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What Is Copywriting?

I don’t think there is any question that digital marketing is changing the way we do business. I mean, think about it – when was the last time you wrote a sales pitch or ad copy that wasn’t targeted to an audience of one or more digitally channeled consumers?

What Is Copywriting?

From a blog post to an email campaign, automated marketing to SEO, content marketing to social media – all of these strategies and tactics have a form of copywriting at their core. So, what is copywriting? And what is it that we do? Let’s take a quick look.

Copywriting Is…

Copywriting is simply the process of taking written content (such as copy for web pages, social media posts, email campaigns, and so on) and adapting it to be more compelling and memorable when read by humans. This process usually entails some level of editing and rewriting the content to improve the overall readability and to maximize the message being delivered. It can also include the addition of more sophisticated words and phrases to make the content sound more authoritative and, ultimately, memorable. As a brand, you need to ensure that the voice, language, and story of your website, social media, and email campaigns all match, otherwise you might confuse or upset your readers unnecessarily.

Now, it’s not just limited to changing words and adapting content to fit smaller screens. We’re also seeing a rise in “native advertising” – where brands try to blend the aesthetics of a website or blog with that of a social platform – and video content.

Why Are Brand Websites (And Blogs) Reaching Out to Consumers Through Video Content?

Well, as digital marketing agency, Vidyard, points out:

“Video content is currently dominating the web. And while much of this content may be engaging and entertaining, it is not purely for the sake of entertainment. Rather, video content is being used to communicate messages to consumers,” Vidyard wrote in a blog post in August 2019.

And Here’s The Big Question:

Is brand website or blog audio content (e.g., podcasts, videos, etc.) worth creating? How about engaging in video content creation?

The short answer is yes, and no – it depends. Yes, creating video content is a good idea in theory. However, unless you have a clear objective in mind, it’s not necessarily the best idea in practice. As a brand, you need to determine whether or not you’re achieving your objectives based on video content metrics – like “views” and “clicks” on website videos – and not just on the overall success of a video campaign, which may or may not be tied to actual sales.

Here are just a few things to keep in mind if you decide to create audio content (whether you’re using automated tools like a podcasting platform, or you’re taking a more traditional approach):

1. Objective

Just like with any other part of your digital marketing strategy, you need to have a clear objective in mind when creating content for your brand website or blog. What do you hope to accomplish with this content? Does it serve as a lead magnet for attracting new customers? Does it highlight a new product or service that your company provides? Does it go into detail about a new industry or trending topic that your company is invested in?

Once you’ve got your objective clear in mind, you can begin to determine the type of content that you’ll need to create and whether or not this content will be in audio or video format. A high-quality editorial calendar can help to establish clear communication about what’s going to be released when and, more importantly, why.

2. Style

Just because you’re creating content for a brand doesn’t mean that you have to limit yourself to only using the style guidelines of that brand. To borrow a phrase from the copywriting world, “informational style” isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not the most effective use of your time, either. Especially since you’ll often end up with the same old boring information in the end.

What is important is that your content reflects your brand’s voice, tone, and approach. So, for example, if you’re trying to create content that is friendly, fun, and informal, it might be a good idea to interview a few real people with actual jobs – such as truck drivers, factory workers, or airline pilots – and include their honest opinions and experiences about the topics you’re writing about. This will give your content the authenticity that can only come from a human source rather than a computer algorithm, and it will help establish your blog or website as a trustworthy source of information.

3. Research

Now is the time to do some hardcore research into the topics you’re writing about. There are several ways to find the information you need, including searching the internet, looking at government websites, and reading trade publications, to name just a few. Don’t worry – you don’t need to know a lot about a certain topic to write about it effectively, but being informed is certainly helpful. Remember, your audience is mostly likely digital and may not have as much faith in your brand as you think they do. They need to trust you, and establishing that trust by being knowledgeable is the key.

4. Length

Your potential audience is mostly likely inundated with information and have shorter attention spans than you’d believe. To grab their attention, you’ll need to keep your copy concise but comprehensive enough to hold their attention span without dragging on. So, while you want to provide as much information as possible, you don’t want to make it so long that the reader loses interest or forgets what they came for in the first place.

5. Audience

This is arguably the most important factor of all. Who is your audience? What are they interested in? What do you know about them?

As a brand, it’s important to remember that you’re not just writing for humans – you’re also writing for various automated systems that can (and will) read your copy and make decisions about what content to show a user, how to word a search query, or whether or not to serve a particular piece of content to a user.

How Do I create an editorial calendar?

An editorial calendar is basically a list of content that is going to be published (or “released”) by a brand at some point in the future. The list may be organized by topic or timeline, and it typically contains the following information:

  • Title of the content
  • Abstract (short description of the content)
  • Preview images (if needed)
  • Keywords (optional)
  • Date published (this is the critical one – it decides the order in which the content appears in search)

When you have everything written and set to go – whether that’s a handful of blog posts, a podcast episode, a video script, or a radio commercial – it’s time to test. How does the content perform, when actually read by humans? And does it perform better than you could have guessed?

Once you have a clear idea of how well each piece of content you created is performing, it’s easy to determine which one is most successful and which one should be delayed or improved upon. In terms of determining the overall success of a piece of content, you can look at a variety of metrics – like the number of views, shares, and downloads on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, as well as the number of signups to a website’s mailing list or lead generator.

When Do I Want to Publish My Content?

Whether you’ve got a brand website or blog, or you’re an independent content creator, you’ll need to establish a publishing schedule to make sure you don’t run out of fresh content too quickly. While we’re still in the relatively early days of digital marketing, we’re already seeing more and more brands putting out content multiple times a week.

If you decide that you want to use content to attract and acquire customers, your first priority should be to establish a steady stream of new material. Meaning, you don’t want to delay or skip any of the content you created because you ran out of ideas – even if it’s super good. Just remember that humans are most attracted to novelty and variety, so you might have to go through a few trial and errors before you get it right.