The first ever Copy Cabana brought together some of the most creative and successful figures from the copywriting and advertising industry. Two of our talented copywriters – Yasmin Purnell and Kerrie Mcivor – were excited to head down to the event and brought back some great tips and takeaways (unfortunately not of the junk food variety, but probably a lot more useful).
“Suitably hosted by Bournemouth beach, the one day conference allows copywriters from all over the UK to come together and listen to the speakers’ experiences and insights from the industry.
We’re always keen to learn and develop and, as such, here are our top five takeaways from the conference!
#1 Know your audience
Echoed by several speakers – Miles Carter, Drayton Bird, and Pete Cain – it is vital to know your audience. A company is never going to successfully engage with their audience if they don’t know who their audience is. In producing web copy and content for our clients, our Copywriting department needs to know exactly who your customers are in order to properly target interesting, useful content at that group.
We carry out in-depth market research on industry sectors Adtrak specialises in, and will use this information as the main guide through which we tailor our content specifically to those customers to ensure our clients are providing usable content to their target markets. Our content can only be as good as it is relevant.
#2 Do your research
At Adtrak, we don’t just pull our content out of thin air. Every piece is measured on successful keyword rankings and industry trends. However, you can never do enough research, and indeed, the Copy Cabana speakers emphasised the importance of knowing your field.
Learning the tricks of the copywriting trade, and the success others have had with specific writing and advertising techniques, will allow us to hone our strategy as a department, providing quality copy that is backed by tried and tested research.
#3 Test your work
The importance of testing your work was a huge point made by the speakers at Copy Cabana, and a message that we took on board here at Adtrak – when Drayton Bird, nicknamed ‘The Godfather of Direct Marketing,’ offers you advice, you listen!
Our Copy department know the importance of testing copy; we have always used tried and tested methods of proofreading each other’s work to check the clarity of copy and for any grammatical errors. However, we’re constantly looking for new ways to develop and improve upon our own skills so, after listening to the speakers at Copy Cabana, we’re currently researching how we can take our testing a step further, looking at specialised copy tests such as KISS, WIIFYM and the ‘we we’ test.
#4 Engage with your reader
Engagement with the reader is what makes copy interesting. Whether it’s the use of rhetoric, such as rhetorical questions – Are you tired of boring, uninspiring copy? -, use of single pronouns – Are you tired of boring, uninspiring copy? – or, as legendary advertising expert and comedian Pete Cain suggested, a set-up and punchline joke structure – A copywriter, a client and an account manager walk into a bar… – there are so many ways to make copy more interesting and engage the reader, which in turn makes copy more persuasive.
Our Copy department are always looking for ways to engage with our readers, and these tips will be added to our repertoire to help sell the benefits our clients’ businesses provide and, as a result, help to increase their profitability.
#5 Don’t sell features before benefits
When it comes to selling a product or service, copywriters need to remember that benefits sell, and features don’t. While features of a service may guide a customer’s decision, they care more about what’s in it for them above anything else.
When writing, a key priority we need to keep in mind is that the services our clients provide are simply a means to an end for their customers, and the main selling point will be how that service can help the customer. Think, customers don’t want a drill, they want holes!
A big thank you to all the organisers and speakers at Copy Cabana 2016 – here’s to next year!”