What Copy Can And Can’t Do For Your Business

Published: 30th October 2015

By Jingo Gets Real…

You’ll never meet a bunch of people who are more gung-ho about copy than we are. Well, maybe Peggy Olsen, but she doesn’t count because she’s a fictional character. Seriously though, we study language in the same way a baker sifts flour, a hairdresser cuts hair and a Buddhist monk spends their life striving to reach enlightenment.

We’re always thinking, ‘How can that be said better?’ ‘What word fits there?’ ‘What’s the best tone of voice to use for this or that business?’

We’re the geeks who have a folder labelled “Examples of copy from around the globe”, filled with links to websites with the best copy we’ve ever seen, and the worst – breaking it down segment by segment with comments and questions, asking ‘Why’s this working?’ And ‘Why isn’t this?’

It’s safe to say we’re fully immersed in the world of words and the important role copy plays in any marketing/advertising strategy. No one has to persuade us that copy is essential to the completeness of their marketing. You’d be preaching to the choir. It’s what we do every day.

So here are some things that we’d all agree on – things that good copy can achieve for your business:

  • Make your digital and print presence sound more professional and therefore more credible.
  • Engage your audience. Keep them interested long enough to stay on your site and make that crucial first point of contact.
  • Reduce bounce rate (people going off your site).
  • Raise the quantity of the right types of enquiries.
  • If done properly, SEO copywriting can boost your Google rank, and therefore the overall number of enquiries you get. A greater ratio of enquiries multiples the number of conversions.
  • Get people excited about your brand – generate support, create loyalty, and step-up the overall ‘shareability’ of your content.
  • Get your key messages across succinctly and in a way that is easy to understand.
  • Clearly convey your ‘Who’, ‘What’, ‘Where’, ‘When’, ‘Why’ and ‘How’.
  • Communicate all the essential facets of your goods or services, reducing the need for constantly clarifying (via phone or email) what you offer or how it works, which then frees you up to work on your business.
  • Carve out a distinct brand personality, via tone of voice.

There are loads more great things that quality copy can do for your business, but the above is a good starting point. Saying that, we also know its limitations – and we’d like to (realistically) discuss some of those with you.

  • Good content must (let me repeat – MUST) be paired with top-notch graphic design. One without the other is like Fred Astaire without Ginger Rogers, Sonny without Cher, John Lennon without Yoko Ono. It just doesn’t work. If your text is surrounded by branding that looks like you’re a whiz with clip-art, the magic of the words will fade into insignificance.
  • Copy has to be an accurate reflection of what you provide. If your copy is swanky, but your customer service is shit and your product falls apart in two days, no amount of word wizardry can save you! Get your house in order before asking someone else to write about it. Experienced copywriters’ can definitely help you build your story, but you’ve got to be living the narrative they’re telling.

Like our gifted colleague Jacq O (yep, that’s her name. Cool huh?) so eloquently put it:

“Clients’ need to have a realistic view and understand that copywriters aren’t helping you by misrepresenting you (exaggerating your offerings/services etc.)”

And

“If customers read all about a business and get really excited about what it might be able to offer them and then they find out that what they’ve been ‘sold’ isn’t at all what they expected. It has the potential to create more damage than if the business had simply been honest.”

We’re not saying not to fully leverage all the benefits of your service, or not to use strategic and persuasive language, but just make sure you’re always attempting to live up to what you’ve asked your copywriter to declare about you.

If you say, “We’re all about superior customer service”, and then someone actually gets in touch and you’re super rude – they’re not going to trust you. They’ll say, “So and so says one thing, but does another.” This is not about making mistakes, we all do that, but it’s about living your brand ethos and internalising what you’ve said about yourself and being committed to working that outwardly as much as possible.  Successful business people with integrity, will often say that if you make a mistake, just own up to it, and get on with it. The rest will sort itself out.

To sum up, copy can achieve amazing things for your business, but in the same way that a circle can’t be a square, or gravity doesn’t make you float upwards, it can only work within the parameters of what it does. So, before you engage a copywriter, take the time to ensure you’ve got something really worth offering the world, before you even begin the journey of writing about it.

Over to you…How do you think copy realistically fits into any marketing game plan.