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What’s all this talk about copy, copy writing and copywriters?
One of the most common questions I get asked is: what is copywriting?
As a professional marketing copywriter, I work on everything that requires words in a marketing context – from branding and content marketing, to websites, blogs, articles and much more.The writing that I do for this purpose is called: ‘copy.’
Yes, the name is odd. ‘Copy’ means to make a duplicate of. But, in a marketing context, ‘copy’ refers to the words which make up Marketing messaging and collateral.
I understand that not everyone knows what a copywriter does or what copywriting is.
But before I explain the “what” and the “how” of copywriting, I think the most important question is “why copywriting?”
Let’s get into your complete guide to copywriting.
Firstly: does your business create content?
You should be!
When you create content, you are distributing your message into the marketplace and leading the conversation. If you don’t then your competitors will!
When you create written content, you are distributing your marketing message into the marketplace and leading the conversation.
If you don’t then your competitors will!
So, how does a copywriter help your business do this?
You need quality writers to produce these pieces of content consistently to engage your audience and inspire them to act.These writers are known as Copywriters (i.e.: we write copy!), and they play an integral part in the commercial environment every single day, by adding tremendous value using the written word.
Your business’ target market is its lifeblood; it relies on forming a connection with them in order to survive.
Over the years, people have become far more resistant to blatant, above-the-line advertising, sometimes blocking it out altogether.
Today, your customer demands captivating and informing information on their terms and at their fingertips, and it’s in that cross-over area where organisations and their customers must come together.
Copywriting is the tool which bridges this gap
Copywriters use the written word, known as ‘copy’, to offer your customers value through content.
This practise is called copywriting.
What is Copywriting?
Copywriting is the marketing practise of using words to convey a message to reach an audience which produces a mutually beneficial outcome for both parties.The audience receives something of value, such as education or entertainment, and in return, the brand raises awareness and relevance with the reader.
This is what copywriting means.
But that doesn’t mean that copywriting is just visual letters: it has many forms, including verbal, written, audible and visual:
- Adverts that you pass in the street have all been produced by a copywriter.
- The scripts of videos, jingles and podcasts that you listen to all began with a copy writer.
- The description on your shampoo bottle or your soda can, by a copywriter.
- That booklet, pamphlet, press release, formal invitation, textbook, and website have all been produced and edited by a copywriter.
This blog has been written by a copywriter!
As with any profession, there are different calibres of writers, hence why some pieces of written content are better than others – but the writer is a copywriter none-the-less.
For more information, have a look at my Copywriting FAQ page: the ultimate guide to Content Marketing Copywriting.
Copywriting, not Copyright
Copywriting should not to be confused with ‘copyright’, which is the legal protection of property.
Copywriting is the marketing practise of using words to convey a message to reach an audience which produces a mutually beneficial outcome for both parties.
Copywriting: both an Art and a Science.
In my regular writing classes that I teach, I refer to Copywriting as an ART and a SCIENCE.
Copywriting is an ART because it’s a creative practise.
What I mean by this is that no two writers produce the same piece of work, and it can be entirely subjective, just like music, design and visual arts. If you were to give two writers the same brief, you would get two distinct pieces of copy back- that’s just the nature of creativity! The copywriter you select has a unique style, and you employ them to harness their style for your content needs.
The SCIENCE side of copywriting is also applicable because the material is being used for a specific purpose to achieve a particular goal.
In other words, the written marketing content will produce measurable results and therefore has a utility to it. This is what separates copywriting from fiction writing.
It’s when these artistic and scientific elements come together effectively that the true value of a strong copywriter is found. Interesting and accessible content both pleases the audience and creates the results the organisation needs.
For more information, read my article: How does copywriting work?
Well-written copy both pleases the audience and creates the results your business needs, for a mutually beneficial outcome.
Copywriting and Marketing: a powerful relationship
So, what is copywriting in marketing? What is copywriting in advertising?Given its communicative nature, Copywriting generally sits under the umbrella of Marketing because it goes hand-in-hand with its activities and strategy.
For example, if the Marketing Objective is to launch a brand extension product, then the Copywriter must write the content for the:
- website page
- product packaging
- print advertising
- video promotion
- terms and conditions
- PR article
- social media amplification, and so on.
See how much of a role a Copywriter plays in a business?
Without all of those things, the audience would remain oblivious and the product would fail, leaving the objective unfulfilled and the organisation unsuccessful as a result.
Quality copywriting is crucial because of the high expectations your customers have today!
Why is copywriting crucial?
