Is copywritting dying??

41 replies
Hey guys,

I have just been thinking to myself, obviously the Video Boss was released this week and that is to do with using videos to sell rather than copy. We are also seeing this happen a lot in big launches withing IM, but do you think it will be only time until we see this happening in other niches too?

With videos been so easy to create is this shutting the doors for good old long copy? which means shutting the doors on copywriting completely?

I was just wondering what some of your opinions are with letting "video" sell products?
#copywritting #dying
  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    "copywriting" is a relatively narrow definition of what effective
    copywriters do. Actually we think. Then we express those thoughts
    with language. Video is a powerful medium. I use it a lot myself -
    it's fast and cheap compared to slaving over a sales letter.

    Just like in the movies, however, the script really matters. Winging
    it on video or being half-assed with any part of your sales process
    is a recipe for half-assed results. It doesn't matter if you are using
    salesletters or infomercials, success with this stuff is all about
    working with subtle details.

    All the "gurus" who make selling look "easy" with their courses
    have a vested interest in making it look effortless - because if
    they owned up to the talent, hard work, and hard-won skill that
    goes into any form of salesmanship their sales would go down the
    toilet.

    Just my opinion. Just because some people make it look easy
    doesn't mean it is.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1769695].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Bret Ferguson
      Originally Posted by Loren Woirhaye View Post

      ".............
      All the "gurus" who make selling look "easy" with their courses
      have a vested interest in making it look effortless - because if
      they owned up to the talent, hard work, and hard-won skill that
      goes into any form of salesmanship their sales would go down the
      toilet.

      Just my opinion. Just because some people make it look easy
      doesn't mean it is.
      I've said this before in another post but when someone is great at what they do, they always make it look easy.(when it's not) Doesn't matter if it's a musician, copywriter, athlete, actor, artist etc.....

      It's the ones who aren't at the top of their game that make it look hard.
      Signature


      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1774428].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jag82
    You have to first ask yourself 2 questions:

    1. Will print ever die?

    2. Will consumers stop reading print?

    The answers to both should probably be no - even in the next 50 years.

    If so, copywriting - salesmanship in print - will never die.

    Talking about video, the script behind the video is copy.

    I don't see video replacing copy fully. Not at least under all
    circumstances. You still need to test on this.


    You also have to consider the following when it comes to video:

    1. Not all prospects have the patience to sit through a video.

    2. Some may rather go straight to the point, browse through
    the benefits and check out the price point.

    3. For those with slow internet connection, the videos will
    take ages to load.

    Therefore, under these conditions, clearly, video may not
    be the best option.

    I do want to say that video is an extremely powerful
    sales tool. I use videos in my selling before, and will
    continue to use them in future.

    I see it as a compliment to sales copy. But
    as a direct replacement.

    Jag
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1769698].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Enthusiastic
    Good question, Ashley. My answer is "No."

    Unless the video talks are all improvised, someone needs to write a script for the presentation. Even if the videos are improvised, someone needs to list the topics to cover.

    Some people simply prefer to learn by reading, rather than watching a video. If these people can get a transcript, or better yet an article, letter, or page to read, they'd much rather prefer this option. They might even just silently disappear when video is the only choice.

    At some point there's a need to collect money and deliver products and services. This means the use of words, either on a page or screen, or on a phone script.

    The Internet isn't the only type of communications media. Some companies still make money mailing out letters and running print ads. If not for copywriters, who will write that copy?

    I predict that within a year, the IM trend will be that whenever there's a sales video, there will also be a transcript to download or an alternative page or pdf for people who prefer to read. Since the IM world is a year ahead of the rest of the world, we'll probably see unpausable, play-once videos hit the general public around the end of the year.

    Great copywriters are really overall marketing consultants who help develop the offers. This service is useful even if the pitch is made on video. Gary Halbert figured that the audience or list plus the offer are 80% of success, even his level of copy the last 20%. People who can provide that will have a valuable service for businesses no matter what the communications tool of the day.

    Halbert mentioned that his generation successfully transitioned from mail order to web and email. He said they could use the same principles of human nature and business to deal with whatever transition is next. He was right.

