It’s true that just about anybody can write copy. With a bit of flair, some can write extraordinary copy when inspiration strikes. But with measures and metrics being our bread and butter in the content marketing industry, it’s not always artistry that delivers results.
Some digital natives may remember the days when lacklustre results on social media and over other platforms could be justified as an exercise in “awareness generation”, “getting your name out there”, and other vague goals whose accomplishment could almost never be concretely determined. Data and analytics have evolved at a breakneck pace since then, and powerful tools are able to tell your clients whether awareness really is climbing, whether consumers really are talking about your business, and a thousand other details about how your creative output is performing (or not).
Go Into Every Piece of Content with Your Goal in Mind
Get new-age. Meditate on it. Visualise it. Think about what catches your attention when you’re being a consumer, rather than a producer, of digital content. Conversions, engagement or anything else, make sure you know what result you want before you write that headline, emailer or tweet.
Copy should be creative, enticing, thought provoking and all of the things we take pride in as writers working in a world of commerce, but above all, that end-of-month report must show improving results month after month. More views, better engagement, more hits on the sales page or landing page, and ultimately more sales will impress your clients more than any Dickensian prose you might be able to conjure up.
Keep track of monthly reports and client feedback
We may be artists at heart, but taking a look at the numbers can reveal patterns into what works and what doesn’t when it comes to your headlines, email subject lines, social media posts and more. Your account managers will already be well versed in explaining these results to clients, so ask them for a glimpse into the content’s performance to find out what works.
Does having a question on your creative assets tend to get more engagement? Do more of that. Does your blog post get more visits when your CTA is at the beginning rather than the end of a tweet? Do more of that. Do stories and reels get more attention than statics and videos? You get the idea.
Vast improvements in the long run are made step by step through small incremental changes.
Copywriters can tend to be a breed that enjoys independence and solitude in their work, but when we’re talking about delivering results that clients can celebrate over, every new project is a way to improve. Just as your media team will be improving their targeting and your client service team will tweak their management of the account, so too should we be constantly making adjustments based on the available feedback and insights into what works and what doesn’t.
Simplify Your Messaging
If you’ve spent any time at all on the internet I don’t need to describe the sheer scale of the information available. And though our browsing habits are becoming more intense as a result, people just don’t have time to read every word you write. Social media was designed, in part, to be a never-ending scroll of information, making it increasingly difficult for any brand to stand out. According to Statista.com, as of 2019 and 2020, the average daily social media usage of internet users worldwide amounted to 145 minutes per day, up from 142 minutes in the previous year.
Carving out a few seconds of audience attention as a content marketer means getting right to the point. Lead with your special USPs. Appeal immediately to consumer pain points. Use the power words you already know will sell, and use them up-front in your copy. Keep your email marketing short and valuable. Use short paragraphs and bullet points in your longer pieces of copy, which gives an immediate impression of accessibility and conciseness, no matter how dense the subject matter at hand.
The Bottom Line
Copy is an often overlooked aspect of any marketing strategy, and the world of digital takes equal parts of creativity and consideration to land in a way that attracts potential buyers and ultimately sells products.
In a fast-evolving digital landscape, keeping up with metrics and data – from within your own workplace and the industry at large – is always a good place to start.