Is copywriting relevant for social media? – Olivia Colville

In the new age of social media it’s tempting to think that traditional copywriting no longer has a place. Who has time to read huge blocks of text on a screen anymore? Who has the time to read every page on a website? Do you REALLY need a copywriter?


Copywriters used to spend their time working mostly in print media. They crafted catalogue copy, delivered direct mail pieces and came up with catchy ads for newspapers and magazines. Today the focus is on 140 character tweets, popular hashtags and clickable Facebook posts.

Now the internet has put a virtual encyclopaedia at your fingertips. Any subject you can imagine has been catalogued, discussed, and dissected into oblivion. The ease with which we can access data has changed the way we consume information. These are some common misconceptions about how the web has eliminated the need for proper copywriting:


  • Time:We think that the internet has shortened our attention spans, but the truth is that we’re just bombarded with information. You can easily spend hours watching cat videos, or chatting with friends on Facebook, so clearly you aren’t lacking the ability to concentrate. The difference is, this is something you find entertaining. When copy is well-written and fascinating, people keep reading it—no matter how far they have to scroll.
  • Visual: Technology allows us to enjoy rich media like images and videos. And a picture is worth a thousand words, right? But copy and images combined are even more powerful. You couldn’t explain all the benefits of your product just using pictures. Tell a story that shows your customer what your service can do for them and they’ll be more convinced than with images alone.
  • SEO: The battle for a page one ranking on search engines is never ending! Keywords are stuffed into web copy at every opportunity despite the fact that they don’t always make sense. However, this is changing as search algorithms get smarter, seeking out those sites that provide real value to users. Good copywriting can make a significant contribution to search result rankings.

It may appear that using a professional copywriter is no longer essential, but persuasive, engaging copy is still the most powerful tool for improving profits. Web pages, social media and blogs offer copywriters more opportunity to shine. Experienced copywriters who have developed their skills to include SEO and social media can help your business deliver consistent, effective messages to new and existing customers.


A tweet may drive traffic to your website, but once a visitor is there, it’s the long copy that determines whether they click further or bounce. The ability to get your customer’s attention, keep them on your page and encourage them to click further is a skill that never loses its edge!

In-house copywriter or freelance copywriter?

Which is best for your business?

It’s inescapably true: every company will at some point need a copywriter. If that company wants to be competitive, market themselves or simply propose a deal, a professional writer is qualified to execute these tasks professionally. So should you simply hire a good writer? Is it much of a hassle finding one that offers his or her services on a freelance basis?

The answer is not black and white. While I would highly recommend that copywriters in South Africa work as freelancers because of the financial and time benefits, the fact is that permanent workers are still needed. So here are some questions to ask yourself about your company:


  • How much writing does my company need?

If your company doesn’t have enough writing to keep a full time copywriter busy for seven hours a day, it’s simply not worth getting one. If your writing needs are intermittent, consider finding a decent freelancer who is on call whenever you need him or her.


  • Do I have the time and energy to find the right person?

Finding employees that fit in with your company culture is hard. It takes time and money to find the perfect person, and even then you can be fooled into hiring a trouble maker! With freelancing, you have the option to not use someone again if they are not a good fit.


  • Will my company need many different styles of writing?

An in-house copywriter will have strengths and weaknesses. If your writing needs are diversified, you may find that one writer cannot do everything you need (unless you spend more money on training that person). Hiring multiple freelancers to work on your project is a cheaper, more effective means of getting your project off the ground.


  • Can my company provide outsourced copywriting services?

If you run out of work for your in-house writer, will you be able to offer copywriting services to your clients? If your business is structured in such a way (like a marketing company is), then an in-house writer is a great idea. However, if the writer is limited to your projects only, hiring a freelance copywriter is the way to go.


Answering these questions will give you a better idea of what direction you should take. Think carefully before making this decision. If it’s the wrong choice, you’re stuck with it.


Get a copywriter for your email marketing – Olivia Colville

Think your South African business is too small to consider email marketing? Worried that it will cost too much or take up a lot of your time? Despite the rise of social media, people actually prefer to engage with businesses and brands through email. If you’re ready to try it, keep these three stages in mind as you plan your strategy.


