Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What Is Copy and Why Is It Important To My Marketing?

This may seem like a very basic question. However, it's one that needs to be asked and answered. Why? Because a lot of business owners don't "get" the value of good copy. 

You may be asking "What is this copy you talk about?" In the simplest form, words. Just like the ones you're reading now. But not just any old words. Words that explain what your business, product or service can do for a prospect. 

More importantly, words that sell. Words that will motivate someone to give you money in exchange for value. And words are a key part of every ad or marketing campaign a business runs. 

The right words will sell and the wrong ones won't. It's really that simple (but not easy) to write a winning sales letter or message. 

Words are part of radio and TV commercials and newspaper ads. They're on pay-per-click ads, landing pages and sales letters. And they're part of brochures, follow-up e-mails and every other marketing message. Bottom line - words are part of all your marketing efforts

The right words are critical in direct-response marketing, which is what every business owner should use. Direct-response marketing asks the customer to take a certain action. It can be to opt-in to an e-mail list, sign up to watch a video or buy a product. 

A business owner will know exactly which ads work to make a sale. Why? Because you can track to the penny how many prospects buy from each ad. 

This is why most ad agencies don't like this type of marketing. They want you to pay for their ads over a period of time and ignore the results. That's because most of the time these ads don't make many sales.  

Their ads may win awards for being clever or creative. But when it comes to making sales, these ads almost always fall short. 

Most agencies rely on image or "branding" type marketing. This relies on expensive ads with few words that don't really sell. It's a popular myth based on the theory of "brand awareness." 

use the word theory because I haven't seen it work well in the real world.  It says if you put your company name out there often enough, folks will eventually buy from you. 

This kind of marketing can make some sales in the short run. For example, if you have a stopped-up toilet and hear an ad for a plumber on the radio. 

Here's the problem with this theory. If you can't directly track an ad to a sale, you don't know if it works. What's the ultimate goal of a business? Make enough sales to at least cover your costs. And better yet, make a profit. 

This ties back to my original point. Why the right words are critical to business success.

I know this may sound really basic. But I see a lot of business owners who don't seem to get this simple concept. 

If your marketing hasn't worked well, you might be using the wrong words. You could make an offer your market doesn't want. Or you could make your offer to the wrong people. If you want to sell T-bone steaks, you wouldn't target a group of Boulder vegans. 

A savvy copywriter and marketing pro can look at all three to find the weak link(s). 

I'll admit this is a little self-serving. That's because I am a copywriter. I tell you this because it's critical to your business success. 

More than a few companies do OK without good marketing. Will they continue to do OK in the future with a so-so economy? With a few exceptions, I doubt it. 

The economy won't get any better anytime soon. Especially with state-run health care. 

There are so many "wildcards" that affect the economy today - both here and around the world - that I don't know when it will get back to 'normal' or even decent. 

In the future, good business and marketing basics will be more important than ever. That includes good copy, offers and strategy. 

Don't believe that good marketing makes a difference? Listen to this Tony Robbins interview of Jay Abraham:


Jay is a well-known marketing legend. His advice produced $9.4 billion in sales for his clients. 

Listen to the audio more than once and take plenty of notes to mine the marketing "gold." 

What's the best measure of your marketing? Not how many leads or how much "brand awareness" you have. It's how well you convert those leads into sales, which lead to dollars in your bank account. 

This should be your main goal when you make any marketing decision. Not to just 'get your name out there' or 'boost brand awareness.'

If it don't make the cash register ring, it doesn't mean a thing. 

That's the best reason why good copy is critical to your business success. 

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