    The best selling movies of all time use scripts, from writers that are pretty well paid. If online marketing is going to become more like Hollywood, that's an essential part of the model to include. It's controversial that some "reality TV" shows are said to include uncredited writers who "punch up" the story lines.

    The best video marketers are going to have someone helping them with their lines, just as Leno and Letterman and Howard Stern have writers feeding them clever bits.

    I think copywriters don't need to fear video, and video marketers don't need to think copywriting doesn't count in the brave new world.

    Chris

    P.S. Editing won't die either. Kind of ironic that you misspelled "copywriting" in your subject line.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1769719].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Videos require words...

    They don't replace copy, they ARE copy.

    The visual expression of an idea.

    Andy's videos don't represent what you think they
    do - they represent the opposite.

    Multi-media and motion graphics don't eliminate
    the need for a good copywriter - they demand it.

    So, no - copywriting is not dying. Far from it...

    It's a very good time to be skilled at storyboarding
    a good video script.

    It's a very good time to know how to create totally
    bad-ass presentations.

    A good copywriter will never starve.

    Brian
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1769744].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post

      They don't replace copy, they ARE copy.
      And here I came into this thread to say exactly that. Dammit. Once again, Brian, you're one step ahead of me.
      Signature
      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1769829].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Sam Mlambo
    Hey,

    Copywriting isn't dying. The video script big marketers use is copy. It is a good idea to test using video with your sales pages. The beauty of a webpage is that you can put as much marketing material as you want.

    So why limit yourself to only using video to sell?

    If you're going to use video I suggest including some sales copy with it. That way you're not leaving money on the table.

    - Sam
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1770305].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author DonFinch
      Originally Posted by Sam Mlambo View Post

      Hey,

      Copywriting isn't dying. The video script big marketers use is copy. It is a good idea to test using video with your sales pages. The beauty of a webpage is that you can put as much marketing material as you want.

      So why limit yourself to only using video to sell?

      If you're going to use video I suggest including some sales copy with it. That way you're not leaving money on the table.

      - Sam
      Sam is right here, copy is not dying it is diversifying.

      If you look back at some of the big launches of 2009, sure most of them used video but all carried a sales letter alongside. Even George Browns 'GoogleSniper' carried a sales letter with it!

      Whether it's the beginning of the end I don't know, the jury is out on that one but I for one do not think it is.

      Life is all about change, this is just one more example. We either move with the times... or just be left behind... I know which way I will go!

      Just my thoughts...

      Don.
      Ps: Good question by the way...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1771371].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Raydal
      Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post


      I have written 3 sales page for video products claiming
      to put an end to sales copy.... nuff said.
      I can't begin to talk about the number of sales letters
      I've seen touting the use of video when they were
      not using the same video to sell their video products.

      The same way that infomercials have not killed DM salesletters,
      it's the same way that the letter will not go away.

      -Ray Edwards
      Signature
      The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1771900].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author impulsell
    Copywriting is more powerful than ever. Every year there are more copywriters (good and bad) and the internet will only grow copywriting as an industry further. Videos are just another example of copy.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1772347].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author fypnlp
      is copywriting dying....of course not! . Even with the best video marketing in the world someone is going to need copy in the form of a script to sell the idea to the prospect
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1772377].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle



        .
        Signature

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1772515].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          The written word, whether you can see it or not, will never die.

          If you think I'm wrong, turn on your favorite TV show.

          Without the writers...the actors would have nothing to say.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1772611].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Nathan Alexander
            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

            The written word, whether you can see it or not, will never die.

            If you think I'm wrong, turn on your favorite TV show.

            Without the writers...the actors would have nothing to say.
            Now let's be honest Steve, most of those actors have nothing to say anyway.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1772640].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
              Originally Posted by Nathan Alexander View Post

              Now let's be honest Steve, most of those actors have nothing to say anyway.
              Depends on what you're watching.

              I happen to think the writing for Criminal Minds is excellent. If nothing else,
              it is quite realistic to what actual profiling is.

              Numbers has an actual math consultant to make sure that the math they
              do in the show is based on realistic principles.

              Yeah, there's a lot of crap on TV...but there is also some excellent stuff.

              At least IMO.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1772648].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author methomas
                No, Never!

                There are many like me who had rather have the hard copy.

