Who Benefits From Copywriting?
If a business utilizes almost any form of marketing, than it is most likely already benefiting from at least one category of copywriting. Although the discipline is broad, the main benefits of copywriting are similar across industries and delivery methods.
If a company can make use of any of these channels to attract customers, copywriting can be beneficial, sometimes even essential to success:
- Posters, brochures, catalogs, flyers
- Sales letters and direct mail
- Newspaper and magazine advertisements
- Banners and billboards
- TV and radio commercials
- Slogans and jingle lyrics
- White papers and manifestos.
- Email, social media and sponsored blog posts
- Online ads
- Landing page content and SEO copywriting
What is Copywriting?
Copywriting is the act of driving action through strategically delivered words with the ultimate goal of increasing profits. Thus, copywriting has elements of both art and science. The final product of the copywriting process is called a “copy”.
To further expand on each characteristic of copywriting:
- It’s an art, because it requires human creativity, imagination and extreme dedication.
- It’s a science with a century of data to draw upon - essential data that tells advertisers how to leverage human psychology for a given target demographic, and reveals what works and what doesn’t.
- It drives action which can take the form of a purchase, donation or subscription, but also a click, video view, download, inquiry, phone call etc.
- It’s strategic, planned out, worded with the emotional and psychological state of the target demographic in mind, and borderline exploitative in nature.
The fact that the world of copywriting serves businesses, production houses, marketing agencies, big brands, startups, bloggers and even brick and mortar stores, speaks to its ubiquity. However, different forms of copywriting come with their own specific requirements and challenges.
- Website copy for businesses;
- E-commerce sees lots of benefits;
- Corporations, enterprises and ventures often write extensive white papers, and company manifesto.
- Usually accompanies an audio/visual element;
- TV and radio commercials and jingles, online ads, brochures, pamphlets, posters;
- Usually features an attention-grabbing line and a compelling call to action.
- Broad and long-term;
- Target audience analysis, defining business goals, orienting marketing (and thus copywriting) around a clear vision for what the company is about;
- Company slogan, presentation styles etc;
Direct response copywriting
- Direct and short-term, driving immediate action;
- Addresses the reader as an individual, rather than the group;
- Designed to provoke an emotional response - often used for writing what’s known as “clickbait”;
- Exclusive to online marketing;
- The goal is attaining visibility by ranking high on the search engine results page;
- Copywriters cater to both audience and search engine;
Business copywriting is a task that depends on what the firm, venture or corporation sells as a product or service, and what constitutes the target audience. It also depends on how local or global the attempted reach is, and many other factors. A business might want to employ a number of ways to deliver a copywriter’s message and drive the target audience towards action.
A brick and mortar store can use e-commerce to increase sales and awareness. Whether using a free plugin such asWoo Commerce
or a different solution, the business needs a quality e-commerce copy complementary to their products and services. Another goal here would be to achieve ease of sharing and adhering to SEO guidelines - write each product description as 100% original content or a page for each product on the e-commerce website list. Variations in product color, size and other attributes would be the exception here, as they can be on the same page.
Advertising copywriting most often refers to creating written content that accompanies the visual portion of an advertising campaign. Written advertising copy can find its way almost anywhere: posters, television commercials, radio advertisements, websites, brochures, etc. It focuses on turning listeners and viewers into buyers. The hallmarks of copywriting in the advertising industry are a catchy line and a compelling Call to Action
Examples of a call to action would be:
- Call now and get your [product] today!
- How? Just watch this free video!
- Visit us today!
- Download our free guide!
- Click here to subscribe!
The main tenets in advertising are: be clear, concise and compelling. TV ads are paid for by the second. Direct and efficient writing that doesn’t sacrifice the effectiveness of the message can save tens of thousands of dollars for the company that wants to advertise.
Marketing Copywriting is a broader and more long-term marketing effort in contrast to advertising which comes in waves of ad campaigns. Figuring out a brand slogan that is going to stick for decades is not a part of an ad, but pure long-term marketing copy. Iterating the communication style between a brand and its target demographic is also part of this broader effort.
