Why now, more than ever, good copywriting is essential
Even when the going is good, copywriters have to work hard to prove their value. No surprise then that now, in the midst of a global pandemic, our job is even harder. In many ways, it's our job to make things sound better. We tidy up grammar, refresh websites, write sentences that grab people's attention – all important things, but when the business world is brought to its knees, it’s not necessarily our words that keep the lights on. Even for us at Main Course Copy – freelance copywriters and marketers who think as much in USPs and KPIs as semi-colons and Oxford commas – the going is tough. The irony, of course, is that now, more than ever, good copywriting is essential. Since COVID-19 ground the country to a halt, we've seen how copywriters have created brilliant messages and campaigns that speak of hope, togetherness and the practicalities of doing business during in these strange times. There are AirBnb’s words of comfort: “we may be apart, but we’ll get through this together”; and Tesco’s clever spin on its classic tagline: “now more than ever, every little helps”, and IKEA’s fitting call to “conquer the great indoors”.
And then there's that copy that instructs, guides and informs. Like the UX copy that leads customers through the FarmDrop website, or the countless new web pages that reassure people about how businesses are keeping their customers and staff safe.
Now imagine the copywriters behind those words; the conversations around how to deliver a message in the brand's tone, balancing optimism with sincerity; how best to get people to make an order, keep safe, or return when the time is right. Right now, the value of copywriting is not in making things sound nice, but in communicating ideas that are complex or scary or both. This clarity is essential, not just for businesses, but for everybody. For the businesses that can afford it, a freelance copywriter and marketer not only offers much needed clarity, but a marketing strategy that keeps them moving forward, even when everything else is slowing down. It might seem superficially mercantile to talk about brands and sales in the middle of a pandemic, but this isn't about making a quick buck. In these times, marketing is all about the long haul: reaching out to wider audiences, but also communicating positive change/ As businesses use this time to figure out a new path for the future – whether that's in the way they work, the things they sell, or the principles at the heart of their brand – copywriters and marketers can work out how best to articulate these changes, both internally and externally. When part of a wider content marketing strategy, something as simple as a monthly email newsletter or a few social media posts a week, can keep you at the forefront of your customers' minds. For those businesses with the space to invest in a freelance copywriter, now is a good time to put clear communication first. Because while we might not be solely responsible for keeping the lights on, our words do offer a torch in the darkness.