Why Poor Web Copy Can Harm Your Brand

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Have you ever noticed that certain words or phrases seem to pop out at you every time you read them? These are called “buzz words” and for a very good reason, which you can relate to if you’ve ever heard the term “buzz” in its most archaic form. You are likely to hear “the town is buzzing with the latest news” or “the neighborhood is abuzz with the latest…” They are buzz words because they are trendy, and they are buzz words because the internet is abuzz with talk about buzz words. It doesn’t make the substance behind their usage any less true, or any less valuable.

It simply means that those words seem to make readers stand up and listen – figuratively, of course! And so it is with the much-revered marketing buzzword, “brand.” Although it’s trendy to discuss brand in a marketing context, it is a key point, nonetheless. Brand is quite literally the hub around which the spokes of the marketing wheel turn, and also the foundation of any successful marketing strategy. With that being said, let’s look at how poor web copy can harm your ‘brand.’

The Importance of Brand

Before looking at how and why poor web copy can harm your brand, let’s take a quick glance at why brand is so important in today’s world of marketing. You can thank big data and AI for discovering just how important brand is to today’s consumers. In fact, that statement is so important that it bears repeating. Of any marketing strategy, building a brand is the most important.

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According to survey after survey, today’s consumers are more interested in who they are dealing with than even the cost of products they are researching. Brand is an important factor because society has largely become dissatisfied with what they perceive to be calculated attempts at misleading consumers in marketing schemes.

As a result, today’s consumers will carefully read the “About Us” page on brand websites they are interested in. In general, with so many major concerns in the world around them, they want to know what a brand is doing to improve the quality of life on the planet. They want to know that they are spending their own hard-earned cash on something that will eventually make a difference. While it would be an untruth to say that brand is important to all consumers, it is safe enough to say that brand is a priority among Millennials who are now the largest generation with money to spend.

What Does Poor Web Copy Have to Do With It?

At this point, you may be asking what poor web copy has to do with it, and rightly so. The problem is that you must first define what constitutes poor web copy. There are actually a few key factors to look for, the first being extremely poor grammar and an overabundance of spelling errors. Bear in mind that today’s consumer is seeking brands that have something of value to add to the world around them.

Millennials seek intelligent answers to life’s most fundamental questions. They seek brands that are willing to go the extra mile in finding the answers they seek. You will notice that the operative word in that statement is ‘intelligent.’ Any brand that would have you believe they seek truths yet have web copy filled with silly errors that anyone can spot on skimming a page gives lie to the fact that they are doing anything but trying to drive traffic to their website.

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Conversely, perfect grammar devoid of any personalization is just as bad. Consumers have often said that if they wanted to read a dissertation, they would seek doctoral papers that have been posted by students in the last days leading up to graduation from graduate school. What they are really looking for is a brand that is sincere in efforts being made toward such things as sustainability and mitigating climate change and solutions to world hunger, for example. Any time web copy is slapped together with a random sprinkling of keywords and phrases, it is perceived as keyword stuffing.

A Different Kind of Value  

What this all boils down to is that consumers are interested in a different kind of value. Unlike Boomers who sought bargains and discounts, Millennials seek that which is valuable to life. It could be any one of the most pressing societal concerns, such as:

  • Climate change and global warming.
  • Famine and world hunger.
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • SARS-CoV-2.
  • Sustainability.
  • Equality.

And the list goes on. Consumers want to know what a brand stands for and how they are working to further the cause of their choice. They are looking for something of substance when it comes to brand identity and poor web copy is the very first sign that something isn’t right. Millennials can often spot marketing ploys that are not genuine.

It’s All About Trust and Relationships

On a final note, let’s look at why brand ambassadors and celebrity endorsements have become quite popular. Consumers want to build a relationship with brands they deal with, and brand ambassadors act as the liaison necessary for introductions.

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Building trust in a relationship is difficult enough with so much discord in the world. However, the very fact that brand ambassadors are willing to come forward talking about what they like and dislike about certain brands can make a real difference in perception.

The key point being made in all this is that brand is more important to web copy than almost any other aspect of marketing. Consumers look for little hints that give lie to what they are reading. Genuine web copy is more important than any coupon or voucher code ever could be.

As a brand, the best advice you can be given in terms of building brand with web copy would be to focus on that which sets you apart from the competition in terms of moral and ethical pursuits. Consumers know that you are in business to make money, but what you do with that money is important to them in terms of brand identity. Keep your copy honest and to the point and you will find a responsive, engaged audience. That’s good web copy in a nutshell and the opposite of what poor web copy can do to harm your brand.