With that in mind, take the example of Apple - theircopywriting efforts
are complementary with their whole branding strategy. The slogan (”Think Different”), website copy, and even the way the company CEOs address the public and present their products during showcases - all of these work in unison to deliver a unique, compelling message.
This is the power of copywriting working hand in hand with a long-term branding strategy.
Direct Response Copywriting
Direct response copywriting can be used any time the consumer has the means of making the desired action immediately after reading the copy. It’s specifically designed to provoke an emotional response from the reader and addresses the individual rather than a group. The potential customer is usually “urged” to take one of the following actions:
- a purchase
- a purchase with a last-chance discount*
- a newsletter sign-up
- a freebie download
- a ‘follow’ on social media
*extremely effective when used in retargeting and remarketing
ad campaigns with custom copy.
It’s worthwhile researching this topic whether or not an individual or business is interested in marketing. The same techniques are being used for phishing campaigns
by seasoned scammers and theclick-through-rates on certain phishing attempts are alarming
Some of the most clicked-on direct response marketing emails featured subjects that included the following text or similar variations:
- “A Delivery Attempt Was Made”
- “UPS Label Delivery [random numbers and letters]”
- “Change of Password Required Immediately!”
- “Unusual sign-in activity”
- “Happy Holidays! Have a drink on us.”
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the effort of making your website rank high on the search engine results page (SERP) for a given user query.
The “driving action” part of SEO copywriting can be found both on the SERP as well as the landing page, provided that the landing page offers an option to take an action - a download, subscription or something similar.
Before they even visit a website displayed in the SERP, users must choose to click on a link in a sea of other links. How the copywriter structures the content of the page and the answer to the user’s query on the SERP will be a decisive factor in whether they decide to click through for more info. The ‘preview’ of what kind of information the search engine user can expect before clicking on a website link is called asnippet
SEO is dynamic because the writers have to factor in the search engine. The guidelines and rules imposed by the search engine need to be respected by the website owners as well as copywriters. Google, Bing and Yahoo are the most prominent and most successful in this world.
Ranking high on the SERP takes a lot of effort and competition can be quite fierce. The website copy is crucial here as the client website will not rank well with poorly structured, uninformative content - no matter how good the rest of the website is.
Copywriting Skills to Look for in a Writer
Experienced copywriters understand psychology and focus on the benefits - the emotional side of selling a product - rather than the features. An expert copywriter can quickly tell you something about yourself or your business that you haven’t thought of before. If you’re thinking about hiring a copywriter, these are the skills and character traits to look out for.
A copywriter’s job can range anywhere from 2-5000 or more words, written, narrated or sung. Understandably, it’s often the case that the number of words a copywriter compiles in a workday and their annual salary are inversely proportional. The more constrained the delivery medium, the more skill it takes to convey the message. Keep that in mind when hiring for this position.
What Kind of Experience do Copywriters Have?
Even in the beginnings of copywriting history, it was extremely rare to see someone start their career as a copywriter. They came from various backgrounds: literary writers, marketers, salesmen, psychologists, PR representatives, public speakers, screenwriters, sociologists and most recently - bloggers and social media managers.
If you’re thinking about becoming a copywriter, experience in these fields will help you immensely.
In online marketing campaigns, they have the buyer funnel
in their back pocket and, if the task requires it, write extensive copy articles patiently. This patience pays off in dividends, as proven with meticulous testing by Neil Patel
who wanted to see whether a longer or shorter copy brought in more conversions on one of his landing pages. The result was that the long-form content converted better than the short one, and it had higher quality leads meaning they were more likely to end up buying.
Bottom Line: Can Copywriting Help your Business Goals?
It is absolutely essential - copywriting can help you achieve your business goals, provided you have them defined and layed out in the first place! If you’re not using it and your competition is - it’s just a matter of time before they leave you in the dust.
Since the scope of copywriting is extremely wide and based on communication, it’s very difficult to find an industry that wouldn’t benefit from some form of copywriting. Almost all businesses need to communicate with their audience and customers. Almost all advertising campaigns feature some form of wording, delivered through audio/visual means.