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What Copywriting Means to You?

The meaning of copywriting to you may be different than it is for me. That’s no bad thing. We can all learn from each other’s experiences. Especially when it comes to copywriting, which is mostly an art form and not a science. Some people prefer to call it writing. But, for the sake of this discussion, I’ll use copywriting to mean writing for publication. Whether you’re a professional copywriter or a part-time hobbyist, you may have a different idea of what copywriting is and what it means to you.

What Is Copywriting?

In its most basic sense, copywriting is the art of marketing and selling through written and spoken word. In the old days, which most of us grew up in, print advertising was the dominant force in marketing and it still is in many respects. However, as companies have shifted toward using different platforms like social media and Search Marketing, the scope of what constitutes copywriting has expanded and evolved to fit the new media.

Evolution Of Copywriting

Even though it may be difficult to define, copywriting has always been an evolving art form. One of the reasons for this is that the role of the copywriter has changed over time. When the printing press was first invented, it enabled publishers to shorten the time it took to get a book from manuscript to print. This in turn put more pressure on copywriters to come up with fresh content on a regular basis to meet the needs of the market. But, as we’ve evolved from mass-market paperback books to e-books and now to digital publishing, the need for constant content creation has somewhat subsided. Thanks to algorithms that can create content cheaply and publish it at the speed of light.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

Variety is the spice of life. This is as true for literature as it is for food. Variety is the key to survival. Without it, you’re likely to either starve or go back to eating dry bread. When it comes to marketing and advertising, variety is the key to keeping your readers interested and coming back for more. Today, if I were to ask you to write an article about organic food for me, you might say no thanks. You may have heard of the term ‘exclusivity’ when it comes to marketing and advertising. Essentially, this is when a brand or product only appeals to a certain audience or group of people, based on certain interests, hobbies, social status, etc. The brand or product is exclusive to them and they alone know how it makes them feel. This kind of variety is what makes a brand stand out and be memorable. It’s the reason why most people remember Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Those cans, bottles, and cartons are iconic. We all know what they are. They’re instantly recognizable. The same goes for the Marlboro Man or the Ford Mustang. These are all brands with a variety of meanings and a variety of fans. Some people love the nostalgic feel of vintage cars while others might see them as an expression of rebellion. It’s all about the interpretation and the personal connection that one makes to these icons.

Content Is King (Or Queen)

In the beginning, back in the golden era of print advertising, the king (or queen) of copywriting was the headline. This is because a good headline is what first draws the reader’s attention to a piece of content. It’s the first thing that they see before the rest of the content. With the world now largely reliant on words in print and online for content, good headlines have become even more important. This is because a good headline can keep a reader’s attention longer than the average piece of content. It’s quite easy for someone to skim or rush through an article, especially one that is several paragraphs long. But, even if they do this, they’ll still probably stop and look at the headline, because it’s the only thing that sticks out, literally. In these cases, the headline is more important than the content itself. If you want to succeed as a copywriter, you need to understand this and use it to your advantage.

Where Do You Fit In?

There are many different roles that a copywriter can play. Some people like to consider themselves as journalists, gathering information and writing about what they’ve found or observed. But, most copywriters work within an organization, either as an in-house writer or freelance sub-contractor. The position can be quite varied, but usually entails researching the topic, developing ideas for content, writing the text, and pitching and editing the piece, among other things. When it comes to digital publishing, the role can vary even more. These days, a copywriter may be asked to take a more active role in the marketing and social media of a product or brand, possibly taking the place of an in-house public relations or social media manager. In other cases, they may be asked to consult on content strategy and to create marketing material, like websites, blog posts, or social media campaigns. The position can range from in-house, to an independent contractor, to a virtual assistant. You’ll usually find that the more experience you have, the more in-demand you’ll become. So, if you’re looking for a steady job, consider taking some time off to gain more experience.

Types Of Copywriting

When we think about copywriting, we often think about the written word, like articles and blogs. But, there’s more to it than that. In addition to the written word, there’s a variety of different mediums that copywriters use to attract readers and engage audiences. This includes podcasts, video content, and even audio content, like voice-overs. With the rise of digital publishing, the medium is not as important as the content itself. However, there are still exceptions. For example, video content is extremely helpful when it comes to presenting complex ideas clearly and persuasively.

Pitch, The Art Of Persuasion

Before we go into detail about copywriting, let’s talk about pitching. Most people are familiar with pitching. It’s that dreaded moment when an ad agency or a marketing consultant brings a new product or service to your attention and asks you to write about it. To them, you’re a prize to be won or a project to be done. This is mostly because your attention is focused on the product and not the value that you bring to the table. To get yourself into a good mental frame, ask yourself questions about the product. Can you use it or would you need help to use it effectively? Once you’ve answered these questions, you can move on to the next part of the pitch. But, until then, it’s all about them.

A Closer Look At Copywriting

Okay, so you believe that you can use copywriting to attract potential customers to your business. Great! Before we go any further, let’s take a closer look at what exactly copywriting is. Most people think of copywriting as short-hand for writing. However, as we’ve discussed above, this is not necessarily true. The role of the copywriter is varied, but usually entails the following:

  • Brand building
  • Product or service positioning
  • Product or service analysis
  • Product or service marketing
  • Public Relations (PR)
  • Analytics
  • Content strategy
  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Proofreading
  • Pitching
  • Copywriting
  • Marketing research
  • Content development
  • Data analysis
  • Social media management
  • Customer surveys
  • Website design
  • Mobile app design
  • Graphic design
  • Online store design
  • Event planning
  • PR Campaign planning
  • Marketing Campaign planning
  • Fundraising
  • Letter writing
  • Voice-overs
  • Live event coverage
  • Product photography
  • Product testing
  • Product launching

To give you an idea of the type of content that you’ll be creating, here are some of the topics listed above: