How to value ad copy and web
content- What you’re paying for
People have natural reservations about spending
money. When your ad copy costs top dollar, you’re quite
right to wonder what you’re getting for your money.
The good news- There is some real logic to the process.
The not so good news- Your copy has to pay for itself.
The theory of any kind of copy is that you’re paying for
results. The bit most people don’t get is measuring
results. It’s ironic in a business world obsessed with
metrics that hard sales get lost in the blurry world of hits,
click-throughs and conversions.
The idea of copy is to generate interest.
It’s the kind of interest that matters.
If you’re paying $1000 to generate a few clicks, and sell
$50 worth of goods, it’s hardly worth it, is it?
Ad and web content comes in some pretty banal,
I have a pet acronym, “GTOTBO”. It means “guided tour
of the bloody obvious”.
In copy terms, it means non-information, or statements
of the obvious. It’s useless as copy. It’s bland, it’s drab,
and it’s crap.
Even “deliberately annoying” copy is better. It acts as an
irritant, not a sort of “coma in text form”.
When you’re paying for copy, you need to see:
• Practical values (particularly in B2B)
• New information which generates active
Note the word “new”. This is information and logical
associations which generate sales by pointing out new
Point being- People buy on the basis of a type of
What you’re paying for is that logic in your copy. Buying
makes sense to the buyer.
“Persuasive” is one thing- “Convincing” is another.
“Convincing” is what actually sells.
That’s what you’re paying for.
For your $1000 investment, you should see $10,000
Those are the metrics you’re looking for.
Additional values- Engagement with
There’s a thing called “active” copy. This applies to
social media, blogs, etc. This copy generates live
interest, and most importantly, retains interest. It’s still ad
copy, but on a much wider range, involving people.
“Expert blogs”, fashion, etc. are good examples.
This is a higher level of engagement with your market.
You need this sort of direct interaction with your market.
It’s what social media does best, when it gets it right. It’s
CRM, advertising and PR all in one.
The metrics here are about levels of interest. You can
save yourself a lot of money, too. If you do an article or
blog with direct participation, your Blue Chip, expert
customers will react with useful information.
This sort of interaction is ongoing, live data, reliable, and
a good range of indicators.
…Provided you’ve done the spadework setting up an
engaging interface with your market. That’s another role
of copy, and it’s priceless.
Consider for a moment what market research, good as it
may be, costs. You can’t do that sort of research on a
This is “live market research”, to a considerable degree.
All you need to do is park a manager online, watching
the reactions and market feedback.
So your $1000 copy is delivering, say, 50% of the value
of your $20,000 market research, daily.
A worthwhile return?
Talk to me about your copy needs.
I’ve been doing this stuff on a vast range of products
and services for years.
Ask me for help, and you’ll get help.