In this post I get to interview Giovanni Ciampaglia, Global Marketing Director for Arena Water Instinct.
Giovanni and I first worked together several years ago when he asked me to write some web pages for the fitness equipment company he was working for.
Recently he reached out to me and said, “I’m looking into ways to improve our marketing efforts through better (conversational) copywriting…”
He wanted to hire a freelancer who was trained in conversational copywriting, and I was happy to introduce him to several of our course alumni.
And then I got to thinking… of all the industries that might latch onto the power and promise of conversational copywriting… swimwear??
Hence this interview.
Let’s get started…
Nick: Giovanni, it’s great to be talking again. I love that you’re interested in conversational copywriting. I wish more companies would reach out to me like you did!
Before I dive in and ask about copywriting, I have a broader question.
As I look at the Arena Water Instinct website, I notice that you spend very little time talking about the swimwear itself, and a lot more time talking about the experience in the water.
Can you tell us a little about that, and the thinking behind it?
Giovanni: Nick, we try to do both. I spent 3 years at arena water instinct between 2012 and 2015 and now I am back since November 2017. Back in 2012 we started building the presence of the brand online almost from scratch.
Everything started from finding our “WHY” and our place in the world and the marketplace. And guess what? It was not about the products. It was about all about swimming and the swimmers!
Swimming is very special as it brings you in contact with water, the element we were surrounded by before we were born. This is why we find water so relaxing. This is why our company tagline is “water instinct”.
It’s also the reason why we spend more time talking about swimming experiences and swimmers than products. You can see that in our blog and on our social media channels where we have about three million swimmers following us. This is a community we have built organically with little or no advertising money.
Nick: That’s a pretty incredibly following! OK, so now I think I’m getting a feel for why you’re interested in a more engaging, conversational approach to copywriting. I’ll love for you to explain how you apply it.
Giovanni: If you manage to get attention from someone then you must help that person navigate the details. Here is where copywriting plays a huge role.
Think onboarding on websites or apps. Think welcome messages or notifications on apps. There are plenty of opportunities to delight and surprise people with great copywriting! And most of these opportunities are lost or neglected.
Now and in the future, great copywriting is and will be about conversational copywriting. We are getting used to using communication tools in a very conversational manner.
Think WhatsApp and social media in general. So why are companies still talking to people in such an unnatural and awkward way?
I love an old cartoon from “gapingvoid”. It says, “If you talked to people the way advertising talked to people they’d punch you in the face”. It really gets the point. You can see the cartoon here.
I want our great team of marketers to pay way more attention to copywriting at the start of every project, and progressively review all our written communications touchpoints with a conversational approach.
Nick: Ha… I hadn’t seen that cartoon before. Perfect!
It’s so good to hear another digital marketing professional talking about conversational copywriting! I know the concept of conversational marketing has been around for a long time, but from where I stand, it seems very few marketers are taking it seriously.
What’s your experience? Are you hearing marketers talk about taking a more conversational approach? If so, are they talking about it more now than they were a few years ago?
Giovanni: It shocks me how little attention is paid to the power of copywriting from marketers. And it shocks me how much room for improvement there is out there. Broadly speaking marketers are spending so much on the production of photos and videos to get shiny new apps or websites, and then they get lost in the details… and forget copywriting!
I believe it is getting some traction. Start-ups get it right compared to the average or more established companies.
As emotions and storytelling are trumping the old way of talking about products… then conversational copywriting is getting more attention as a natural component of the story and message.
Nick: This has been great. Super valuable for me and other copywriters to hear the client-side perspective when it comes to conversational copywriting.
I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.
Giovanni: My pleasure Nick! I thank you for being interested in my point of view. You’ve been very influential in the way I see copywriting over the last 10 years… or more. So thank you, and I hope to stay in touch!
Conversational Copywriting is the future of selling online. You can build your expertise now, or try catching up later. Find out about the course here…