Initial Copywriting Strategy

14 replies
Hi Everyone.

I work for an E-commerce company providing a range of criminal record and background screening checks as a Customer Experience Manager doing general customer service. I am an English graduate and I've been discussing with the MD designing a role for myself as company copywriter. I'm knowledgeable in the industry and we have SEO software so the copy itself isn't an issue. I was hoping to pick peoples brains to see if there was any initial strategies that people would deploy when starting a new role like this?

I've already carried out an analysis of the companies tone of voice, and have developed a suite of training to refine and standardise this company wide. With this in mind, I've stated that the first task would be going through all the existing copy and bringing it up to the same standard. Any other insights or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
#copywriting #initial #strategy
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  • Profile picture of the author King Manu
    Originally Posted by parki5000 View Post

    I'm knowledgeable in the industry and we have SEO software
    If you think that is all you need to write good copy, you need to study copywriting ASAP. That is enough to write mediocre SEO articles at best.

    The only real strategy for copywriting is:

    1. Study hard
    2. Practice a lot
    3. Test results


    The biggest mistake I see in copywriting is thinking that it's something easy to do and it doesn't require professional hands. This will make the difference between having a company that collects profits and one that collects dust bunnies.

    Or you can continue down your path until a good copywriter will pitch you out of your job with awesome text.
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    • Profile picture of the author parki5000
      Thanks for your reply!

      Don't worry I'm under no illusions about the difficulty of it! I've been doing a lot of research and exactly as you say, practice and study are key. I've love reading about the psychology of language and advertising so I have no qualms embracing that side of the role.

      As I've never worked as a copywriter before, I wanted some insight as to how an experienced professional would approach this role. The company have never had a copywriter before, they are a small enterprise and this has by default fallen onto the head of marketing.

      I was hoping to get some ideas from people experienced in the industry, like yourself, about how you would approach the role considering there is no shoes to fill.
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  • Profile picture of the author King Manu
    The thing is there are many aspects of it and I don't see only one advice I could give.

    But I would say the most important aspect is to study your audience as much as you can. Go and talk with them, join their communities, and really get a grasp of what they need, what they want, and what they like/dislike.

    If you have a fanbase on social media, ask them directly.

    Your audience have 90% of the answers.

    If you like it a certain way it doesn't matter. Your audience has to like it that certain way.

    Here's where most companies screw up, because CEOs want to have it their way. That is the quickest way to fail.

    Then it wouldn't hurt to study successful competitors as well. See what they do well and what they don't. If something is working on their end, that means your audience likes the same things.

    And lastly, think about what your company can offer differently. You want to be the same as competitors in terms of what your audience want, but different to set you apart.

    See their bad reviews as they can be golden gems in terms of what you should improve and focus on.


    Only after this research you can think about start writing some copy, then test 2 or 3 versions of it and see which works best.
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    • Profile picture of the author parki5000
      Thanks for all that, some useful insights there, particularly this:

      "If you like it a certain way it doesn't matter. Your audience has to like it that certain way.

      Here's where most companies screw up, because CEOs want to have it their way. That is the quickest way to fail."

      Most of the management in my company are very stubborn and set in their ways so that's good to bear in mind. Thanks again.
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      • Profile picture of the author King Manu
        Originally Posted by parki5000 View Post

        Most of the management in my company are very stubborn and set in their ways so that's good to bear in mind. Thanks again.
        Pleasure to help.

        I see. It's hard to work with difficult people that don't understand that it's your job as a copywriter to know better than them what works.

        I guess you can encourage changes in 2 ways when you see them set in their unproductive direction.

        1. You can say that someone with a lot of experience in copywriting (since they might consider you an amateur in this regard) told you that if they don't do that thing they will lose a lot of money. This is called the stick.

        2. You can present the idea based on what you learned from guides/book/audience and wish to test it to see if it will improve the customer engagement or whatever goal your page has. This is called the carrot.

        For some people, fear works better at convincing, for others you need an approach where you let them think it's their decision to make and you don't imply you're better.

        Ultimately, you do what you can, if they refuse they will live with the results. But it's important for you to know that was a bad decision, even if you can't change it.


        Hope this helps!
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  • Let's fast track this in 3 steps - before your boss gives up hope in you becoming the acclaimed chief copywriter.

