One of the services we offer at Aberfield is copywriting. It’s a broad term that covers creating content for a wide range of marketing platforms and channels, and for a number of different purposes.
It’s also a service that every creative agency worth its salt offers.
So what does good copywriting look like and what should you be asking an agency that you might be contemplating using?
Understand your audience
The first point to consider, before you even think about what copywriting services you require, is to understand that the purpose of any content is to persuade a group or person to think or act in a certain way.
Whether it’s via a website, an advert, brochure, blog, letter, or a tweet, you are attempting to influence your audience. That means you need to know them inside out.
That’s where we always start, with the audience, and insight into what makes them tick and motivates them to act.
It’s one thing to create an evocative, witty, pithy, earnest or convincing piece of content but if it doesn’t resonate with the target audience then it is wasted.
Does the agency have the right experience?
The next question should be to ask if the agency has previous experience in creating the content you are looking for and if it has trained copywriters.
There’s a tendency for communications agencies to assume they have a strength in copywriting, despite no-one ever having been trained in the discipline. With a number of former journalists and content creators on the team, we have people who have dedicated their careers to producing high-quality content for the media as well as for private and public sector clients.
Are they cross-discipline copywriters?
Content and copywriting have changed significantly in recent years. Being able to write an engaging brochure or an inspiring annual report doesn’t immediately translate into being able to motivate your audience in 280 characters. Understanding the digital world, and what it means to be truly social, helps to ensure online visibility and cut-through in an increasingly crowded space.
If the content you want to create needs to work both online and offline, you need an agency with the ability to flex and change styles so it can work on Facebook as well as in the FT.
Ask for examples or to produce some sample copy
Given the many different roles and functions that copy plays, from advertising to technical writing, ask for examples of previous work. If you want to be completely sure, ask for the agency to produce some sample copy from a brief.
That way you’ll get to meet the writers and see how the agency works, from the briefing stage to the final product. Successful copywriting is, after all, a collaborative effort between the client and the writers.
A keen eye for detail
Lastly, regardless of what content is being produced, the importance of accuracy cannot be overstated!
Proofreading is an art and an area that sometimes gets overlooked. Given the beauty of the English language allowing for numerous spellings and meanings for apparently similar words, and the vastly different effects they can have, you should be confident that the agency you use will get it right. We all know the old tongue-in-cheek joke about the panda that eats, shoots and leaves.
With a multi-disciplinary team of former journalists and content creators, we have a breadth of experience, from award-winning social media and advertising campaigns to technical brochures and speechwriting. We’ve even written, edited and published books for clients and been known to pen the odd verse.
If you’d like to see some examples of our work get in touch.