Why effective copywriting goes beyond the creative Thursday November 21, 2013
As a copywriter, I’m sometimes referred to as a ‘creative’. Nice as it might sound, I think that this label is more than a little misleading.
Yes, copywriting for business is the art of applying the power of words to create results…But seeing copywriting as just a creative process can mean losing out on some of its advantages. As I’ve blogged about before, copywriting is not simply the technique of packaging your message in an appealing way or being entertaining in order to gain attention. What needs to lie beneath each word is the intention of creating business – driving people towards making a decision to trust you and to buy into your services.
But what can you do to keep your copywriting approach is as business-focused as it is creative?
Refine your voice
Is your tone of voice aimed more at being fun and quirky than at speaking in an appealing way to your ideal customers? In some cases, quirky is exactly what you need. In others, a more formal style is the best one to go with. While it’s great to aim to capture attention, don’t do it at the expense of your credibility – or at the risk of sounding like everybody else. Copywriting for business is not just about vocabulary. It’s about finding the just right voice, whether that’s formal, understated, bold or something else.
Relevance in every word
Effective copywriting goes so much further than picking one word over another. Drive yours along by being careful to select the messages that matter. Matching creativity with business focus helps to keep your marketing content relevant. But more than that, being both creative and business-orientated allows you to reinvent your take on your own business. Not only is your content refreshed by your creativity, it’s also well grounded in your marketing and business approach. Every word is focused on getting you closer to your goal, whether that’s taking people to a landing page or inspiring them to sign up to your newsletter.
At first sight
We’ve all seen them… the flyers that yell for attention, then disappoint when we look a little closer. Or the website home pages which promise so much and yet deliver, well, not a great deal (or perhaps no great deals). This is where a creative copywriting strategy alone can leave a company lacking long lasting credibility. At every stage, your creative approach needs the full backing of your business intentions. If you’re making a big bold claim at first sight, can you keep it consistent throughout your content? It’s important to aim for attention in copywriting. But if you start off by shouting, how much louder can your content actually get?
Hold it together
Fun is great. But when fun leads to your audience getting lost in the land of the warm and fuzzies, it can leave your business strategy behind. This applies to those websites that aim to be entertaining, but lose their connection to the benefits of a product – and those entertaining blog posts which completely overlook the business behind them. Fun is a big part of copywriting and content marketing. But don’t let it distract from your core business aims.
The secret to taking your content beyond the creative
Like many things in life, the secret to keeping your content both creative and business-focused is to find a balance. How to do this? Stop looking them as separate approaches. Apart, they are important. Combined, they are a force which can transform your business message.
Want to chat more about this or other copywriting questions? Let me know!
Camilla Zajac, Green Light Copywriting, November 2011
- 20 danger points to avoid in copywriting for innovation
- 7 copywriting insights for business from 2018
- Which words matter to you? Watch the Green Light Copywriting video
- What's the best way to communicate in a changing world?
- 4 ways to get the best from your copywriter
- Smile! Why personality counts in content