Tuesday, April 4, 2017

How to Save Money on Copywriting (Without Sacrificing Quality)

If you can't set aside a zillion-dollar budget for marketing copy creation, then you're in the same boat as the vast majority of enterprises. Does that mean you have to settle for insufficient marketing efforts or weak content from inexperienced, skill-challenged writers? Certainly not -- sometimes you just have to make sure you're getting the best value out of your professional copywriter. Here are a few tips for doing just that:

Know what you want to say (before you ask a copywriter to say it). I recently edited a rough draft that someone had sent me for a real estate brochure. My rewrite was approved by the person who requested it -- who apparently hadn't checked with another head honcho in the company, who had wanted something significantly different right from the beginning. So they had to create another draft, with a completely different focus, and send that to me for editing as well. Don't get wrong, I'm happy to have the work. But if you don't have tons of writing or editing funds burning a hole in your pocket, get totally clear on what you want done before you give your copywriter his marching orders.

Establish a single point of contact for your copywriter. This is related to the above point, but it applies to how you communicate with your copywriter. Even if your team is agreed on the main points, style and tone of the piece to be written, too many cooks can still spoil the content. If Executive A is requesting changes that Executive B doesn't know about and Executive C hates, your copywriter may end up reworking that content multiple times -- billing you each time, by the way, since it was your disorganization, not his incompetence, that made the fixes necessary. The easiest way to prevent all this chaos is to designate one point of contact between the company and the copywriter, with all requests, notes, comments and questions passing that individual's desk for final consolidation and review before the writer ever sees it.

Make your content marketing strategies more efficient. When you see the bottomless well of the Internet demanding more and more content, it's easy to make the assumption that more is always better, or at least necessary. But before you engage your writer to pump out tons of articles, landing pages and other copy on every possible topic related to your industry for every available social media channel, take a careful look at which of those channels actually matter to you. For instance, do you really need to be posting hundreds of articles on Facebook when your primary target market prefers to use LinkedIn, or vice versa? If your audience does follow you across multiple platforms, might it make good sense simply to post the same article on those various platforms simultaneously to make sure you don't miss anyone? How about your website -- does it really require a hundred pages of content that try to address everybody in the world, or could it make do with ten pages aimed directly at your ideal buyers? Don't buy more content than you actually need.

Don't go with the cheapest copywriter. This last point may sound counterintuitive, but I've seen it demonstrated with painful clarity by clients who sought out the cheapest rate from the cheapest writer they could find. You can guess how the results turned out, which is usually why I would then be hired to rewrite the first writer's work (in some cases, large quantities of it). So the client ended up paying twice when they could have hired the right professional, paid one reasonable rate, and gotten high-quality work the first time.

Take these tips to heart when you're about to engage that professional copywriter for your next project. When your marketing efforts take off, you'll know you got your money's worth!