News & Blog

30 Oct 2012
Lathwell copywriting

Copywriting: more than good spelling

Effective copywriting can help you do so much more than merely describe your organisation's products and services. Get it right and it will help you to build a compelling brand and engage with your customers and prospects at a deeper (more profitable) level.

Therefore, when commissioning a copywriter, look for someone with more than just a good grasp of spelling and grammar. Appoint someone who will:

  • Capture your corporate 'voice'. This requires an instinct for an organisation's culture and values, and an ability to select the words and sentence structure that are most appropriate for - the most familiar, appealing and reassuring to - your target audience.

  • Reinforce your key messages (positioning statements and propositions). 

  • (For online copy) include your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) key terms - which won't necessarily be the same as your key messages.

  • Know how to achieve the two above without negatively impacting on the readability or entertainment value of the item (2% density is a common guide). A good copywriter can convert marketing messages and selling propositions (what you want to say) into a compelling story (what your audience wants to hear).

  • Keep a reader's attention by knowing how and when to refresh longer or more serious content - for example with a change of tone, or a quirky aside. (The pictured dog is called 'Poppy', in case you were wondering).

  • Ensure that you appear professional. Even if you're targeting the 'text-speak' generation, you need to earn their confidence if you want them to spend some of their hard-earned cash with you. Sloppy work isn't cool.

  • Know when to bend strict English Language rules in order to improve communication.

  • Know how to keep words in the 'background', quietly allowing the spotlight to shine on your story, your product, your message - without making the reader work too hard. A good copywriter doesn't show off a superior knowledge of the dictionary or different syntactic techniques for the sake of it. 

  • Tailor your copy for the medium and audience it's intended for; for example, online copy should be more concise and structured to mirror the scanning behaviour of most website visitors, while a brochure outlining the business case for an IT system should contain very little technical jargon.

It isn't easy marrying all these competing demands. Not everyone has the skill or time to pull together the perfect promotional piece - and, frankly, sometimes you can just be too close to your business to be able to explain it clearly, concisely and interestingly.

That's where our 25 years of copywriting experience can help. So, if you need help to make your marketing communications really zing, or you'd just like to speak to Poppy, please call us on 01398 331177.

Tags: Branding, Copywriting, Key messages, Marketing, Positioning, SEO