DIY Doesn’t Work. Especially when it comes to marketing.
An often neglected, yet critical component of any marketing strategy is the creation of content that clearly communicates your product or brand’s message. Customer perceptions, sales and revenue, and ultimately, profitability, are all driven by the first impressions and message delivered through collateral and your online presence. Relevant content, in the form of written words and imagery, are just as important as design in creating an effective brand.
Copywriting and photography are highly specialized capabilities that have a tremendous impact on the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. A lot of design and marketing firms do not have these specific resources in-house, so we recommend and bring in outside talent to help. While this means additional budget is necessary, the solutions are more relevant and effective. Trying to save money by “doing it yourself” often leads to mixed results and frustration for everyone.
The Benefits of Using a Professional Copywriter
As an objective third-party, not privy to the inner workings of your company or brand, copywriters offer an outside perspective on marketing. Since they are not directly affiliated with the brand, they are able to elicit more honest feedback from customers, employees and vendors—invaluable insight that can help improve your product or service offering. They ask probing questions that get to the core of your brand and the benefits it provides; not just what management and employees think, but rather what your customers believe to be true.
Copywriters offer refined and eloquent prose to your marketing message. They distill messages into clear, concise, and understandable language that is more meaningful and relevant to customers. This content is often more search engine friendly (if for your brand’s online presence), grammatically correct, and stylistically consistent. Professional copywriters turn ideas into written words that provoke action from customers.
The Benefits of Using Professional Photography
Stock imagery, photo-sharing web sites, and Google “images” have all contributed to the diminishing perception of the value of using commercial photography. Using the Internet, or snapping a quick image with one of the many available smartphones or high-res digital cameras, allows almost anyone to consider themselves a photographer. It should be no surprise, then, that many companies do not want to commission a professional photographer for their marketing or branding projects.
While it may be cheaper to find free or low-cost imagery online or to “do it yourself,” there are several reasons why this is not an ideal way to build a unique, professional and relevant brand image. Besides being blurry, poorly lit, and low quality, pulling images off of Google, Flickr or other photo sharing web sites can land you in legal hot water, as usage rights are not clearly defined. Even though images from stock photo web sites are “royalty free” with a small fee, they are often generic-looking in that anyone can use them…it’s not unusual for us to come across competitors of our clients who use the same photography in their marketing collateral.
The only way to get truly original and compelling images that engage customers is to hire a professional photographer. They use the proper equipment, lighting, and composition techniques to bring your product or brand to life. And when you factor in the potential cost of searching through thousands of images online, using a professional photographer to capture and create the “exact” 3-4 images you need is actually more budget friendly.
Don’t try to do everything yourself.
The benefits of using outside professionals, such as copywriters and photographers, can far exceed their cost—in terms of time saved, quality of finished product, and overall effectiveness of a project. Just because you ‘can,’ or are capable of doing something, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. In the end, you might not be as happy with the results, and neither will your customers. When it comes to writing and photography, it’s sometimes best to leave that to the professionals.
By; Ryan Hembree, Principal | Brand and Creative Strategy