    There might be too much evaluating on this - with far too many discussions with endless meetings and not enough real action to get some excellant results (not unusual in any organisational structure).

    First read - How To Write A Good Adverisement - by Vic Schwab (a full copy course in one book) - takes about 90 minutes to read and elevates you into becoming a good copywriter - the rest takes practise, more books and courses by the proven aficionado's.

    Second - Do as you suggested and update all the companies copy (so it is clear, empathetic and congruent). And as Mr Manu suggested - research your clients so you fully understand them.

    Third - The formula you want to work on is - Problem - Agitate - Solution


    Problem - the horror of scoundrels, thieves and blaggards working for the clients company

    Agitate - the hellish, cataclysmic trouble, huge losses and utter devastation they'll create (give blood curling examples of this happening by rogue, but on the face of it perfectly plausable employees, who easily passed the companies checks and references)

    Solution - the massive benefits your company offers to help prevent this catastrophe from ever happening (and how critical it is they use your company immediately before they take awful risks and hire anyone else without the best safeguards - add some case histories showing how your esteemed company stopped the disasters)


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author parki5000
      Thanks for that Steve, I'll be having a look at that course it's probably a good place for me to start. I love the way you've outlined the PAS formula, that really helps put things into perspective!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Zenert
    Another one that I would suggest studying, as he is very direct, is Dan Kennedy. He has a number of books and is one of the best all time copywriters.
    The Ultimate SalesLetter is a good easy read to get you started.
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    • Profile picture of the author parki5000
      Thanks for the recommendation Jack, greatly appreaciated!
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  • Gotta figure always how words are birds.

    An' they seek always to fly high as skies.

    Seems you writin' from behind a whole buncha screens an' barriers prolly don't suit what your actschwl question is about -- less'n I optimism-bombin' a perfectly pernicious predicament.

    Less'n your heart is in resolvin' moral questions 'bout incarceration, rehabilitation an' stuff, then likely your grad quals could flourish elsewhere with smarter apostrophes aloft.

    Hingerlish is wingerlish -- even in China.

    In my dreams, I would wish to be an exotic dancah, but I am told nowan pays to watch no goil skinnier than the pole.

    So: zero point.

    Howevah, design is way diffrent bcs it transforms the mutable into the cutable.

    Can you feel your hands wantin' to get hold of stuff don't quite exist in your present panorama?

    Kinda uncomfy, I guess -- but it is cool bcs it means you got adventure ahead.

    Urge for design nevah stays stuck bcs it eschews all templates.

    You're objecting to stubborn an' set-in-ways-ness.

    Seems you wanna be freeyah than mebbe is possible rn.

    This is what ima readin', Sweetiepoppet.
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    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

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  • Profile picture of the author hannahcostales
    As someone mentioned on this thread earlier, you definitely want to study your audience and do as much research on them as you can. That's really one of the biggest mistakes I see other copywriters or businesses make in general.

    It's not getting to know their audience at a deep enough level so they can write copy that actually converts. You really want to know them at an emotional level and basically just know them better than they know themselves.

    Because if your research is off, your copy will not resonate with your market at all.

    Also, another thing.

    Make sure you really nail your company's offers down and make it as irresistible as possible.

    People seem to forget that without the right offer to the right market, no amount of brilliant copywriting can help your company grow.
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  • Ahhh yes as Mss Costales wisely said above -

    Craft an irresistible offer to your clients.

    Blending the benefits, emotions particulary the fear of loss - making the cost a steal.

    Coughs - which thanks to your intensive copywriting training your clients now know is one of the many indespensible attributes your company will be working tirelessly to help prevent.


    Steve


    P.S. You must of course ensure your company really can deliver what it proclaims - and spot a check snaffler and other wrong doers 127.9 yards away.
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  • If you want to be good at copywriting. start practicing today. read some articles on SEO, copywriting, and do a little practice and you'd definitely be able to write SEO articles. Don't just read and think that you have mastered it. You need practice so make sure you have done it before entering a professional environment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Insomniaman
    Include calls to action. This is the first copywriting strategy almost every entrepreneur learns first, and it's also one of the most effective. A call to action is simply a phrase that tells users to take a specific action.
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