With the advent of the Internet and gravitation toward online social media marketing, it may seem that most people and businesses have turned the lights out on offline copywriting. Not so! Somewhere in the world, there are those who still prefer the good old fashioned written word transmitted through print magazines and billboards, television and movie scripts, radio advert copy, and even that personal handwritten letter.
Offline copywriting is anything but irrelevant and dead. In fact, it’s here to stay because it’s how many of us still communicate and learn about brands, products, and services. Yes, it’s true, we are all not schooled in texting and instant messaging nor do all of us choose to rely on this type of communication for all of our personal and business correspondence.
Reality: The Digital Divide
The reality is that there is still an extensive digital divide no matter how much we claim, in the infamous words of one long storied Disneyland ride, “It’s a small world after all.” Whilst this might be true if you live in Europe or the rest of the Western world, there are many countries around the world that still do not focus on the need for online copywriting because they are not tuned into the Internet or mobile apps.
Therefore, they prefer traditional marketing copywriting that comes through offline channels. Other areas may be slowly gravitating toward a greater online usage, but social media copywriting and online advertising is still in its infancy for them.
Relevance: Personal Touch Still Counts
Offline copywriting will continue to be relevant when there are still so many companies and consumers who prefer face-to-face communication or information delivered in a way that they can touch through its more direct approach.
For example, older consumers still prefer the comfort of print newspapers and magazines over getting their news on their mobile phone. Or, corporate giants need to prepare ad campaigns or marketing copywriting for a global audience that needs a traditional approach. And, let’s not forget that there are plenty of people out there that still prefer to “leaf” through the pages of a real book than to press a button on a Kindle when they read.
Reunite: A New Marketing Mix
Some of today’s most successful marketing campaigns require that offline copywriting and online copywriting be combined into an integrated strategy wherein all channels are hit with unique and consistent marketing communication messages. This delivery system, which reunites offline copywriting with online efforts helps to reinforce the message and increase brand recognition for greater influence and persuasive powers.
Rules: Engage and Inform
The rules for offline copywriting and online copywriting are very similar in their technique and delivery:
- Be relevant to your brand, product, or service.
- Create a value proposition that attracts consumers and businesses.
- Drive benefits and differentiating qualities to influence purchase decisions.
- Appeal to emotions through engaging and convincing copywriting.
- Deliver information, entertainment, and solutions that interest viewers and generate buzz.
- Be consistent,
- Keep it simple and succinct (for you acronym lovers out there, that phrase always been known by copywriters as KISS; for everyone else, that might just resonate as a rock and roll legend).
That’s not to say there are not differences with offline copywriting when compared to the new style mechanisms found with online copywriting:
- Offline writing isn’t bothered with keywords, SEO, or what search engines think of the content quality; it’s all about style, tone, and emotion.
- Offline copywriting tends to be one-sided and is shaped to retain control over the messages whilst online copywriting is framed around the audience; interaction and feedback is more important with online copywriting, so there are more open-ended questions and content directed at eliciting a response from the website visitor or social network “friend.”
Whatever a company opts to use when it comes to its copywriting needs—whether it’s one or the other an integrated offline/online copywriting strategy—there is clearly room for all types of writing in a world that continually moves toward the desire to gather information and build success through a knowledge-based society. How you use copywriting is entirely dependent on your objective and audience.