Words. Words are everywhere. You’ll find words in apps. On packaging. Product descriptions. Food menus. Words. Everywhere. But not just any old words. We’re not talking about lists of ingredients here. We are, in fact, talking about cleverly-crafted, eye-catching copywriting. That’s right. Just like a dog with a bladder problem, everywhere you look, you’ll see some copywriter’s business or other. Copywriting matters, but why does copywriting matter now more than ever?
Wasn’t the golden age of copywriting back in the heady days of the Madison Avenue ad agencies of the 50s and 60s?
Let’s remove our sepia-toned glasses for a minute and kick nostalgia to the kerb. Certainly, some of the greatest ads of all time were created by the Mad Men (and women) of that bygone era. Their scintillating copywriting captivated, convinced and, best of all, sold. They wrote everything. Print ads. Billboards. Direct mail. Radio. TV. The classic copywriter’s playground.
However, with the onset of the digital era, copywriting has now extended its reach into a multitude of new platforms and spaces.
According to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, poetry is ‘the best words in the best order’. Copywriting is putting the best words, in the best order, in the best medium, for the right person, at the right time.
Whether it’s a tweet, an email, a landing page, a CTA button, or a GDPR-compliant plain English policy, you want a copywriter to work their magic on those words.
Copywriting or Content?
There’s an ongoing debate over whether digital marketing will kill traditional marketing. Marketing is marketing. The principles remain the same, regardless of the medium. There should be no distinction between what is digital and what isn’t. That’s why copywriting remains pivotal to successful marketing campaigns.
Likewise, this is why content marketing has been on the receiving end of some serious vitriol. Is ‘content’ really such a bad word that it’s so readily dismissed as alchemy by marketing ‘purists’? Or is content marketing just marketing by another name? Is it just another home for copywriters (once you’ve expunged the self-proclaimed gurus, ninjas, hackers, and experts)?
As with any industry, you’ll find your fair share of shills within marketing. In contrast, a true copywriter will make your words/copy/content (delete as applicable) sing, regardless of the medium.
However you choose to dress it up, copywriting remains fundamental to marketing in all its forms. We may have resigned Don Draper to a nostalgic past, but copywriting has never been more important, pervasive, and yet so misunderstood.
Perhaps it’s time to recognise that when you want the best words, in the best order, in the best medium, for the right person, at the right time, what you’re really looking for is some killer copy/content (delete as applicable).
Because copywriting matters.