Day 1 at Social Media Marketing World 2017: Yeah, but how’s your copywriting?

Social Media Marketing World 2017 Day 1

Hi everybody,

We are words and we matter.

Did you all forget?


For several weeks now I’ve known the agenda for Day 1 here at Social Media Marketing World 2017. I may have even had it memorized.

But watching a particular string of two sessions come together (beautifully, I must say) still felt shocking.

Here was the world’s greatest gathering of social media strategists and thinkers, and yet futuristic discussions about how virtual reality, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and new algorithm updates will impact particular social media platforms had to wait its turn.

Because today, the first day, focused a great deal on the art and science of putting words together—to write compelling, action-oriented copy for everything from demo videos to landing pages.

Here’s a quick breakdown of both sessions, followed by what I took to be the take-home points:

How to Write Copy That Sells

Ray Edwards copywriting

Ray Edwards, whose clients include Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield, among many others, had the audience captivated with a mix of humorous but effective video clips—including the sales scene from Tommy Boy, after which he spoke about why a lack of truly believing in your product is often why salespeople (and copywriters) can’t close…

He also spoke about how the copy in this viral video from Chatbooks tapped into the pain point parents feel, while using humor to be “an aesthetic that numbs” so the copywriters could drive the solution to that pain home:

Here are Ray’s tips for being a more effective copywriter:

  • Creative writers (including novelists) have the skills but must find how they transfer.
  • It’s important to make the audience also feel the pain of not having your product/service.
  • As mentioned above, humor can be an aesthetic that points to the pain while numbing it.
  • Stories are the oldest form of communication. “Jesus didn’t have a Twitter account.”
  • Believe in your product—this can save you from failing in the closing stages of your copy.

How to Write Landing Pages That Sell

Robert Bly copywriting

Robert Bly, who has worked with IBM, Intuit and Forbes and been dubbed "America's top copywriter" by McGraw-Hill, shined in his humility and tactical slide-by-slide approach to copywriting.

Having started as a copywriter in the 1970s, Bly was able to pull old-school techniques—including the A/B testing he did back when direct mail was the way—and bring them into more modern examples of gated content.

Here are Robert’s takeaways for writing (not just building) better landing pages:

  • Do not rely on rules and best practices. Testing everything is the only way to find the truth.
  • Comb through your copy to ensure it’s conveying some sense of urgency.
  • Understand that creativity and cleverness are tools, not ends.
  • “Free” and “you” are the most important words in copywriting.
  • Build landing pages, and the copy for them, with action or exit as the only two options (no menus).

Note: A session after these, which I missed, was also about writing. The title: How to Create Quality Blog Posts Consistently.


We’re giving demos of our social media dashboards at Social Media Marketing World 2017. Here’s the landing page we built for it. Based on what you read here… how’d we do? We’d love your feedback and thoughts.