Look beyond copy

Paul Boag

Writing text is easy. We fill our websites with it. It’s the lazy solution when we want to communicate a message. Time to branch out.

The written word is so much apart of business life. Emails, press releases, reports, brochures, the list goes on. For many of us, words are our primary tool. They are how we get our job done. However, when it comes to the web I think we turn to them too quickly.

The web offers us so many ways to communicate our message. We can record a podcast, create a video, take a photograph, produce an infographic or use an illustration.

We are full of excuses

Yet we choose words. Words are easy. We know words. We argue that we don’t know how to create a video, record a podcast or produce an infographic. We complain that these are specialist areas, too expensive for us to include. Words on the other hand are cheap and can be written by anybody.

Of course we had to learn to write, so why shouldn’t we learn to create a video or record a podcast? It really isn’t that hard. The means of production are cheap and open to everybody.

Admittedly your videos won’t be as good as a professionals, or your infographic as good as a designers. However, I am sorry to break it to you but your writing isn’t as good as a professional either and that doesn’t stop you writing for the web.

We have the means of production

Take for example video. All you need to create good videos these days is a smartphone. The video in this post was created entirely on my iPhone. I took photos with it, recorded audio and edited it together, all on my iPhone.

Even recording video like I have on my Youtube channel can be done with a decent digital camera, a couple of lights (costing £40 each) and a piece of software like Screenflow.

There are also services such as GoAnimate that allow you to create your own animated video in a matter of minutes or Infogram that allows you to quickly create infographics.

Even getting a professional voice actor for your videos or podcasts doesn’t need to be difficult. Websites like voices.com makes it easy to find exactly the right person for your needs. Equally there are numerous sites that offer royalty free music in just the same way you can buy royalty free photography.

The means to produce audio, video or imagery are now available to anybody. They are cheap and accessible, so there really is no excuse for writing copy without even considering the alternatives. Sometimes text is the right approach, but we need to consider other options too.

If I have inspired you to branch out from just writing copy and you would like some training, get in touch. I am more than happy to visit your organisation and run a workshop.

“Businessman pressing multimedia type of modern buttons with virtual background” image courtesy of Bigstock.com