One of the best descriptions of ‘What is a Copywriter?’ we have heard is: “A copywriter is a salesperson behind a typewriter.” This brilliant phrase comes from Judith Charles, president of her own agency, Judith K. Charles Creative Communication.
Simply put, a copywriter is responsible for taking the information provided by a client and transforming it into clear and concise copy that can be used in advertising or promotional materials for the client’s brand. Without good copywriting, our world would be void of the adverts and websites that we consume on a daily basis. Yet today, copywriters are not just confined to ad agencies. From creating and defining a brand voice for a small start-up to writing cross-channel marketing for a multinational, copywriting covers a range of tasks. So, if you have ever asked yourself ‘What is copywriting in marketing’ read on to discover how well-written copy will make your brand stand out and help you reach potential customers.
What is a Copywriter?
Do you remember the Kit-Kat slogan ‘Have a break, have a Kit Kat’? Or did you see the latest Instagram post from Apple? Yes? This is the work of a copywriter. They develop carefully constructed text to engage and educate a brand’s target audience. Traditionally, copywriters worked for advertising agencies alongside creative directors, creating slogans, audio scripts and content for branded campaigns or television commercials. Today, however, the term has been broadened to include anyone who collaborates with companies and design teams to help them discover their brand voice, construct a killer content strategy and write content that sells.
”A copywriter should have an understanding of people, an insight into them, a sympathy toward them.-George Gribbin
What does a Copywriter do?
A professional copywriter is a crucial asset for a brand and their work is nearly always in high demand. They provide the fire that powers the marketing engine of the company. But before we get into the nitty-gritty details of the different types of copywriting, let’s start with clearing up some confusion surrounding the topic:
Copywriting myths busted:
- Copywriters just write words: Copywriting involves so much more than just writing words. Copywriters have to get inside the mind of the brand’s target audience, understand the product or service they are promoting and align their text with the client’s goals and objectives. This is all while maintaining the desired tone and voice of the copy.
- Copywriting is easy: Copywriting is a highly specialized skill. Years of practice and experience go into perfecting writing techniques, staying up to date with industry trends and technologies, and having a deep understanding of human psychology and behaviour.
- Copywriters are all the same: There is a copywriter for every task, each with their own unique skill set and areas of expertise. Some copywriters specialise in writing for specific industries or niches, while others focus on specific types of copy, such as email marketing or social media ads.
- Copywriting is all about creativity: Creativity is an essential part of copywriting yet, it is not the only factor that determines success. Good copywriters must also be able to analyze data, conduct research, and understand marketing strategy in order to create effective copy that drives results.
- Copywriting is dead: With the rise of artificial intelligence, video and social media, some people believe that copywriting is no longer relevant. However, copywriting remains a critical component of any marketing strategy, and good copywriters are in high demand. Effective copy can help businesses build trust, establish credibility, and ultimately drive sales.
Let’s focus on Marketing Copywriters
Since there are so many niches under the larger umbrella term ‘Copywriter’, for clarity, let’s focus on marketing copywriters. These kinds of copywriters work with brands to create copy that converts potential clients into loyal customers. Their end goal is to generate sales for their client by using persuasive language that taps into the psyche of the brand’s target market. Before any writing can begin, extensive market research and trend forecasting is carried out to ensure that each text produced will resonate with the reader and build brand awareness. While marketing copywriters are responsible for writing a brand’s copy, they also carry out numerous related tasks such as SEO strategising, social media planning and content creation.
What tasks does a freelance Copywriter do?
To list just a few, copywriters:
- Write (duh!)
- Search for SEO Keywords
- SEO Copywriting
- Carry out market research
- Study trend reports
- Edit pre-existing texts
- Project Manage
- Work with brands to develop their voice
- Construct content strategies
- Sometimes they even source images
- Write white papers
- Create case studies
- Write product descriptions
- Write video scripts
So, what do professional copywriters do? Well, it is so much more than clever wordsmithing. It is not uncommon for writers to spend more of their time researching and planning than writing. And, depending on the niche, a professional writer may only spend as little as a fifth of their time putting pen to paper. One thing to remember is that copywriters write with one aim- to please the client. This can be to raise awareness for a newly launched brand, boost sales of an overshadowed product or create a new brand image as part of a larger redesign. Rarely, will you ever see the name of the copywriter featured anywhere, as most are required to work as ghostwriters, replacing their name with the brand’s name.
Content Marketing tasks for a Copywriter
While the scope of work varies depending on business owners and their needs, some key tasks require a trained creative copywriter. In between devising a brand’s tone of voice, working on a content marketing strategy or writing SEO content some copywriting jobs include:
- Writing Blog Posts – these typically range between 900-2000 words and will be optimised to bring in leads via strategically placed keywords. These tend to be informal and inspirational making them attractive for readers to share across their social channels.
- Email Marketing Campaigns – Newsletters are a valuable tool for content marketers as they prompt action. Keeping the messaging emotive, short and direct helps boost sales.
- Social Media Posts – When every character counts it is up to the copywriter to make sure that the target customer hangs off every word.
- Website Copy – Every single word that appears on a webpage has been formulated by a copywriter. While it requires special knowledge to get it right, many content creators are highly skilled in the art of web copy.
- Landing Pages – These are stand-alone sales letters created as web pages designed with one topic in mind. Normally, it is a product that a brand sells that provides a solution to the customer’s problem. Through carefully crafted copy, the customer feels listened to, valued and ready to buy.
Why are Copywriters essential for your brand?
Many brands often make the mistake of thinking that writing is a task that can be delegated to an intern or a secretary. While these valued members of staff may be more involved with the brand daily, they may not necessarily be writers. Believe it or not, writing is a skill and only a select few possess that talent. Finding a successful copywriter that fits your brand’s personality and voice is one of the best ways to set your company up for success. A product won’t sell if no one knows it exists. Likewise, you can’t cause change if you don’t have any influence. Take a read of these top three reasons why a good copywriter should be your next business investment:
- In a recent study, findings showed that consumers who read a brand’s educational content were 131% more likely to purchase from that brand. (source: Conductor)
- Did you know, 55% of companies that invest in blogging say that it is their top inbound marketing priority and they are 13x more likely to see a positive ROI than marketers who don’t add blogging to their content marketing strategy. (Source: Hubspot)
- 76% of B2B marketers generate good quality leads through blogging. (Source: Fundera)
Yet, if you don’t have the budget to outsource your content and hire a copywriter, these top copywriting books are the perfect place to brush up on the skills needed to elevate your brand message.