Things you must know about your ad copy and web content
Good copy and content is based on values. It’s based on information content and usefulness.
It is not based on “style guide” values or "copy recipes". Nobody reads copy with a style guide in one hand and a phone in the other, unless they have no lives.
The cutoff point for customers is where they're not getting the information values they want.
More to the point-
Your customers don’t read copy because they want to become web copy editors.
They read to explore something of interest to them.
Let’s kill a few myths here:
Your customers will read anything, of any size, even those huge direct marketing pages, if they’re interested. Forget the “5 second attention span”.
If you’re selling to technically-minded people, they want more information, not less.
If you’re selling products, they need adequate descriptions. Interestingly, even eBay has started hiring people to improve product descriptions, no mystery why.
If you’re selling services, they need prices and descriptions of the service. I’ve written copy for service providers which was very valuable for readers simply because it explained their extra added values for customers. They provided a lot of useful additional services.
If you’re selling anything, they need to know how to purchase, like credit cards, etc. Not knowing that, and not being able to find information about purchasing is a real own goal. It simply confuses, and usually annoys, potential customers.,
As you can see, the fact is that selling commercial information isn’t necessarily simple to start with. The customer’s demand for information, particularly basic information, must be met, or the customers go elsewhere, where they can find out what they need to know.
You may not be exactly surprised to learn that more information also provides more selling points. It’s not good enough to say “We sell X”. People need to see quality values, particularly for services and tech products.
Web content values
Web content is trickier than ad copy in one way:
It creates its own information base.
It builds on the other information contained in your site.
There are risks here:
Never ignore the very high values of basic entry level information for customers. The more they know, the better customers they'll be.
Don’t give your readers a PhD thesis when they need to see simpler, How To information.
Always start your website content with at least an introductory “interpreter” page and build from there.
Link, link, link!
You need to make your site easy to work with for your customers. Link to everything relevant on every page, particularly your sales page/store and supporting information relevant to your business.
Always include CRM!
Your contact page is free CRM, and it can be priceless. Make sure someone in management is keeping an eye on it. You’ll learn a lot from your customers. Some customers are major assets.
This is an article of mine called The Blue Chip Customer, which explains the value of expert level customers and how to structure CRM to get real value out of your website in this regard.
Never send mixed messages!
Your content should never confuse or mislead your customers. Make sure someone’s checking for any sort of information which could be baffling or give customers the wrong impression.
Make sure your information is an asset, not a liability!
I spent 20 years in customer service, and in my experience, most problems come simply because customers have either been given the wrong information, or misinterpreted available information.
Generally speaking, the customer is “right” 50% of the time, and that’s why.
Remember that wrong or misleading information can cost you a lot of time and in some cases money.
Always quality check any information provided for customers, and keep it straightforward.
I hope this has been of some use to you in clarifying what’s involved when you’re creating advertising or web copy.
This is what I do, and that’s how I do it. Ask me about what you need, because I’ll definitely be able to help.