Please excuse us if this blog comes across a little self serving, but we’re willing to bet that the question “What is copy?” popped into your mind the first time you met a copywriter. We would know. If we got a dollar every time someone asked, let’s just say that we might not be writing as much as we do.
So to settle the question once and for all (and provide our fellow copywriters with a link to copy and paste when the question inevitably comes again), we’re here to define what is copy, how to write it well, and most importantly, what it means for B2B.
Isn’t copy just written content?
We used to think that copy could refer to anything in the written form. Blogs, websites, and news articles? Copy. Bus ads? Copy. Food packaging? Copy. But that definition hardly narrows it down. If copy refers to any form of written content, then novels, fiction, and literature should fall under the same umbrella. Yet we hardly hear them being referred to as such.
Can copy then be defined as any form of commercially written content? Possibly. But we think we can provide a more narrow definition that clearly distinguishes between good and bad copy. Anyone with a WordPress account can click publish, but such posts would be more similar to diary entries than commercial copy. Similarly, although we write LinkedIn content for C-suite executives, not everything that’s uploaded onto LinkedIn qualifies as copy, either.
See, copy can be a blog post that’s written to blow off steam. It can also be a list of facts in a scientific report. But these things won’t qualify as copy unless they’ve been written with the intent to convince. That’s the key difference between copy and the broader spectrum of written content.
Copy is words that have been deliberately curated for a specific medium
with the intent of spurring a specific audience into action.
How can copy convert B2B audiences?
Good copy that truly convinces can draw attention, hook readers, and help them understand a product or service’s value. Good copy is also entertaining. This is why we are adamantly against inserting mind-numbing buzzwords into our copy. People have read about “innovative, disruptive one-stop shops” far too many times. These words do nothing to differentiate you from the competition.
On the other hand, simple and relatable copy is what will keep people reading. Remember, your goal is to get readers to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, not impress your secondary school english teacher (This also helps your SEO score by the way). Placing meaningless buzzwords is akin to planting stumbling blocks between the reader and your goal.
Of course, the business world cannot just be about fun and entertainment. Your B2B clients will only keep coming back to your website if there’s a reason to. That is, if your content provides value. Contrary to industrial practise, churning out a bunch of industry-related listicles hoping that something sticks is not the most effective way to do this. Rather, understanding your audience and figuring out their pain points is what will guide you towards content creation that can solve their problems and grant you that coveted position as an industrial thought-leader.
Why your business needs good copy for content marketing
For the record: Not everyone can write good copy. We don’t mean to gatekeep the world of copywriting, but we’ve seen our fair share of content that should not have made it out of the editing studio. As a small copywriting agency, we understand the desire to take charge of your own branding and narrative. But unless you’re confident of writing copy that generates results, you may be better off describing your brand in bullet points and letting more seasoned writers weave those components into a compelling story.
The other side of this coin is that not every copywriter can write for industries such as tech, B2B, and finance. It takes genuine curiosity in these fields to be able to first understand the concepts behind them, and then piece that information together into a form that is free from jargon, buzzwords, and forceful hard selling that is so prevalent in the corporate world.
Good copywriters have to do all that while still keeping SEO at the back of their minds to ensure that their hard work actually sees the light of day. It’s harsh, but the best copy gets buried by the algorithm unless it has been SEO-ed. The ability to weave highly searched keywords and key phrases into copy without sounding robotic while still keeping the narrative intact is what separates good and ordinary copywriters.
Good copy goes well with good technology like tea and biscuits
You may have realised by now that good copywriting is a lot more than just ‘putting words on a page’. Every word choice is a complex decision making process where accuracy, creativity, and compliance has to be considered. That’s why the job of copywriting should be left to those with sensitivity to the written word — word geeks. Whether you’re in tech, finance, or B2B, leave the copywriting to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and watch as we transform your brand while you focus on what you do best.