We are in the throes of bulldozing our website and creating a new site that brings us into the 21st century. I suppose it’s a little like what happens when you buy a car, and all of a sudden you notice that the make and model seem to be everywhere. I’m now noticing copywriting that sings as well as stuff that misses the mark.
As for copy that sings, I’m sharing a couple examples. Both take full advantage of conversational language to lift the narrative. If I can hoist myself on my soapbox for 23 seconds, injecting a conversational tone into copy alone would improve the communications for most B2B companies.
The first example involves a venture funding news announcement from Redpanda. Rather than cut and paste the news release into the company blog, the founder and CEO Alex Gallego recasts the announcement as a momentum story:
Every nut and bolt rattled as we took off last year. We tripled our team to 60 people spread across 10+ countries. Hundreds of thousands of Redpanda clusters came to life in 2021. We onboarded startups and Fortune 1000s for mission-critical services. We partnered with customers across every major industry from IoT to ad-tech, finance, healthcare, electric vehicles, etc. … Phew!. We even made it inside a space satellite — yup, there is a satellite running Redpanda.
The post doesn’t tell you “we’ve got momentum.” It shows it, so readers come to this conclusion on their own.
The second example comes from a creative agency called January Third. You would think the website copy from firms toiling under the creative services umbrella would be pretty good.
Not the case.
The copy from January Third is an outlier; they delivered an unfiltered POV shows you what makes them tick.
We grew up in the world of big, holding-company creative agencies. Places with offices in most time zones. Shops where a twenty-person meeting was most meetings.
There was a lot to admire about those kinds of agencies. The offices looked like you’d want: grand and important-seeming. There was plush furniture on high floors. There were encouraging murals everywhere.
What was less admirable was “the work.” Sometimes because it wasn’t particularly good. Sometimes because it felt like it belonged to another era. Meant for the year 1990-something. Often it required a small plane’s worth of staff to make. It was *always* expensive.
Most often, though, the work ended as pitch decks. Endlessly discussed, but never made.
January Third is something different.
We are an advertising agency built for next year — not some long-dead Mad Men past …
Talk about putting adverbs to good use.
Most website copy falls into the trap of shouting some form of “We’re great.” January Third shares what they believe along with a few story shards. You decide if they sound (potentially) great and worth exploring.
Naturally, their underlying message that agencies under the yoke of a holding company have limitations resonated with me.