Why B2B Copywriting Matters, Really Matters

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In an age of video and photos, words don't get the respect they deserve.

Words aren't sexy or glitzy. 

But they do matter. Words provide the information, the context, and the guidance for customers to take action.

In this episode, I talk with Eden Bidani, a conversion copywriter for SaaS, tech, and direct to consumer brands.

One of the things that struck me is Eden's suggestion that the best copy takes time to create and a lot of the time is not writing, but research. 

You're listening to marketing spark, the podcast that delivers insight, tools and tips from marketers and entrepreneurs and the trenches in twenty minutes or less. In some respects, copywriting is the unsung hero of digital marketing. It doesn't get as much attention as video and photos, but words matter. On today's show I'm talking with Eden but Danny, a conversion copywriter and acquisition strategists for Sass tech and D to see companies. Welcome to marketing spark, Eden, thanks for having me, Mark Isn's great to be here. So what does a conversion copywriter and acquisition strategist do? All right, so conversion copywriting. We're really looking at at the kind of the whole spectrum of copywriting. It's not specifically, it's not direct response copy in the way that we're really trying to push towards a sale. It's rather looking at every every kind of customer touch point throughout the funnel of throughout the sale cycle, and looking at optimizing the copy at that specific point to help drive conversions, not just not just to lift conversions at that point in the funnel, but to actually drive greater conversions across the the entire spectrum. For whatever reason, copywriting is getting more attention these days. As someone who is a writer by professional words have always been important to me and copy has always been at the core of what I do, but it is interesting to see high profile marketers like Dave Gerhart talk about why copywriting is so important. So what do you think the spotlight is being Shan on copywriting these days? I think with all the crazy things that are going on in the world of right now, I think we're really realizing just how much we actually depend on written communication can more than video, more than other things. It's text, its emails, it's slack messages, it's SMS. Has We are just we're using so much more written communication now, more than ever, even though even if we do weave into that as world video and other forms of media, it's just it's really shining it. It's really help bringing that to the forefront that if you're not if you can't communicate clearly,...

...if you can't get across what you're saying and if you can't ensure that your message is optimized in a way so that your audience receives it in the way that you intended to come across, then it's just going to fall flat. That's sort of the the current situation has really brought copywriting to the into the spotlight. It is interesting that when you look at platforms like instagram and snapchat and Ticktock, video and photographs are seen as a proverbial bell, the Bell, the ball. Everyone loves video, everyone loves great photographs, but words or kind of like the workhorses, not terribly glamorous. I'm I'm curious about why people are recognizing the value of words. Do they suddenly realize that words make a difference as it's harder to differentiate yourself? Our words because coming increasingly more valuable? I think words are pretty much always been that, like you said, the the UNSUNG Hero. I mean a picture, they say, you know, it falls back to the old saying of pictures worth a thousand words. But if you don't have a caption for that picture, if you don't give have an explanation or something to support that picture, it lacks context. And so copywriting adds multiple layers of context. You can have a beautiful image, you can have, you know, and an amazing, engaging video, but a copywriting is such the words than the messages that are that are, if you know, kind of in shrined or encapsulated in the visual the concepts and the messages and the deeper under the deeper underlying concepts that are that people want to express through three images and through video. Again, it's really hard to it can be hard to get that message across. As a writer, I often think that writing is underrated and undervalued, particularly when it comes...

...to the web. Over the last few years, the prices for content marketing as a from a freelance perspective, seem to have been dropping, but there's a sense that that is changing. Do you share this sentiment that writing is becoming more valuable and that people are putting more value in people who can write well, or is that just me being biased as a as a professional writer? Now I think so, and there I think a lot of it has to do with the trends in in the GIG economy over the last few years. There have been for the probably the around the last ten years, there was a prevalence of content houses, content farms, of like wet or content mills, as we sometimes call them. From a writer's perspective, that just the purpose. I think it fits into the wider marketing perspective where you look at see things like Seo ten years ago is very, very different to what Seo is today, where it has a much more technical aspect than it was a lot about keyword there was a lot of keywords stuffing. There was a lot of just publishing content for the sake of publishing content just to rank higher in search engine results, just to be present online in order to get that attention. But people have realized that it's actually it's not just having the content. It actually has to be good content. It actually has to engage people, it has to really speak to people on a deep level. It can't can't just be something that's just spun up over the course of half an hour. Really has to, can. It really has to. It has to connect deeply with the ought, not just with the audience but with a topics and express it in an in just a very highly engaging way. What you see is the fundamentals good copywriting. I'm sorry about that. About it. I had to ask. No, no, of course that's a good one and I think actually the fundamental for copywriting is is actually the research. I...

