Why do words matter?
Right now, you’re staring at a blue fluorescent glowing screen and it’s separating you from me. Maybe it’s a phone, a laptop or a tablet. Regardless, it’s beautiful. It’s ever-present. And, it’s full of endless potential.
But, it doesn’t come without some major drawbacks. While our screens allow us to reach millions of people all around the world, they prevent us from feeling and experiencing many of the things that make us living breathing human beings.
We are beginning to miss out on all the lovely elements of physical face-to-face contact like hearty belly laughs, firm handshakes, direct eye contact, warm conversations, bright smiles and the close human connections that are necessary to build lasting relationships and strong rapport with the people around us.
In a world dominated and severely separated by screens, a major question has begun to rise above the walls –– how do we preserve the human element in an increasingly technological world?
Entrepreneurs are saying video. Engineers are saying artificial intelligence. Writers? Well, they are saying words. I'm obviously biased, but I think the writers have got it right.
Wait... do words still matter?
Now, some of you might be skeptical and understandably so. After all, we've been told time and time again that writing is dead, leaving many to question –– do words matter? It is, of course, a fair question, considering we’ve watched journalism shrink before our eyes, newspapers become scarce, blogs become lists and fucking Apple replace words with emojis (I'll save my disdain for another blog post).
But regardless, my answer to this question would be yes. In fact, I think words matter more now than ever before in history.
Since I am a copywriter and marketer, from here I will be focusing this article on the impact writing will have on the connections businesses make with their customers.
But, please understand that I think the power and influence of writing stretches much further beyond the realms of just strictly business and bleeds into our human to human connections. Medium is a testament to that. In many ways, the "non-listical" blog posts we read on Medium are some of the most genuine conversations we have all day.
Why do words matter for brands?
I've worked with dozens of brands on writing creative, compelling and captivating words that make their customers feel something. And, after working with these brands, I've been pleasantly surprised at how many of them have gone on to hire full-time copywriters and writers after realizing the impact good writing has had on their customers and overall businesses.
I would say one of the best parts about being a freelance copywriter is helping brands realize just how much words matter and why they matter. Most of the business and marketing copy we see today reads like an instruction manual or a bag of oven-baked Lay's potato chips. So, either complicated and boring or... just plain boring.
There is rarely if ever, any emotion in the words we see brands shell out, which is becoming a big problem. Why? Because the words they're writing are now the ONLY conversation(s) they're having with their customers. Physical store locations are closing and with them the opportunity to connect with customers in the many ways that make us human. So, words and copy have now become the primary source of communication between brands and customers.
And, in order to have these conversations effectively, brands must figure out how to write words and copy in such a way that it makes their customers feel something... anything. They must write words that inspire. They must write words that move. They must write words that pull at the heartstrings of their customers. They must write words that tickle their customer's funny bones. They must write words that educate their customers. They must write words that distill complicated information. They must write words that make their customers feel comfortable with them and their brand. They must write...
Words that matter.
This means that articles can't just be a never-ending barrage of lists but instead a library of knowledge for their customers. This means the emails sent out to customers can't read like the fine print in the "terms of services", but instead must read like a conversation between two people. This means that the copy customers read when they peruse a brands site must be noteworthy... considering unlike physical stores –– over 70% of people who visit a brand's site never come back.
Words matter now more than ever before because words have replaced conversation... they are the conversation... they're one of the few remaining human elements in a rather screened off world.
By Cole Schafer.
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