                Of course, I am a senior citizen who actually learned how to read.

                In fact, if there is not a transcriptions for a long video, I don't buy.
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1772714].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author TheGraduate
            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

            The written word, whether you can see it or not, will never die.

            If you think I'm wrong, turn on your favorite TV show.

            Without the writers...the actors would have nothing to say.

            Hmmmm, real acting is being slowly killed by reality TV, I do not doubt that within the next five years we will be watching reality shows in the movie theaters.
            Signature
            amazing product coming soon!
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1859294].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author erinwrites
              Originally Posted by TheGraduate View Post

              Hmmmm, real acting is being slowly killed by reality TV, I do not doubt that within the next five years we will be watching reality shows in the movie theaters.
              Uh...those are called documentaries and have already been around for a while. And even those films have writers--you don't really think that every single word of every single documentary and reality show is said off the cuff do you?

              Writing is not just how the messages are sent, it is the process by which those messages are perfected. Have you ever been to an open mic night and watched someone try to get up and do something totally off the cuff? Painful right? That's the future of marketing video without copywriting.

              So, like everyone else has said, no it isn't dying. It's just artfully woven into the fabric.
              Signature
              I put words on the Internet.
              Silly Haikus starting at $5! PM me for details! (Because it's fun)

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1863143].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DougHughes
    As long as people use words to communicate there will be a need for people like us.
    Signature

    I write copy. Learn More.>>

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1772370].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Nathan Alexander
    No I know, I meant offscreen a lot of these folks just say the darndest things. (TMV...It's hard not to cringe sometimes)

    I love Criminal Minds. And my family has way too many show we watch. But now you've made me want to watch Numbers.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1772695].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Nathan Alexander View Post

      No I know, I meant offscreen a lot of these folks just say the darndest things. (TMV...It's hard not to cringe sometimes)

      I love Criminal Minds. And my family has way too many show we watch. But now you've made me want to watch Numbers.
      Oh...you mean how these actors can't keep their feet out of their mouths.

      I honestly think that if some of them didn't have script writers they'd have
      to be arrested for being terminally stupid.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1772756].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Ashley Wright
    Some great points here,

    So truth be told video won't take over copywriting because at the end of the day to put a video and script together, it does take believe it or not "copywriting" skills. Truth is the big Guru's do make it look easy, and I think it will become more transparent when more people start to create video sales pages, and you start to see and notice the quality of not just the video, but also the skills used to sell the product at hand...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1773936].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author businessmatt
      I'll just chime in as a student of marketing, and not yet a "guru", and agree with everything that has been said. I'd like to add, however, from a basically outsider perspective, that I think that copywriting may be losing some of its effectiveness. It is very easy and cheap for anyone these days to make up a sales letter and distribute it, whether it online or offline. And unfortunately, many people are doing just that, and doing it very badly. I think it dilutes the effectiveness of everything else, much like junk mail and spam, as many people don't want to read/watch/listen to the sales pitch, regardless of format, b/c they just don't have time.

      Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm not the first one I've heard say it, that long copy these days is often a bad idea. Take the J. Petterman company, for example. Their sales copy is mostly 150 words or less, and yet is brilliant and alluring, and has earned them a dedicated cult following.

      I don't think it's enough to have just good copy anymore, or just good advertising period, because there's just so much competition. It needs to be top notch, whatever the format, or you'll lose people.

      Matt
      Signature

      When life gives you lemons, at least you don't get scurvy.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1774347].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author HayleyWriter
    NEVER! The written word will not die. Even good video scripts are written first. Writing is a craft, it is the core of all communication media, and it will never die. We'll just keep finding easier ways to do it - we've come a long way from the quill and ink!
    Signature

    HayleyWriter
    Free articles and newsletter for writers. Learn how to write articles that drive traffic to your website - new training course. Follow me on Twitter. Visit Expanding Creations.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1774588].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    If we see copywriting as PERSUASIVE COMMUNICATION (and that's how I see it), then there will always be a demand for it... because videos require persuasive communication almost as much as the written word.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1775246].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author dblgdee
      I see diverging schools of thought here:
      The copywriters say no way..
      but there is developing technology that now identifies keywords from audio with voice recognition technology.
      Streaming is everywhere..
      We are able to view movies on-line, and will soon be common place as the changes in the record industry show and with that comes video. so the trend perhaps may be copywriting specifically for audio and video instead of for reading.