...kid you not, the race. If really, yeah, it's not actually the writing this is copywriting is so far from there'sn't there's a creative aspect to it, but it's really far removed, at least conversion copywriting. It's so very far removed from branding copywriting, creative copywriting. The research is easily eighty percent of the work. If you don't know who you're writing for, if you don't know what the purpose of the copy is, what goal it's trying to achieve, where it fits in terms of the overall whether it's the content marketing strategy or the marketing strategy or the funnel strategy. If you if you don't know those goals, you don't know who you're writing for and what it's meant to achieve, it's not going to move and it's not going to move the needle. So you're saying that there needs to be some strategic thinking before you even put pen to paper. Proverbial speaking, absolutely I can't. Like I said, the research is easily eighty percent of the work. That's an interesting perspective because people think the copy flows. I mean, I think we've got this image that artist like Dave David Ogilvy, somehow they were got a spark of inspiration and out came the copy, but the reality is a good copy takes time and iterations and a lot of a lot of hard work and sweat. I think you're right. I think that good copy emerges because you've just immersed yourself in a topic and almost feels like you're you've kind of given yourself a chance to digest what the key themes are and what the key ideas are. Let's say you're ready to piece of copy for a client and it could be website copy or a blog post or something that requires creativity and thought. How what's your what's your process? How long does it take you to to really get to the point where you're happy what you've done? That's a good question and I think it really depends on it depends a lot on the project and the depth of the project. And again, what the what are the Tenzero foot kind of goals for the project? How is it meant to help move the clients business for or to help them increase more revie or quire...

...more customers? It really depends and it depends on how much customer research that they actually have. For example, this is this is not something that can be knocked out in a day with most project. We start off by interviewing customers that the client actually has an actually speaking with them one on one, recording those, getting the transcripts, going through the transcripts, actually surveying their customers as well, collecting survey results, analyzing them, doing deep audience research. It's a process. It can be quite it can be a few weeks. And what do marker struggle with copywriting, because it seems to be one of these things where people think it's really hard, really challenging. Is it because they're not natural writers, or do they not understand the process involved? Can you explain some of the struggles that they have? I think mark my market is struggle with copywriting. Is Not because they don't they don't know what to say. Is because they have too much to say right I can as know they know the business or they know the productor they know the clients so well and there's so many wonderful features, there's so many wonderful benefits they can communicate, but it's weight. If you're going to dumple this information on your audience, they're just going to be they're going to lose focus. COPYWRITING is about it's about distilling that message down to the kind of one or two core points, like you unique selling proposition, and present that to the audience in a way that's going to encourage them to to make a decision, to decide to move forward, to want to learn more, to decide to purchase. So it's not it's not necessarily about what what they say or to find ideas. It's that they have too many ideas and so actually to actually distill the message down and to pinpoint the kind of one or two pieces of information that that the that the audience really needs to hear in order to convert. that. I think that's the struggle for a lot of marketers, because a lot of my marketers by by trade, they that all right, copy, what a market to write this copy. A writer or a creative writer might sometimes right copy, but most of the time it's the general content writing or creative...

