If you’re reading this, I assume you have at least a nodding acquaintance with ad-hoc copywriting. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. But even if you do, you might not know exactly what it is. That’s what I want to tell you about today.
First off, what is copywriting? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, copywriting is “the act of writing copy,” which is more or less what we do when we write marketing material like headlines, descriptions, and so on. It’s the process of converting text into compelling written or visual content, whether that’s an article, a blog post, or a social media update.
But let’s be honest: For many of us, copywriting is an abstract idea that is difficult to grasp. We might know what it means in theory, but when it comes down to applying that theory to our work, things can get a little challenging. That’s where ad-hoc copywriting comes in.
If you’re wondering what the difference between ad-hoc copywriting and regular copywriting is, here it is in a nutshell. With regular copywriting, you have a set of words you need to use, the same words, in fact, that your client has probably already purchased. In other words, you’re writing copy that they’ve already used, and it doesn’t really matter if the copy is good or bad. It will always be what they’ve already used. With ad-hoc copywriting, you have a brief set of instructions that you need to follow as closely as possible in order to write the best possible content for your client. You get to choose the words yourself, and you get credit for doing so accurately and effectively. Because it’s ad-hoc, it has also, traditionally, been a bit of a quick-and-dirty kind of process. Sometimes you don’t have time to go through the whole copywriting cycle, so you just bang out some content and hope for the best. But with careful planning and attention to detail, you can ensure that your clients get the most out of your work. That’s what makes the difference.
Why Choose Ad-Hoc Copywriting?
Whether you’re advertising on a small blog with just a couple of hundred monthly visitors or a globally-recognized brand, having content that is both accurate and engaging can make all the difference. After all, no one wants to read or watch something that is poorly written or just plain awful. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to ensure that your content is both engaging and top-notch, consider ad-hoc copywriting. Here are a few reasons why.
1. You get to choose the words
With regular copywriting, your client has already chosen the words they want you to use, and it doesn’t really matter if those words happen to be the best fit for your content or topic. In other words, you have to fit your story inside their box. With ad-hoc copywriting, you get to choose the words yourself, which can give you a unique voice and perspective on your content. Moreover, you get to determine how those words will be used. Sometimes, this can mean fewer words and more impact. For example, let’s say that you’re creating content for a real estate agency. Your content might focus on helping first-time home buyers find the right house for their needs. If you’re writing copy to attract potential buyers, using highly specific words and avoiding generic terms might be a good idea. Similarly, if you’re writing to encourage existing customers to book another appointment, you might want to consider using words like “excellent” and “fantastic” rather than the usual “good” and “great”.
2. It requires more planning
Writing ad-hoc copy takes more planning than just running off some boiler-plate text and hoping for the best. If you’re working with a tight deadline, you might want to consider rushing through the process and doing some minimal research, but you shouldn’t expect to produce high-quality results without putting in the legwork beforehand.
First of all, you need to make sure that you have everything written down. This could be a list of topics you want to cover or a list of words and phrases you need to utilize. Of course, you have to make a conscious effort to use these words and phrases effectively, but without any sort of structure or guidelines, your content is likely to be flat and unengaging, at best. You might also want to think about creating some sample content that is either on a similar topic or just serves as a rough draft to get you started. Once you have a few samples to work with, it’s easier to go back and revise them professionally. Don’t worry: You don’t have to be a professional copywriter to pull off ad-hoc copywriting. All you need is a little bit of creativity, some basic knowledge of English, and a desire to give your clients the best possible content.
3. It forces you to look at your content from multiple angles
Every piece of content, no matter how well-written, dull, or engaging, has the potential to be improved upon. But when you’re working on a tight deadline, you might not have the luxury of going back and revising your content once you’ve completed it. So, if you’re going to improve upon something, you might need to think about it from multiple angles. This could mean getting feedback from others or testing out different methods of presenting your information. For example, if you’re writing for a blog post, you might want to test out different headings and see which one performs the best. Or, if you’re creating a sales pitch, you might want to try pitching your product to potential customers using different methods or approaches. Having content that is flexible enough to be improved upon is an important aspect of any good copywriter’s toolkit.
4. It allows you to be innovative
Even for experienced copywriters, ad-hoc copywriting can be a great way to quickly come up with new and unique content for your clients. So, if you have a marketing team that is known for its creativity, you might want to consider using this talent to create unique content for your clients. Moreover, if you are running a creative agency, you might want to develop specialty areas of expertise, such as content creation, graphic design, or video production, in order to be able to provide your clients with the best possible results. In addition to that, you could also charge your clients for the privilege of having you use your innovative brainpower, as it were.
5. It allows for better flexibility
When you have content that is both accurate and engaging, both the writer and the reader will enjoy the experience. Moreover, if you have a series of articles or a long form piece you need to churn out, you can be certain that your readers will be engaged enough to browse through and finish all of the pieces in the series. At the end of the day, having a set of content that is already perfect means that you won’t have to worry about revisiting an already-finished project. Moreover, if you need to create content for international audiences, having a set of translated words and phrases at your fingertips is highly beneficial. Even if you’re not a professional, you can still pull off ad-hoc copywriting with the right guidance and support. And, as we’ve established, there are still plenty of benefits to be derived from this sort of writing. So, if you’re looking for a way to stand out from the crowd, consider trying out ad-hoc copywriting. Just keep in mind that everything you write for your clients will be attributed to your firm, so you need to make sure that your approach and voice is consistent throughout. And, of course, your clients will expect nothing less than the best from you.