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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Although most of us were raised in an environment where education was the priority, and writing a required skill, it doesn't always translate into effective copy writing.  Composing a well researched article is not the same as firing off an email and although we all have the ability to write, few of us have the ability to do so while being informative and entertaining. I’ve come into contact with countless agencies who have tried to outsource copywriting either for simple articles that will be syndicated for SEO purposes, or for blog posts that need to be of a high standard.

Every digital media agency should have an in-house copywriter, yet so few do. Many have copywriters and don’t even know it. It is likely your copywriter will also be an account manager or a web developer or one of your social media strategists. In print media this issue doesn’t exist because it’s an old industry, it’s been around for decades and due to the very nature of the industry good copywriting is heralded with the respect it deserves. But online marketing is still a relatively infantile world, still figuring out its morals and values.

Engaging copy is essential for marketing, it is the backbone of any successful campaign, on or offline. And trivial spelling or punctuation mistakes can not only overshadow a good campaign but can overtake it too, becoming the amusing focal point which quickly goes viral and turns the brand into a laughing stock. Not everyone can write engaging copy, it is a skill. It’s a skill that can be taught, true, but also a skill that must be practised, refined and implemented confidently, and unfortunately the majority of marketing agencies don’t seem to have the time for this sort of employee investment.

Those workers that have ten, twenty, thirty years experience in copywriting and are looking to branch out into online marketing are getting ignored due to an abundance of fledging search engine marketers and social media junkies who can cram a few keywords into a semi-literate sentence.
But the economic climate is also a contributing factor.  Both established and start-up marketing agencies have been and still are struggling over the last few years.  The recession has forced people to cut corners and save money where they can, so a skill such as copywriting - which everyone should be able to do anyway, is one of the first to get neglected.  Rather than pay more money on quality content, cheaper outgoing is a more attractive option.
These days copywriters need to work harder than ever to garner recognition. Producing dazzling content on time and on budget is no longer enough, we need to have a list of on and offline editorial contacts, we need to regularly contribute pieces to a range of different outlets, the more varied the material the better, and we need to save time to promote ourselves, our content and our expanding skill set.
Special thanks to our guest post contributor Zac Colbert. Zac Colbert is a writer wading through the SEO industry one debunked issue at a time, covering topics as diverse as sustainable living, online dating sites and music journalism.


digital agency said...

I found your blog perfect for my needs. It contains wonderful and helpful posts. I have read most of them and learned a lot from them. You are doing some great work. Thank you for making such a nice website.

Miyavi said...

I think as of any profession, constant evolvement is important in keeping yourself relevant in the industry. So copywriters could do more than creating great content. Being able to manipulate the platforms where you content is published will give you a lot more clout and relevance. As such, I think copywriters who are also equipped with SEO, search marketing, or content marketing skills will surely be highly valued in the digital arena.


Kent said...

One of the biggest challenges for Malaysians to blog and come up with high quality articles is English language and copywriting.

If you ask a businessmen to invest in copywriting, they would rather invest in traditional advertising method which has lower ROI.

They can't see the importance of copy writing

Joshua Eyberg said...

Just found your blog and was reading your article about copywriting. I agree that it is undervalued. I have a full time copywriter now but in the past had to learn the hard way with freelance cheap copywriters that did not do a good job in their copywriting. Anyhow great article as I hope to read more soon.


MarComPro said...

Woot woot! Let's hear it for copywriters!

Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Copy is necessary but as a former Account Manager who also wrote, I have to say hiring the right writer (ha!) is key. I have worked with too many freelance or full-time in house writers who wanted to get "their stamp" of creativity on something or who didn't "get" the direction I provided from the client. Often times I re-wrote what had been provided to me so it was easier to do myself. If you do hire someone, make sure they are the right fit and if in an agency setting that they get how to write for the types of clients you have.

Unknown said...

Copywriting is the act of writing text for the use of advertising a product, business, person, opinion or idea. Thanks! Look for additional posts on this topic soon.

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