to overlook copywriting as the vital sales resource that it is.
In truth, copywriters aren’t linguistic gymnasts, who write purely to entertain and win awards for their creativity.
In actual fact, us copywriters are first and foremost, salespeople behind keyboards.
Our main duty is to sell stuff with words.
Because that’s all ‘copy’ is. It’s words.
- The words on your web pages are classed as ‘copy’.
- The words used in adverts are also ‘copy’.
- The words used to describe your products? You guessed it, ‘copy’.
In a nutshell, if you’ve ever written a website, social media page or an advert, you’ve written copy.
How important can these words really be?
The words you use to communicate with your audience is often the only thing that separates you from your competitors.
If the opposite were true, copywriting and advertising wouldn’t be the multi-billion-dollar industry that it is today.
The truth is, if a competitor with second-grade offerings can speak to your audience’s deepest desires better than you can, your traditional USP’s won’t matter at all. They won’t even get a look-in to your prospective buyers’ brains.
“Without the right copy, all your time and money spent on research, development, design and testing, will go to waste.”
By making your readers feel seen, heard, and understood, well-written copy gives your audience a reason to choose your business over another. Regardless of price, convenience, or features.
Is Content Writing the same as Copywriting?
The purpose of copy and content are different; thus a different skillset is required to do both well.
That doesn’t mean however, that you can’t use the same writer for your copy and content needs if that writer is equipped to do both.
At its core, the purpose of copywriting is to convince your audience to ‘do the thing’ – to buy your products or services; to sign up to your email newsletter; to download your e-book, etc.
Content writing however, is geared towards entertaining and educating your audience.
In a nutshell: copy prompts immediate action from readers, whereas content leads to a boost in brand popularity, authority and customer loyalty.
Here are some examples of where you would find copy and content:
Copy: Webpages (e.g. Homepage, About, Contact), sales pages, product descriptions, adverts and social media pages.
Content: Blog and social media posts, newsletters, e-books and educational courses.
If I Can Write My Own Copy Why Would I Hire A Professional Copywriter?
As we discussed earlier, if you’ve ever written a webpage, advert or social media page, you’ve already written copy.
But your answer to the above question ultimately depends on whether the copy you’ve written is working for you, and what resources you have available to improve it if it’s not.
As with any dedicated professional, a good copywriter will have already put hundreds of hours into learning how to write effectively for different audiences, industries, products and services.
This means hiring a professional will save you precious time and money by removing any guesswork and avoidable mistakes, whilst giving you confidence that your professionally written website, ad or sales page is optimised to boost your business.
To compete in todays’ market, at a minimum you need to have a website, a social media presence, and adverts.
But to really grab people’s attention and have them screaming “I want your stuff! I NEED what you have. WHERE DO I SIGN UP / BUY / SHARE THIS WITH MY FRIENDS?!”, you need much more than that.
If your copy is doing a good job of enticing your audience and convincing them to buy, then you don’t need a copywriter.
But if your website bounce rates are high, or your ad conversions are low, then it’s definitely worth talking to a professional word-wizard to turn those results around.
If you’re unsure about whether your copy is working for your business or against it, book a free 30-minute consultation with me here, and we’ll figure it out together.
This is a guest post by Emma Beard, Freelance Copywriter and Brand Consultant (sometimes people let her speak on stage, too…)