Copywriting – A Natural Selection for Digital Comms

In our fast-evolving digital world some see the copywriter as an endangered species, hanging on to the last leafy patches of the marketing landscape. But be careful before writing-off these highly adaptable creatures. Overlooking this valuable resource could leave your projects without the vitality they deserve.

A writer’s habitat
Traditionally, copywriters have been responsible for penning ads, direct mail, sales aids, brochures, guides and manuals. But their place in the marketing ecosystem is bigger than that.

Copywriters are key to communicating the benefits of the product, service or brand in such a way that encourages the reader to buy, participate or think in a certain way. This automatically puts them at the top of the food chain when it comes to creating copy for websites, social media and other digital communication platforms.

Survival of the digitalist
Nowadays almost everyone has a website, but how many are created using a copywriter – or at least designed around a well-written document? Good writing forms the basis of the user experience and should therefore be part of a site’s conception.

Copywriting guru, Andy Maslen, once claimed that “four times as many people read your headline as read your body copy". Online, headlines must work even harder to catch the skimmer’s eye. Similarly, clear subheadings, bullet points and economic body-text are necessary to make the information fit for audience consumption.

And then there’s the matter of accuracy. Since a website is often a customer’s first major experience of your brand, poor grammar and typos are a sure-fire way of putting your brand on the extinction list. 

Mastering the environment
Copywriters have another skill in their genes when it comes to the web. Search engine optimisation copywriting is the means of tailoring the content to improve search ranking.

Search engines make use of semantic indexing to match results to the searcher’s intentions. Therefore, peppering your content with words and grammar variants related to your business will help people find you. It naturally follows that more detailed content, with phrases that answer questions your prospects are likely to ask, will also raise your search profile.

Born for brevity, born for branding
Less is definitely more, especially when it comes to social media. But despite the character limit, you still need to convey a message which resonates with your reader and adds value to the brand. To achieve this, you have to become their friend, advisor or confidant to encourage conversation. It's these skills that make copywriting a natural selection for social media campaigns.

This is just the beginning when it comes to content marketing, the buzz-phrase in today’s marketing environment. It’s all about connecting with your audience or, as the Content Marketing Institute defines it, “creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience”.

The goal is to produce powerful, emotive copy which people will want to share, helping your customers form a relationship with your brand and, ultimately, persuading them to buy your product or service.

It’s in their blood
Despite the move towards digital executions, tools and platforms, the power of words and the value of the story remain the DNA of any brand or product message. Therefore, as the storytellers of the marketing world, copywriters are a species worth protecting.

Martin New
Martin clearly likes a challenge. He's worked for two of the most regulated industries - three years as press officer in a financial services company and six as copywriter for a healthcare ad agency. Along the way, he's shown that the same fundamental rules apply when creating compelling communications, whatever the audience, industry or medium. He's now copywriter at Purple, writing for clients across a whole host of industry sectors.