High quality copy is essential for any website, blog, product, service and many more digital resources and mediums. Each has their own use and purpose and (especially if you have a large audience) they probably will not use every medium or resource you have. As time is becoming increasingly precious, they will go to the resource they trust and know about, whether that’s a blog or review or technical description of some sorts. Long gone are the days where you could write the same piece of content and put it on every resource and webpage possible – it doesn’t work anymore. If you want to push a product, service or piece of information, it needs to be different for each medium, taking into consideration how the audience will react.
Producing the right copy for your needs
Let’s take at the Boxing Day sales, for example. Now, many people will have rushed to their nearest stores and bombarded the streets of any city or town to get those bargains. However, the arrival of the internet and e-commerce is threatening to take that away in years to come (much to the relief of some very tired and stressed retail staff, I’m sure) and there are signs of it now. This year, some brands started their Boxing Day sales as early as Christmas Eve – yeah, I know, we’ll leave that one for now – for those who wanted to shop online.
On this platform, you don’t have huge queues but you also don’t have the helpful staff to answer questions. Everything you should need or want should be online, and product descriptions need to be able to sell the product, or even the idea of it, to you. This is the same as a blog post or product review that is of enough interest to keep you engaged but also plant the seeds in your mind you want that product or service. The desired outcome may be the same, but the methods are completely different.
Different mediums, tones and purposes
If you consider the differences in a blog post to a product description, you will see an immediate difference in the way they are written. Blogs tend to be more informal and conversational, although this does vary depending on the writer, the purpose and the audience the particular blog or post is aimed at. Unless it’s an outside party writing the post, people will expect some bias but they also expect a full and convincing argument or point that allows them to understand both sides and to know that the author does too – which is generally done by outside parties and in product reviews.
Product descriptions are more direct, and often much shorter and snappier. The idea is to grab your attention, relate to you and put the idea in your head that you want the product for the reasons and situations stated. This varies between each product and audience, much like blog posts, but if you find yourself wanting something you never considered or wanted before, there’s a good chance that the copy struck a chord with you – or it looks really cool, as that always helps!
There are many more examples out there but those are the big two. Not all products can be rewritten all the time. There’s far too many and not enough quality in the industry yet but there may come a time, when during a sale, season or during a particular push or incentive, descriptions are changed, at least temporarily, to boost sales. This can work wonders because it will feel fresher and more up-to-date than anything else.
The increasing value of quality
If 2013 has taught me anything, it’s that quality matters more and more. Content, going beyond just copy and the written word here, is going to become a huge thing for many marketing and advertising agencies and the ones who get it right will prosper while the ones who don’t will crash and burn. 2014 is going to see this trend continue but at a much more extreme level. Content is not an afterthought now (or at least, it shouldn’t be) but that’s not to say exploiting it by creating hundreds of pages for every tiny detail and variation is needed too.
To really rule the content world from next year onwards, you’ll have to understand the value of quality content and how much is not only necessary but going to be of use to the audience. People should be your focus here, not just pleasing search engine giants like Google.
Have a great New Year and I’ll see you in 2014!