Wonderful thing, copy.
It surrounds us. Almost everywhere we look, on everything we buy, there’s some form of copy. Some call it content. Certainly the more digitally-minded clever people amongst us do.
For now, I’ll call it copy.
The ad in the magazine we’re reading while we wait for the dentist: copy. The editorial in the same magazine: copy. The billboard, the TV ad, the website, the Direct Mail piece, the shelf wobbler, the blog. Copy, copy, copy. Copy, written by someone.
Very good news for the copywriter. The copywriter is in high demand. Or perhaps in today’s digital, media savvy, media hungry, self-content providing world, the copywriter is everywhere. There are certainly more copywriters out there than I thought, judging by the Linkedin profiles of everyone even remotely attached to marketing.
Dave Trott. He’s a copywriter. A very good copywriter. A legend. He has a reassuringly honest way of looking at things. Intrinsically, he does what all of us creatives should do. Look at the root of a problem. Explore it. And use lateral thought to come up with a simple answer. The answer is buried in the abyss of all those documents, or on the bus, on the toilet, or waiting to be discovered in a comment on YouTube. Find what’s buried and unbury it. Read Dave’s blog if you get a chance. He’s a perceptive man. And an inspiration.
Or there’s Bob Hoffman, the Ad Contrarian. He gets it. Have a look at his blog and you’ll get it too.
The art of the copywriter is about finding inspiration. It’s about knowing what’s out there, and knowing what’s on the horizon. Actually, for that, you’d probably need someone whose job title is Digital Prophet.
The digital age has led to the reinvention of the snake-oil salesman. SOS leads to SEO. I can tell you everything you’ll ever need to boost your Google rankings, promote your brand and tell you how to write the best copy in the world.
How do you write for the web? Write the same as you would for any other medium. Just make it shorter. And keep it relevant. Write great copy that’s interesting, and people will be…what’s the word…interested.
Simplicity. Brevity. Oh, and remember that the only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it. Dale Carnegie wrote that in 1936, before Google, and our friend and influencer, the Digital Prophet. Read his book, or scan a QR code to trigger a contactless pay system to render a 3D printed model of it, delivered by drone to your home, if you fancy.
Unfunnily enough, our mediums are always changing. How we all consume media is changing. It’s always been the case. The wheel came before the steam engine; the printing press before the tablet. Are you reading this copy on your phone? I wrote most of it on mine.
Anyway, back to writing copy. Is the art dead? Of course not. Not on your Nelly. Never been more prevalent, really. It’s merely a case of knowing who you’re writing to, knowing their problem or their need. Then addressing it well, in an engaging way.
How easy was that?