      The copywriters are able to comment on the difference..
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1775407].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author regr8
    Copywriting WILL never die. Good ol' copywriting with persuasive words are a lot better than videos with bad voice acting. But I still love to see live demonstration of how a sales was made.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1836815].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    A lot of these videos are just salesletters being read aloud to take advantage of the audio side of things too.

    And they're killing it.

    So no... can't say I think copywriting is dead.

    And nor does my schedule.

    -Dan
    Signature

    Always looking for badass direct-response copywriters. PM me if we don't know each other and you're looking for work.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1837002].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1837665].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author prettyboy
    Copy isn't dying. However, what you're seeing now is a new bunch of internet marketers entering the game and the price that they are budgeting for copy is going down--way down, even laughable.

    The few who really understand the value of copy still pay the big bucks for it because they know the end result, but as a whole, the majority of people are looking to get good long copy for little of nothing. I don't like it, but that's the reality.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1841608].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author prettyboy
    Jonbell.....you're right that there is still a chunk of "writing" to be done. However, the question is copywriting dying. SEO articles, blog posting, books, etc. is totally different from what we in this forum refer to as copywriting, such as sales letters.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1860418].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DougBarger
    Any kind of sales video requires the copywriter to create the script/salesletter for it.

    Don't believe that?

    Try doing one without a strong close and see how many sales you get.

    Try doing one without all of the essential elements of the selling process.

    So now matter how any one wiggles or squirms, there's always going to be copywriting.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1860939].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ChrisChoiSEO
    In informercials, it's the copywriters that write the scripts to sell the product. This will also be the case for video, so my stance is no.

    I do feel that Internet copywriting is taking a hit as the value of it is watered down. Alot of people think reading a course on copywriting can be enough to write a professional salesletter.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1861732].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Shanita
    Yep it's right. In my opinion Copy writing is here to stay! Though lot of people confuse articles writing and other stuff with copy writing, it does not doom it altogether.

    Regards
    Signature

    Best Regards
    Feel free to Message me for your Writing Requirement :)

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1861868].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author CopyMonster
    My view is no. Copywriting as in long form sales letters may be lose out to more video/text combinations going forward but text will be around for a long time to come. As others have said, video still needs to be scripted. At the end of the day, you're using words to convert whether it's spoken or printed out and someone has to come up with that. No matter how appealing, throwing up a video of the product won't sell it just as slapping a picture of it on your web page won't.
    Signature
    Scary good...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1861929].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
    Video is important in web 2.0 marketing strategies, but the idea that ad copy is dying is a pretty far fetched one to sell. You have to consider the implications regarding a world without ad copy.

    Does every single prospect mind watching a long video or do people prefer to skip to whatever section or information suits them?

    Does every prospect mind going without detailed lists of value when considering a purchase?

    People are looking for quick answers to their questions, and in most cases, reading a few brief sentences can do more to answer something quickly than can a long video. Most of the time I just hit the pause button and read through the ad copy because the video takes too long to get to the point. But really, copywriting isn't dying. I think it's just going through puberty or something.

    The future of ad copy will just be one more integrated with video, like some of the more popular products we've seen in recent days. You'll see a video, read a few paragraphs, look at some charts and figures, then continue onward with another video. People have to be engaged at multiple levels. This just means fewer rich jerk ebooks and more quality content balanced out by various media.

    So, to summarize, no copywriting is not dying. But it is most certainly getting scooched to the side quite a bit.
    Signature

    No signature here today!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1861975].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
    Is copywriting dying, you ask?

    No. And it won't die... as long as people want to sell stuff. As Loren so astutely pointed out, copywriting isn't necessarily about writing -- it's about thinking.

    So, whether you're using print or video, copy will never die... unless staring blankly into a video camera somehow catches on.

    Johnny
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1862103].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jimisan
    I'm not a writer but based on the above deliberations, I agree that copywriting will not die. It's here to stay. I guess a great movie is made out of good scripts not otherwise.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1863186].message }}

Trending Topics