University taught me the essential backbones of copywriting; research, structure and what to include but it is virtually impossible for university to teach you what only industry experience can.
Since working at Valiant I have learnt a great deal in the short 10 months that I’ve been here. I’ve written online articles for clients, constructed case studies, dabbled in press releases, produced emarketing content and even thought up a few humorous unsubscribe emails. But all of this has been worlds apart from the university projects, blogging, and creative fictional writing that I was used to. Business is a whole other world.
Know your client and their industry
One of the main things my degree taught me was to always do your research before writing and for business this level of understanding is essential. Learning about who your client is and what they do is vital. Research their industry, how do they compare to their competitors? What do they do more effectively or differently? It is impossible to write for your client if you don’t know the key facts.
Know your audience
You’ve researched everything you need to know about the client but who are you directing your copywriting to? This will need to be adjusted accordingly whether you are directing it to their staff, prospective customers or existing etc.
Tone of voice/learning the language
If you are not establishing a company’s tone of voice from scratch you will need to adopt their existing one. It is important to learn the language of the client and honour this within your writing whilst still portraying personality. B2B and B2C writing serves a very specific purpose but it is important that your audience are not left reading something dry and disengaging. Adopt the company’s professional tone of voice but be creative with it where you can.
What to include?
You’ve collated all of your research and have all of this information in front of you, but how do you prioritise what makes the cut and what doesn’t. This is something I continue to battle with. There is no room for waffle and believe it or not, too much information isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Think of an inverted pyramid; you want to put the most enticing and crucial information at the top of your article. What are you talking about? When is it and where? Prioritise what you think is most important to that piece. If your article requires it, don’t forget to finish with a call to action.
At the end of the day there is no better experience than doing something day in day out, receiving constructive criticism/feedback and learning from it. I am constantly learning, improving and expanding my B2B and B2C copywriting knowledge, and the experience is invaluable. Put enough hours in and you’ll start to see the benefits.