Is Copy Dead?

It is, according to Tim Riley, the head of copy for the U.K. advertising giant AV BBDO.  In The Drum, Riley talks about judging a copywriting contest:

“Once upon a time, it would have taken us the best part of a day to read through all the long copy ads. This time there were so few that it only took us an hour. We shook our heads sadly and pondered the death of the copywriter’s art. I think we all thought we’d be finished by lunchtime.”

That’s the smh stuff, but here’s the good news from Riley:

“So, ‘copy’ may be dead. But as far as I can see, if you’re a copywriter, things couldn’t be better. There are more opportunities than ever before.”

If you are a small business owner, you need copy.  If you are an internet marketer, you need copy.  If you are a fledgling entrepreneur of any sort, you need copy.  Advertising copy is how you leverage everything else that you do to market your business.

You’ve heard the detractors: people’s attention today is shorter than that of a goldfish.  People scan and skim, they no longer read.  People want short, easily consumed content.  Yada, yada, yada.

Advertising copy is what sells products.   Those who believe that the power of copy is diminished to the point of total ineffectiveness are pointing to the newer ways of influencing buyers like

  • Social media
  • Blogs
  • Articles
  • Email Marketing
  • Content marketing
  • YouTube

If you’ve been around this blog, you’ve seen content about every one of those mediums.  Whether it’s a long copy advertisement or a tweet, it all comes down to the same thing: great content.  Let’s think about fully utilizing what’s available to us today.

If you apply the rule of seven to your marketing,  you’ll see how this works best.  The rule of seven says that it takes a minimum of seven contacts in an 18-month period to turn a prospect into a buyer.  This is why email marketing is so effective.  With email marketing, you can create those seven touches in a week or less (just make sure that every touch is a positive experience for your email subscribers – too many emails in too short a time can also mean lots of unsubscribes).

Incorporating all the channels in the bullet points above, makes getting to the seven touches much easier than it used to be.  Delivering your touches in a variety of platforms helps to imprint your brand on the minds of potential buyers.

Social media can drive brand awareness and traffic to your blog.  Articles on your blog and elsewhere can also build your brand awareness.  Content marketing through your blog and elsewhere is one of the most effective ways build your brand awareness.  YouTube is a powerful platform for distributing content.  Now, where does the selling come in?

It comes in at the sales page that you write for your products and services.  The old adage is still true, “the more you tell, the more you sell.”   The shift today is the more you tell is told across more platforms.

According to Bill Bonner of Agora Publishing, in this age that is dominated by images, copy is getting longer.  If that sounds counterintuitive, it is.  But, consider this.  Today, sales copy is part of social media, email, and every other platform that you use to get potential buyers to your sales page.

If you can see that all communication for your business is part of your marketing strategy, you will understand that copy is not dead, it has spread onto a wide variety of platforms that work together to help you achieve your business objectives.

So, how can you use the various platforms available to you to present valuable content to potential buyers?  It’s not copy that is dead; it is that dead copy will kill a business.  Write great content for all the channels that you use, and you’ll find how alive good copy is and how it builds your bottom line.  If you need help with your copy, go here.

I invite your comments and questions and your likes and shares.

3 thoughts on “Is Copy Dead?

  • March 21, 2018 at 9:32 am

    That is an especially good written article. i will be able to take care to marker it and come back to find out further of your helpful data. many thanks for the post. i will be able to actually come back.

    Annie, thank you for your comments on three posts on If I can be of further help to you, let me know. Tony

  • April 4, 2019 at 2:38 am

    I like reading through a post that will make men and women think.

    Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!

    Thanks, Toby! Tony

  • April 4, 2019 at 3:16 am

    Everyone loves what you guys are up too. Such clever work and reporting!

    Keep up the good works guys I’ve added you guys to my own blogroll.

    Thanks, Garland! Tony


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