First, you’ll need to set up a programme for creating and sending emails. Then, you’ll get into the nitty-gritty of crafting compelling emails. Finally, because email programmes allow you to track the results, you’ll need to do some data-crunching.

Choosing the right email software is critical to your success. The sheer number of different options can overwhelm new users. As you research your options, ask the following questions:

  • How easy is it to use? If you’re not technical, you’ll want a programme that has templates you can use. Most are very simple to use and you can simply add in text or images to create your newsletters quickly and easily.
  • How much support is available? Everybody needs assistance at some point. Make sure it’s easy to get help when you want it. Do you have to log a request or can you pick up the phone and talk to someone?
  • How much does it cost? While every programme offers different models, you’ll most likely be charged based on the number of subscribers you have. Increasing your email list will help reduce the cost.

The benefits of email marketing are not limited to companies that sell products. If you offer a service, you can still use newsletters to keep in touch with your customers. Educate them on new developments in your industry, showcase your services with real-life examples and share your knowledge with them. This kind of content goes a long way to establishing your business as an authority and earning trust from new prospects.

Sending out regular, professional looking newsletters to your customers doesn’t have to be a hassle. Before you start, think about what you want to achieve. Are you looking drive more traffic to your website, increase sales or just keep your business top-of-mind for customers?

Do some research online to familiarise yourself with the many options available. Speak to other small business owners about their experience with email marketing. Choose a copywriter that offers you the features you need that will help you achieve your objectives.

This is just the first stage of email marketing. Once you’re up and running you can educate yourself on creating newsletters that get noticed by your subscribers. After a few emails have been sent out, analyse the results and see what works best. Small businesses can also use email marketing to help them grow and succeed—so don’t be afraid to try it!


About the Author – Since she was a little girl, Olivia Colville has always had her nose in a book. Her curiosity knows no bounds and she spends her time collecting stories. Olivia’s greatest wish is to become a sought-after copywriter. Fingers crossed!

What is a landing page and how can it boost conversion rates? – Olivia Colville

If every Google and Facebook ad you run takes potential customers to the home page of a website, you’re doing it wrong. Create landing pages that relate directly to your ads and you’ll see the difference it makes to conversion rates. Copywriters in South Africa should learn the art of creating landing pages that capitalise on this effect.


How to craft effective landing pages?

Simply put it’s a page specifically created with one call to action. There are no navigation links to lure visitors away from the action you want them to take. For a copywriter this means a landing page must include the following:

  • A single, focused call to action: Whether you want them to click through a product or complete a sign-up form, keep it simple.
  • Supporting images or a video: Give the user enough information to make an informed decision.
  • A match to the source: If you promised something in your ad, make sure you deliver it on the landing page you create. You won’t earn their trust if you send them to a page that’s unrelated to the message in your advert.
  • No navigation options: Remove links and tabs to stop them from wandering off the page. You want them to stay there until they take the action you designed it for.
  • Give them something of value: A landing page is the perfect place to us a lead magnet. Offer a coupon or free EBookin exchange for your visitor’s information or purchase. This further incentivises them to take the action you want them to.


Why landing pages work so well

Businesses in South Africa have yet to really harness the power of landing pages. Creating specific landing pages for campaigns works for the following reasons:

  • They result in qualified leads: Visitors who click through to your landing page wouldn’t be there if they didn’t want to be. Use a lead magnet that relates to the business, like a discount on their products and services. If they follow through on your call to action, it means they’re already interested.
  • They’re easy to test: You can easily tweak pages to determine what gets the best result. Being able to modify landing pages quickly and easily means you can test them even in the middle of a campaign.
  • They can be shared on social media: South Africa is a social media savvy country. Landing pages are perfect for sharing on these platforms

Local businesses have yet to discover that adding this technique to their arsenal can help conversion rates. Copywriters in South Africa should help these business owners stand out with landing pages. Are you a copywriter? Help them see the value that targeted landing pages can bring to their business and you’ll both reap the rewards.


About the Author – Since she was a little girl, Olivia Colville has always had her nose in a book. Her curiosity knows no bounds and she spends her time collecting stories. Olivia’s greatest wish is to become a sought-after copywriter. Fingers crossed!