For a living product to be successful, regardless of the industry, it needs to be sold. This means that someone, somewhere, will have to read the text and be persuaded to buy the product. At the most basic level, product marketing and advertising are two sides of the same coin. Either you want people to buy your product, or you want them to make a certain decision. In either case, you need to provide meaningful content for them to consider.
Now, if you’re reading this, I assume you’re already familiar with the general concept of copywriting (you’d be surprised how many people aren’t). But like many creative industries, there is a lot of subtlety and variety to the profession that isn’t always easily explained.
Like any other professional skill, copywriting can be learned. There are online tutorials and workshops that can help you get started. From there, you can move on to take a course or seminar with a professional copywriter. This will teach you the craft and help you develop your skills.
Along with spelling and grammar, copywriting is one of the most essential writing skills for budding authors. Learning to write a compelling argument for a particular viewpoint or idea will help you develop your critical thinking skills and engage your audience on an emotional level. Learning to write in the correct format – a well-crafted sales document, for example – will also help you develop your time-management and planning skills. This may, in turn, make you a more attractive candidate for future employment.
In addition to learning the craft, you should also be aiming to build up a portfolio of work. This doesn’t have to be huge. Just a few short stories, emails, or proposals will do. You can use these to demonstrate your talent to prospective employers.
In a typical corporate structure, copywriters will be found working within a marketing team. Their role will be to craft marketing material, such as ad copy, press releases, and web content, for the brand. This can include anything from creating a compelling pitch for a new product to designing a campaign to promote a specific event.
Alternatively, copywriters might be found working within an advertising agency, helping to produce ads for clients. This could mean researching market trends and analyzing consumer behavior to identify the needs of potential customers. Or, it could mean developing a persuasive argument, in the style of a legislative aide, to support a specific viewpoint or policy.
What will determine your job prospects, however, are not your specialties nor the organizations you’ve worked for. Your overall talent and whether or not you can demonstrate your creativity, attention to detail, and business acumen will play the biggest role. With so much emphasis on skills and qualifications, it’s all too easy for employers to get swindled by applicants who haven’t demonstrated their value. Being honest and open about your interests, skills, and qualifications are the best ways to ensure you’re put forward for interview, and not forgotten about when a more suited candidate comes along.
If writing has always been a dream of yours, then it might be time to turn that dream into a career. There are several specialties in which a good copywriter can practice, such as SEO (search engine optimization), which focuses on building credibility and traffic through SEO-friendly content. Or, if you’d rather work within the digital marketing sphere, then social media marketing is another option. Companies such as HubSpot specialize in helping businesses of all sizes and stages to understand and engage with customers on a number of platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Or, if you’d rather work on brand strategy or marketing communications, then content creation is a great option. An in-demand skill in today’s digital world, the ability to create unique, compelling stories that engage audiences and make them want to buy your product is something that is valued highly by employers. When creating compelling content for marketing purposes, you will be expected to research the target audience, develop a key compelling message, and then craft compelling content that will encourage that audience to act.
Being a copywriter is more than just writing, and it’s more than just creating content. It’s a combination of both, taking a clear idea and executing it through writing to promote a product or service.