Be a mini-expert
I love researching. I'm sure it stems from my love of organising and planning, but going from knowing very little to writing about it with confidence is empowering.
A certain David Ogilvy often preached about the importance of thorough research, especially before putting pen to paper. Obviously he was bang on, but I still enjoy comparing my before and after research ideas.
For a recent project, I visited the pretty amazing MYB Textiles.
This place was insane. Beautiful and full of character, I got more of a feel for the place and its history from walking up the corridor than I could ever have got from any book.
It got me thinking about how I research and how the results are reflected in my writing.
Not all projects call for such a fun, interesting trip.
When I research there are a few things I need my studies to address. Tone, target audience, SEO and such, are all the obvious factors of consistent copy.
I look for my research to spearhead ideas.
The idea of becoming a mini-expert establishes a more focused goal. As an experienced copywriter, I almost subconsciously take on the essential information I need to construct the copy as I read, but it's the aim of specialising in the subject that keeps my research driven.
It's often in the depths of the seemingly unimportant that a real idea forms. That slightly obscure angle, that gives you a new perspective and that brings everything together.
Not all projects enable you to spend hours and hours researching every facet of a product or company, and not all projects need that, but I find the more restricted I am in my research, the more one dimensional my ideas are.