Defining what you
need in your ad copy
Defining what you need in your ad
be forgiven for wondering why you bother to talk to
some people.

You might as well be talking to a calculator.

Conversions, click-throughs, etc., are all fine-
Provided
people are actually reading your ads.

I have a somewhat cynical relationship with “ads by
numbers”. While I appreciate the theory, understand the
marketing issues and am all too well aware of the sales
issues, there’s a problem-

What about the readers?

What do they actually get out of what they read?

Consider the logic from a professional writer’s
perspective:

Any idiot can get on a major brand site, write copy until
they turn into an adjective, and claim to be a copywriter.

It’s the hits that count.

Someone has to want to read your ads.

I get thousands of hits off my own bat in my own name,
without hiding behind a brand. People read me. On one
site alone, I have 1.85 million hits. Nobody knew who I
was when I first came on the site in 2007. That’s about
300,000 hits a year, or nearly 1000 a day, average.

I’m a bit flattered. Most writers don’t get that volume of
hits in a lifetime.

My claim to being a copywriter isn’t based on theory.  It’s
based on facts. I get hits. That really is the bottom line.

There’s a reason for that. I don’t write like a shopping list.
Anyone can write a shopping list. The usual shopping
list is usually remembered for what it leaves out. "We
forgot to get…. "

A lot of ad copy is much the same.

The word is “value”.

I tell readers about business values, commercial values,
functional values, wholesale, retail, top of range,
bargains, you name it. I try, hard, to stay relevant to the
value issues in context with client business needs,
particularly sales and market image.

I explain the advantages of using a product, service, or
why one product is better than another. I seem to spend
a lot of time lately explaining why new products are
better than the old products.

This is very common with startups, trying to compete
and looking for unique selling points. What I do, as well
as writing copy, is identify these advantages. In quite a
few cases, I’ve been able to identify markets the client
hadn’t even considered.

Defining what you need from a
copywriter

Let’s face it- You’re paying good money, you should get
value, not just a recital of your inventory or list of plans
and prices.

Your spreadsheets could do that. It’s not ad copy.

You need a copywriter who will deliver actual value.

You need copy ideas which have their own values.

You need someone to give you a perspective.

You need someone who’s actually going to help you in
business terms.

One of the reasons my clients and I have a lot of fun is
that we
talk business, we talk ideas, and we can work creatively,
building new values.

Fortunately for me, (because I would have missed a lot of
fascinating experiences otherwise), I’m interested in
practically everything. I do know quite a lot about most
of the businesses I work with. I speak the language of
business, and have had a lot of experience in many
different areas.

I can always help with at least some aspects of practical,
business-based solutions.  I make a point of contributing
useful ideas, angles, and perspectives. I’ve been lucky
enough to have a lot of clients who appreciate these
added values.

This may seem a bit unfair to other copywriters, but
really:

If you’re not interested, how good is your copy likely to
be?

If you don’t provide some expert analysis of the client’s
needs, are you giving the client value for money?

If you just go through the motions and produce a half a
page of  nothing special, can you honestly say you know
what you’re doing?

If you’re having a hard time finding the copy you want or
need some help getting your message across, talk to me.
I love solving problems, and I can always give you better
copy.
The Three Threat-Hamster books, part of a series which will never end.