The big battle of Content copywriters versus SEO copywriters seems to be sorting itself out, with Content Marketing favouring the flight to quality copy that engages, connects and targets.
What is Sherpa’s thoughts on the value of great copywriting?
Keep it focused.
Short, sweet and to the point. We’re in an age of low attention spans. People are on websites for shorter periods. Surprisingly, copywriters don’t need less time to say less, but more time to get it spot on. Copywriters have never been more relevant than they are today. When you’ve spent half your marketing budget on developing your website and the other half of it on search engine optimisation, what are those three or four words that greets the website visitor? What says: “I’m at the right place.”
Pics, infographics, videos.
The old story of a picture tells a thousand words, no doubt irritated the copywriters of yesterday but today it’s a natural element in communications. Copywriting is about telling a story so he or she works much closer with the design team to present the brand in the best possible way. Copywriters really come into their own when it comes to videos – getting your story across in 30 – 120 seconds takes some skilled content organisation and from this, good storytelling.
Blogs, email newsletters
Often referred to as Inbound Marketing, as the need for content increases, copywriters have to become quasi-experts in all types of sectors. All of a sudden, they’re writing an article on Shipping, Specialised Investments or Healthcare, or whatever. The articles need to be accurate, relevant and interesting and informative. This means that the copywriter spends a lot more time searching for credible industry sources and shaping the content so that it not only “connects” with the target audience but also contributes towards Google rankings.
It is always good, solid practice to get one’s newsletters or Facebook posts etc. into a neat schedule, creating an editorial calendar. Marketing is (and should be) a structured, linear environment. Agility or the ability to react in a spontaneous way is increasingly important for copywriters, with the difference between being responsive and proactive increasingly measured in minutes. The reality is that people devour content greedily. It’s no longer a case of “yesterday’s news is old news”. At noon, 12h05’s news is old. Copywriters are learning to think (and write) on their feet. Structure is good, but agility and spontaneity is everything.
With content being the new king, copywriting is central to everything from articulating brand values to the killer sales presentation, telling the story and influencing the market to connect what is seen or heard with what is experienced.
Good copywriting will start moving closer to how a target audience actually talks. Too often, companies forget that they’re dealing with humans. Copywriting should become more natural, conversational. One of the reasons for this is that more and more, people are searching on Google by voice rather than typing keywords or phrases in. So, they’re going to “talk” to the search engine. They’re not going to try and mimic a robot, they’re going to talk as if they’re, well, having a normal conversation or giving an instruction.