So, copywriting is the cornerstone of Marketing, and we know that it reaches the audience your business needs to attract; but why has it transitioned from “just filling the blank page with words”, to a highly specialised and desirable business requirement?
Copywriting is crucial because of the expectations your customers have today!
Everyone, everywhere wants highly personalised information, and they want it right now.
Organisations which fail to do this, fail to engage their audience, and a competitor will. Copywriting delivers messages in a million different ways to those customers, in order to meet their demands.
For more information, read my article: Why is Content Marketing Crucial For Businesses?
Who is a Copywriter?
We are all writers- we’ve all grown up reading and listening videos, books and songs. We’ve composed emails and perhaps dabbled in lyrics, poems and articles.The point is, we can all write.
The only difference between this and a professional copywriter is years and years of practise, fine-tuning their skills (and preferably a marketing background!).
It’s not just practise covering a blank page with words, but everything else that goes with it: creativity, messaging, targeting, research, word choice, medium type, Marketing, and so on. Organisations pay professional copywriters because they specialise in writing content that ticks all the boxes and complements the overarching goals.
Unfortunately, many businesses underestimate the value a quality copywriter brings them- to their detriment. By cutting copywriting out of their budget, they forget that this may be the one thing keeping their customers attentive to their messages!
Don’t be that business…
Quality copywriting is essential
Writing is an extremely powerful and diverse medium.From scripts, blogs, video, websites, social media, articles, brochures, questionnaires and so on, they all need to work together to captivate people and draw them in. Your audience is trying to find this information, so it’s the business who does so an engaging and value-adding way that wins their precious (and very short) attention.
Remember this: your audience instinctively knows the difference almost immediately between effective and poor copy- so it’s vital that organisations do too!
Good copywriting is written solely with the intended audience in mind. So, when composing content, ensure that this is the case.
What is a copywriting job?
So, what does copywriting entail?A copywriting job is anything that involves a copywriter crafting quality written copy for a particular project, to achieve a specific objective.
It begins with a brief, which outlines:
- target audience
- core message
- call to action
- time frames
This is then taken by the copywriter and used the craft copy for the project that will be returned for the business to use in the marketing and communications.
This can mean that the copywriter is employed full-time or part-time in house within a business, or as an external freelance copywriter who writes content for the business only when the need arises.
Generally speaking, a freelance copywriter offers a lot more benefits for your business, simply because of the wealth of experience and expertise they bring, without the ongoing costs to your business.
What is freelance copywriting?
As discussed above, copywriters can be in-house within an organisation, or freelance and work either for themselves or for a copywriting business, like Melotti Media Copywriting.
A freelance copywriter works externally which means they are able to work on multiple projects across several different industries and bring that wealth of experience and knowledge to you for your benefit.They also are not restricted by the internal workings of your business and can therefore offer you a fresh perspective on solving your project problems.
Click here for more information about who needs a copywriter and why.
What are copywriting skills?
A professional copywriter should offer your business a list of skills, experience and abilities that help them create great copy for you.
A copywriter should offer you the following skills:
- be able to write really well (of course!)
- have the patience to understand your project
- be able to recognise branding elements
- the ability to match your business’ tone
- have a strong understanding of marketing
- ask lots of relevant questions to help them understand your needs
- be able to communicate and answer your questions
- have no problems with meeting deadlines
- offer you years of similar or related experience
- think outside of the square
Copywriting can be subjective, however you will know when a copywriter has produced quality content for you.
This is because the message will be strong, and if you put yourself in your target customer’s shoes, you know that they would respond positively to the copy that has been written.
Why hire a copywriter?
What are copywriting services?
Copywriting services come in a range of shapes, sizes and niches, from email copywriting, B2B copywriting, B2C content, all the way to copywriting for websites. It just depends on your specific needs and the outcomes that you’re seeking.
For more information, see my list of copywriting services that are available for your business.
Where to next? Copywriting next steps.
I understand that copywriting is a difficult and time-consuming process for most organisations. Everyone knows that content creation and strategy is important, but some businesses just don’t have the resources.
Your customers’ attention is valuable to both them and you – quality copywriting is a way to earn it and be successful.
How Can Melotti Media Copywriting Help You With Your Content?
At Melotti Media, we understand that high quality copywriting is essential for business success, but it is easier said than done.
You’re time poor and spread thin, and writing isn’t your expertise. So, focus on what really matters, while we take care of all of your copywriting and marketing needs!
If you need further clarification about content, or if you need a quality copywriter to get the results you need, contact me now at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or leave a comment, below.
I can sharpen your words to achieve your goals, today!
Melotti Media Copywriting and Message Marketing Bureau