The value of copywriting for your business

If you are considering using a copywriter, it is important to know what a great copy will do for your business.

To put things into perspective, let’s review the history of copywriting. In the 1950s the war was over, people had money. Copywriting was young, loud, intrusive, and (at times) emotionally unsettling. Booming economy and changing business landscape led to the invention of unique sales proposition to distinguish the product, but the methods were still quite dubious. Fast forward to the 1980s — copywriting develops into a blend of scientific thinking and creativity. Since then copywriting adapted to digital channels, but the essence stayed the same: strategic, human, measurable.

The moral of the story is that market forces have pushed copywriting to develop into a complex discipline, which brings more value to businesses than quick (and sometimes dirty) revenue.

First, all copy is the substance of the brand. It is the reflection of what the brand stands for, so what you say is equally as important as how you say it.

The copywriter must ensure that all copy stays ‘on-brand’. Our brains evolved to notice inconsistencies and suspicious behaviour; it is a survival instinct. When we identify a deviation from the usual behaviour, we grow weary of the brand. Consistency, on the other hand, builds trust in buyers; they feel that they know the brand, they know what to expect. Good copy implicitly reinforces the reader’s trust and loyalty.

Second, the copy is the second major element affecting user satisfaction. It must be clear, up-to-date and relevant.

As a rule of thumb, the simpler the copy, the better it performs. That is not to say it should abandon all intelligence. On the contrary, writing intelligently in plain English is important. Unnecessary jargon, buzzwords, weasel and hedge words weaken the copy, undermine the message and lose readers’ attention. Writing strong prose takes time and effort.

The users seek explicit or implicit utility from every bit of copy. The copy that answers all the questions the user has (even the ones the reader did not consciously know she had) will increase user’s satisfaction with the business or product. Happy customers are more likely to bring new customers.

Third (and last), the primary objective of copy is to get results, but the ends do not necessarily justify the means.

Hard-sell copy is still useful in some circumstances. However, important to remember that that kind of copy is short-lived. It will bring quick results, but it will not be sustainable in the long-term. What a good copy brings is a greater lifetime value to your business through the writing. Moreover, it works, because it supports your brand, it is useful to readers, it is human, and it uses subtle persuasion techniques, that make people return and bring their friends.

A copywriter’s goal is to bring you closer to your goals. Yes, quality copywriting is expensive, it takes time and research, but it will keep on giving afterwards.

In the end, good copywriting is the product of many micro-decisions that a copywriter makes. Anyone can write, and yet writing compelling copy is hard. It takes more time and considerations, however, brings more value to your business.

This post was originally posted on my website