Copywriting for Marketing Leaders, or How to Direct the Process
Many marketing leaders didn’t start their career on the creative side. Or even in marketing, at all.
So they don’t understand what copywriting really is.
They think it is merely wordcraft — alliteration, phrasing, verbiage, terminology.
And they readily outsource the task to an agency or, perhaps, a junior-level internal employee.
Copywriting = 80% What to Say + 20% How to Say It
As any effective copywriter knows, the majority of the craft lies in “knowing what to say.”
While the “knowing how to say it” part is far from inconsequential — for example, changing four simple words led to a 132% increase for a CTA — this is the part a marketing leader can readily outsource.
However, “Knowing what to say” is the very essence of marketing, and leaders should not delegate the marketing message.
- How much of this essential practice are you actively involved in?
- What role did you play in the copy on your brand’s homepage?
- Did you interview your internal copywriter before hiring?
- If you use an agency, have you met the copywriter(s) working on your account?
Own the Message
This doesn’t mean you should edit every word of copy that comes from your brand. You’re a marketing director (or VP); so your job should be to direct the work, not directly engage in it.
An experienced, strategic copywriter will naturally know what to involve you in, while minimizing the time you need to invest. Here are a few tips:
- Make sure the copywriter (and your entire team) understand your unifying vision and where the piece(s) she is writing fit into the big picture
- Get a clear understanding of the value your brand provides customers, and formalize the communication of that value by developing a clear value proposition you can provide to copywriters (along with any other internal employees and external vendors)
- Enable the copywriter with specific evidentials — don’t just tell the copywriter your product is the best in your industry, provide specific facts that show you’re the best
- Help the copywriter build a robust customer theory — share the customer wisdom you’ve compiled, introduce the writer to customers or customer-facing employees she can interview, share A/B test results, etc.
- Drop the ego — any copywriter can spoon-feed back to you how wonderful your brand is. But that doesn’t mean customers will believe it. A truly effective copywriter will push back on specious claims and make the most effective (not most outlandish) true promise to your customers.
Mastering the Message
To get a deeper understanding of how to master the essence of your brand’s message, you can watch “Copywriting for Marketing Leaders: Why you should never delegate the marketing message (and how to get it right).”
Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS Institute, guides the audience through a step-by-step approach to use copywriting to create powerful encounters with your customers — not merely sales webpages or ads.
He helps marketing leaders get the proper vocabulary to give effective feedback to copywriters; instead of generic feedback without a clear direction, like “not quite right,” “needs work,” “not sure,” or “meh.”
Daniel Burstein is the Senior Director, Content and Marketing at MECLABS Institute. Daniel oversees all content and marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the marketing direction for MECLABS — digging for actionable discoveries while serving as an advocate for the audience.