...writing. You know, it's interesting. I have a client and we were doing website copy for them and whether their biggest peces of guidance was we don't want generic copy their fintach company. So they didn't want to sound like every other fintach company out there. So we did as we took a step back and create a copy that we saw as user friendly and simplistic, and then we got into a bit of a philosophical war because they saw simplistic, accessible copy as being generic because it didn't have big words, it didn't have all the industry acronyms, it wasn't trying to throw out all these inside baseball cliches. To me, that was an interesting struggle because you're as a copywright, you're trying to be tight and you're trying to be concise, but a lot of entrepreneurs want to be very propose and they want to set tell everybody everything. And do you find yourself in in struggles with entrepreneurs who just don't understand the tenets of good copy as sometimes, but then usually once they once they hear the research process, they hit once they hear that it's database, that it's a day, that the specifically conversion copywriting. It's a it's a databased approach to copywriting. So we first confirmed the data, we confirm what language the audience is speaking, we confirm the verbal queues and things and the ways that they expressed themselves, and then we present these to the client and say this is what your audience is say we need to make sure that the copy is matching their language patterns, matching the way they speak, to actually capture their attention effectively and to help bring them to convert. And if the order, if, in the event, the audiences also using jargon and long run on sentences and things, then there doesn't mean that there's not a place for it on the website. That said, if the audience is using simpler language, if the audience in their day to day lives is expressing themselves very differently than we present that to the client, the say this is how we're talking, so this is how we're going to talk to them. It like it makes sense. That's an interesting tape because I guess one of the things we...

...talked about is markers, particularly recently, as being very customer centric, writing copy and content that reflects their needs and interest but it is interesting that you suggest that we should talk like they talk, we should write like they would write, so we're aligning ourselves with their sensibilities, the ways that the ways that they like to consume content. That's a very interesting approach. Thank you. It's I have. I have a degree and anthropology and sociology, so it actually I took that inspiration from there. With anthropology, they the way they learn about different cultures and the way the conduct research projects is they do something called ethnography, which is where they actually immerse themselves completely in the culture, in a culture, in a societal group that is actually foreign to them, and they say they dress the same, they eat the same food, they speak the same language, they actually do everything that they can to actually understand their audience or who they want to communicate with from the inside out and then they'd step take a step back and then look at how the way you know, look at how they perceive the world and then applied that understanding elsewhere. That's a really interesting approach because when I think about doing marketing engagements, one of the things I talked about when I'm approaching entrepreneurs is the ability or the fact that I need to talk to their customers. Sometimes they get pushed back because they don't want to consult in talking with their customers. Are Customers are sacred? Their customers are there's but what I often find the more customers I talked to, the better feel I get for what customers want, the way they talk. That engagement with customers is invaluable and I can see. How can I to align with marketing? Any suggestions about blogs or books or podcasts that people should read to learn more about copywriting, or people to follow on Linkedin for that matter? Oh yeah, definitely. In terms of books, that's a kind of books. A ton of good books on copywriting. kind of the two fundamental ones, though, I think, would be breakthrough advertising by using shorts, which is not strictly about copywriting, but it contains so much golden information about how it's really about the nuts and bolts of good copywriting, what goes into it, about how to adjust what you're writing for...

...the different stages of awareness, where prospect is and how to tailor the copy to make sure, how to tailor your messaging and your copy to meet to meet, like you said, meet their net their interests, in their desires. The other, my other favorite book, I would have to say, is the the Ad Week copywriting handbook by Joseph Sugarman. He was a famous advertorial writer and direct marketer from a few bit decades back, and he the way he teaches you how to write long form copy, how one sentence kind of weaves into the next sentence to create be that people want to read every single words. It's really fascinating and after reading this book you immediately ply it to your own writing and it makes a big difference. Well, now I got two more books to read on top of the stack of books I've got my bits at table for. Thank you for that. So, even if people want to learn more about what you do, where can they find you online? Best Place would be to to find me on Linkedin. That's the best. That's where I found you originally. It's tell me a little bit before we go. Tell me about your experience on Linkedin. How long you've s been writing copy and content so linkedin? Really I just stepped up the last in over the last year. I've been on Linkedin for a lot longer than that, but then I really took start taking more proactive approach to marketing myself, and so not just market not marketing myself in a sense of trying to push myself out that, but just trying to add value to the commune, to the professional community on Linkedin. Thanks to everyone for listening to another episode of marketing spark. If you enjoyed the conversation, leave a review and subscribe by Itunes or your favorite podcast out if you like what your heard, please rate it. For show notes of today's conversation and information about Deaden Visit Marketing Spark Dot Cola blog. If you have questions, feedback, would like to suggested guests or want to learn more about how I help be to be companies as a fractional CMO consultant and advisor. Send an email to mark at marketing sparkcom. I'll talk to you next time.

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