Copywriting is king – yes, I am going there.
The reason being is that copywriting is the foundation of your marketing and business practices.
If you write bad copy for your audience, chances of succeeding are quite low. But if you take the time to write excellent sales and marketing copy, then your chances of succeeding increase by quite a margin.
Everything you present, from the annual reports that send investors to the TV commercials you use to attract prospects, should aim at the audience. Your marketing should not be product or company-centric; it should be consumer-centric.
You should communicate to your target audience what you do, why it’s important, and how they can get it. Whether or not you relay that message – that responsibility falls under your copywriter.
I have taken the time during this COVID period to emphasize the importance of copywriting to the success of a direct response company.
If you’ve landed here without reading my other pieces, then allow me to reiterate my point: Copywriting is KING. And I am about to give you three reasons why.
Before you get my three reasons why copywriting is king, I want to direct you to some of the resources I used to produce this blog post.
My first resource is the article Long Live the King by Mary Allen Tribby. This article emphasizes why you, as an entrepreneur – even if you never plan to write your copy – should understand the fundamentals of writing effective copy. Mary Allen also offers ten golden nuggets that will help you differentiate effective copy from fluffy copy.
The second resource is the book The Copywriter’s Handbook, written by Bob Bly. For this post, I’d direct you to chapter one: Introduction to Copywriting. In this chapter, Bob goes over what copywriting is, the job of a copywriter, and how copywriters should look at advertising. The chapter also gives you five ways in which the internet has affected copywriting in today’s world.
Now, drawing from the information I gathered in the resources I mentioned above, and from my experience as a direct response copywriter, here are three reasons why copywriting is king.
I have mentioned (more than once) that the “copywriter vs content writer” debate is dumb. And here’s the reason I say this: copywriting is content writing.
I keep repeating this because it can get confusing for an inexperienced entrepreneur to make a choice when it’s time to hire a business writer. They don’t know whether they need a copywriter or content writer because of how convoluted this whole thing has become.
And let’s face it – in reality, the naked eye couldn’t tell the difference between one or another. As far as I’m concerned, someone created the term content writing to market themselves without the “sales stamp” that copywriting has. But they are still copywriters. Whether they are copywriters worth hiring… that’s a different conversation.
If you look at the elements of a business writing piece, you couldn’t tell the difference between copy and content. It comes down to whether the author makes you an offer at the end of the piece or asks you to engage with your thoughts.
Even the notion that content writers throw around, saying that “you don’t sell with content” is wrong. Because while you might not be selling a product or service, you are selling an idea – which is why you want the engagement.
I’ve learned that “if you are talking, you are selling.” That applies to us writers. And while I cannot say that every great content writer is a great copywriter, I can assure you that an excellent copywriter is an excellent content writer.
So yes – copywriting is content writing.
As a direct marketer, I bet you’ve heard the phrase “copywriting is salesmanship” – whether online or in print – at least once before. That’s because “copywriting is salesmanship” is what every copywriter worth their salt tells their prospects the moment they meet them.
There are unethical people out there looking to sell themselves as copywriters. But those wannabes can’t measure up to the responsibilities of a sales copy crafter. So, they have tried to alienate the term copywriter from what it is: a salesperson behind a keyboard.
Instead, these wannabe copywriters are selling prospects the (false) pretense that marketing and advertising need to be entertaining and use high-quality production value. If you manage to run into one of those so-called copywriters, avoid them like the plague. Because entertainment and high production values are not essential elements of marketing outside of Hollywood and the likes.
Your marketing campaign’s main purpose is not to entertain. Or to present a cinematic production. The purpose of every marketing campaign is to sell something to the audience.
Hence, that’s why every reputable copywriter makes sure their prospects understand that “copywriting is salesmanship” when they meet.
If you have followed my thoughts over the years, you then know that I believe in Harry Beckwith’s mindset of “Marketing is not a department – it is your business”. But some marketers don’t see it that way.
Inexperienced marketers often see copywriters and copywriting in general as just a part of their advertising. Something or someone they need to sell their products and services. But copywriting can do more than that.
Copywriters are ambassadors for your business. They are the ones who communicate what your business is about. They let your target audience know what sets you apart from your competitors, and why that difference matters. And they guide the would-be buyer through the buying process.
But here’s the trick: some people think that copywriters are hard sellers. And while a copywriter must play that role now and again, they are more conversationalists and storytellers than anything else.
Look at some of the best sales letters and advertisements of all time. They certainly aren’t going “BUY! BUY! BUY!!!” for the duration of them. Those letters and ads tell compelling stories, solve problems, or reveal valuable information to the would-be buyer. Those pieces do more than sell; they tell the audience who they are and what they stand for. And that’s the mark of excellent copywriting.
Copywriting is more than selling – copywriting is marketing.
Starting today, I hope you understand the essential that copywriting plays in the success of your business. Sales copy is not just something you plaster on an ad. (Excellent) Copywriting displays clear and concise communication of ideas, persuasive offerings, and the philosophy that rules your company.
Do you agree or disagree with my assessment that “copywriting is king”? Leave a comment explaining your side of things. And if you think this article could be useful to someone you know, feel free to share it with them!