Did you know that eight out of ten people read the headlines only and that readers only go through twenty percent of the text on a webpage? Copywriters take this into account when they’re doing their work. What is copywriting? The occupation or act of writing the persuasive text for advertising and marketing purposes.
The history of advertising copywriting has existed since the times of Babylon when a copywriter promoted the sale of a prayer book. Copywriting exists since the first printed newspapers were issued on the streets. Persuasion, in general, has been around for centuries, and it’s a useful tool in the modern business world. I’ll write more about it next.
What is persuasion?
The art of persuasion is paramount to the creation of good sales copy. What is persuasion? A suitable definition is an act of using influence with an individual, to make them change their mind or do something. It’s important to mention that there is no coercion involved, and with influence, people make up their minds. If this wasn’t the case, then the term used is manipulation.
What are the 6 laws of persuasion, proposed by Robert Cialdini? The first one is reciprocity. It means that people feel obliged to return a favor. The second one is consistency. If someone has a self-image of being responsible in their daily affairs, then their conduct will likely match this belief. The third one is social proof. In this principle, you’ll find that most individuals want to conform to their reference group.
The fourth principle is liking. You’ll find that liking is the reason why there are models showcasing products in many industries. The fifth principle is about authority. We tend to follow people of high rank, or at least take their indications into account. Finally, the sixth principle is scarcity. We tend to value what is rare, hence the price of diamonds.
What does a copywriter do?
Copywriters are at the center of the creation of free reports, webpages, promotional emails, brochures, billboards, jingle lyrics, catalogs, newspaper and magazine advertisements, direct mail, sales letters, scripts for radio or TV commercials, whitepapers, taglines, social media posts and other forms of marketing communications. Businesswise, the job of the copywriter is an important role.
Maybe you’ve found ads that were funny, or memorable. Perhaps you read an easy to consume website where you learned something new. You may remember an email that convinced you to buy a product or service. This is the product of effective copywriting. A copywriter can persuade, inspire action, or change your mind in just a few lines of copy.
Some content is educational and works as a sale tool at the same time. The copywriter takes care of using an advertising brief for a client and turning it into original ideas that capture the attention of the target market. This phase may involve the creation of body copy, slogans, straplines, scripts, and jingles. A copywriter will usually work on many projects at the same time, especially if he/she works for an advertising agency.
Common daily tasks include meeting with account executives to understand the needs of the customer, they will research the service or product at hand, brainstorm ideas, write several copy options, supervise the production phase, and cast models and actors.
What skills do copywriters need?
It may seem obvious that in the first place, a copywriter needs writing skills. It’s not only enough to write a phrase. This phrase needs to sell. This is a reason why copywriters are compared to salespeople. This is not far from the truth since their copy needs to sell, and they’re usually effective at scale.
Interviewing and research skills are critical when it comes to the work of a copywriter. They are the required skills to produce satisfactory work. A professional in the field needs a systematic investigation of sources and materials so they can reach conclusions and establish facts.
A copywriter needs to be able to accept feedback. Sometimes a member of the team or a customer has valuable data that changes the course of action. A key to add feedback is to understand that it’s not a personal attack, it’s just part of the process of doing this type of work.
Perfect is the enemy of the good. By having a process that avoids perfectionism, the copywriter will be able to produce more high-quality work.
As with any form of writing, the writer needs to be an avid reader. This may involve specific research, and sometimes acquiring extensive knowledge.
Who hires copywriters?
Most businesses need copywriters. Do you find yourself agonizing over a Facebook Ad? You probably need to hire a copywriter. Many modern-day Do It Yourself (DIY) entrepreneurs find themselves doing copywriting work. The craft is useful for businesses that want to share their message to prospective customers to engage current customers or to expand their market.
Many copywriters are employed in advertising agencies, marketing departments, copywriting agencies, public relations firms, or are self-employed. The list of clients varies from small to large corporations.
Digital marketing agencies employ copywriters as employees or freelancers. Sometimes the work of content writers overlaps with copywriters, especially when creating landing pages, pay per click ads, or persuasive email copy.
Specialized copywriter agencies use copywriting along with a variety of services such as consulting, positioning, search engine optimization (SEO), proofreading, copy editing, speechwriting, fact-checking, and page layout.
Advertising agencies usually include copywriters as part of their creative team, where they work with creative and art directors. Who writes the script or copy for advertisements? Usually, the copywriter, who uses information gathered from client requirements.
Because of the internet, learning copywriting has become more accessible and affordable. You can find global talent and skills if you take your time to search.
We’ve explored some facts about copywriting, then we delved into what is persuasion? The art and science of using influence. When then explored what involves being a copywriter. Then we analyzed the skills needed to be a good copywriter. Finally, we understood who hires these professionals.
The future of copywriting is great. The changes in the business landscape such as the inclusion of artificial intelligence (AI) in some projects only make the job more interesting. This means that a copywriter can find more data about a topic, and faster than ever before.