When you think of copy, what comes to mind? Is it a bunch of words that take up too much space from an image or juicy graphics? Is it something you feel takes too much time to read, so you just skim it? If all you saw was a picture of a product or service on a page or a website with no words anywhere to be found, would you know why it’s there or what it’s trying to communicate?
Maybe we can shed some light on the subject to, shall we say…enlighten you!
When you hear the word “content”, it’s another way of saying “copy”. Or, when you think of a content creator, it can also be a “copywriter”. The words can carry the same meaning, although in today’s digital world, “content” resonates more and has greater relevance, even pertaining to both words and graphics.
Copywriting is the content that helps get people in the mood or inspired to do something, feel a certain way about purchasing something, or interested in learning about somethi. Copywriting (or content producing) is not the same as news or editorial writing—no, copywriting tries to persuade you to take action, buy, subscribe to electronic newsletters or email blasts, or receive information on products or services.
Getting to know you
Great copy can do great things for a brand or product. It can convey emotion, memorability, a key message, and overall familiarity with the brand/product to the audience it’s targeted to. If you think of some of the most recognizable brands you may have grown up with or are loyal to, you might be able to recall what their theme lines were. Remember the tag for M&M’s candy: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” In that line, the key benefit of the brand is captured in a memorable way that almost immediately connects the brand, the logo, and the slogan.
That’s what great copy can do.
Most initial encounters that clients or consumers have with a brand these days is online via it’s website. So even with a well-designed, high-quality website well-crafted content is needed to ensure success for the business or organization.
Content helps bring your brand to life by presenting insight and information to let people know what you’re about, what you do, and what you can do for them. There might be options on the site to engage directly with live help, fill out forms and send inquiries for response, or a page where FAQ’s can be reviewed.
It’s a copywriter (or someone with good writing chops) who helps put the content visitors or potential clients will read about the company together, and in a way that will hopefully set it apart from other competitors and attract committed customers or clients.
Hitting the Search Button
Search engines are the drivers that lead customers and clients to particular web sites. Copy or content plays an important role in determining how a website ranks in the search hierarchy.
As it’s more widely known: Search Engine Optimization (or SEO), is when a keyword(s) is typed into a web browser’s search field, and the user is taken to the first page of results where, if a number of factors are met resulting in the business’ URL location on the web appearing at or near the top of the page, then customers will find it easier to locate a client’s business or website.
Essentially, your content makes use of words in your website landing page or pages frequently that customers are likely to use more regularly, that will help them reach your client’s website. Keeping it fresh also helps maintain a website’s rank and position on a web browser page. Quality content by means of a blog for instance, helps you convey more useful knowledge that online customers might be looking for, which will lead them to your site.
Like ‘location, location, location’ is the buzz for real estate, the User Experience, or the ease in which a user interacts with a website, is what makes UX the hot skill to have in the digital age.
Making a customer’s visit to a website as rewarding as it can be is part of understanding the power of copywriting in the digital age. Because UX zeroes in on what users need, value, and may be resistant to, the words on the site help satisfy, affirm and teach to allow them to get more out of their visit to the site and gain a more favorable impression.
The verbal cues and intuitive directions presented by the copy help visitors get the information they want with the least amount of stress and confusion. Designers and copywriters here have to work together to make a user’s visit to the website successful.
Mark our words…
Copy has power that extends beyond the digital arena. It appears in all kinds of media and communication vehicles, and it’s there to help guide, entertain, inform, and persuade. It helps people achieve the things in life that they need, and understand the world they inhabit!