FAQs: Copywriting

•  Why Should I Hire a Copywriter?
•  Does Your Messaging Reflect Your Brand?

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 Why Should I Hire a Copywriter?

Anybody can write, right? Well, that's true if you're talking about writing a staff memo or a letter to your Great-Aunt Gertie. But writing for marketing purposes isn't just about communicating information; it's about motivating your audience to take some action. So when you hire a copywriter, you're hiring for that expertise.

Great copy is hard to define, but you know it when you read it because you feel it. The headline draws you in. It's not just instructive and uninspiring; it makes you want to read on. If your headline isn't compelling, you've already lost a large segment of your audience. Whether it's your website's content or an email promotion, you only have a couple of seconds for people to decide if they'll stop and read more or move on down the road.

If they've decided to keep reading, does your content keep their interest? They're not reading your website or email as a leisure activity. The headline drew them in and so your copy needs to quickly deliver on the promise made by the headline. If it does, they'll likely keep reading. And then your writing has to remain tight, focused, well-formatted and continue to hold their interest. So yes, there's a lot more expertise involved than with Great-Aunt Gertie's letter.

And finally, there needs to be a clear and compelling call to action. After all, the whole point of any marketing effort is to increase leads and sales so you don't just want to inform or entertain; you want people to take some action. And a copywriter's job is to help improve your leads and sales by creating content that draws people in and makes that call to action more appealing than your average staff memo.

So when deciding whether or not to hire a copywriter, the question isn't whether or not you can write it. Most people are quite capable of writing to inform; but marketing isn't about informing. It's about connecting and influencing and ultimately convincing someone to take an action. You may not need a copywriter for everything you do, but if your website feels a little lackluster or you're trying to increase your email response rates, then you may want to consider hiring a copywriter to help.

 Does Your Messaging Reflect Your Brand?

When someone thinks about their company's "brand," very often they're thinking about their logo or products. But an important part of a company's brand, one which is often overlooked or not well implemented, is brand messaging. Every company has a story, one that's as unique as we are as individuals. And telling that story well is how you make sure that your messaging is reflecting your brand.

So what is your company's story? First of all, your history isn't your story. Your website's "About Us" page may very well tell the story of your beginnings, but history isn't the same thing as story. You may have been in business for 50 years or have a staff of 100, but so what? And as you think about what your story might be, keep asking yourself that question . . . so what?

Your story should speak to what's important to the customer. If you've been in business for 50 years, the "so what?" might be that experience matters. But if that's not something that's important to the customer, then it may be part of your history, but it's not part of your story. Also consider how you differentiate yourself from the competition and make sure that's part of your messaging. Again, just because it's a difference between you and the competition doesn't mean it's worth weaving into your story unless it's important to customers.

No doubt when you talk about your company, you convey a sense of excitement about what makes you unique. But very often that doesn't get translated into your website's content and other marketing materials. So once you've defined who you are by what's important to your customers and what's unique about you, the next step is to create a clear and concise way of expressing that in writing. That might be a tagline, ad slogans, headlines and/or bullet points that you want to reiterate across your marketing materials.


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