What is copywriting?

Copywriters want to get readers to make a commitment, a purchase, or any other action through good content. Whether it's a TV advert or online content, the text plays a very important role. Even the most emotional images in television advertising don’t have the desired effect without the right dialogue.

What does a copywriter do?

Fact

The term "copywriting" comes from the marketing industry and describes the professional writing of advertising texts. The aim of copywriting is to attract attention, arouse interest, ignite new desires, and trigger an action. Depending on the target group, this can be achieved with different types of copywriting.

First things first: copywriters are not content writers like journalists. In contrast to content writers, whose aim is to inform the reader with their texts, copywriters aim to elicit a response from their readers. Nevertheless, both text forms tend to mix together, as companies increasingly prefer informative content over simple advertising messages as part of their content marketing strategy.

As a copywriter, you write a wide range of texts: from blog posts and web articles to social media content and product descriptions. The potential fields of application for copywriters are not limited to the internet. In addition, copywriters are responsible for implementing various marketing measures. This applies, for example, to the following offline marketing measures:

  • Direct e-mailing
  • Postcards
  • Product advertisements in newspapers and magazines
  • TV and radio advertising
  • Brochures for trade fairs
  • Posters
  • Vouchers
  • Product packaging and labels

However, copywriters today mainly write texts for online marketing campaigns. Examples of these online marketing measures include:

  • Product descriptions
  • Product ads for online platforms such as Google and Facebook
  • Demo videos
  • E-mail marketing
  • Case studies highlighting the benefits of a product
  • Articles and blog posts
  • Articles about customers and testimonials

It is particularly important that you as a copywriter can easily reach your target group. Whether online or offline: advertising texts are addressed to potential customers and should open up a dialogue. If you use the direct contact correctly, new customers can be acquired or existing customers can be retained.

Depending on the type of product or service being promoted, copywriters often create several posts as part of a marketing campaign. They must know which content and which tonality are interesting and appropriate for the target group and which aren’t. In addition, the overall message of the text and graphics must remain consistent. Being creative and willing to deal more closely with a possibly new, unknown topic are advantageous characteristics for a copywriter. Depending on the respective product or service, the copywriter must be able to adapt the tone of their text, e.g. to sound more serious or funnier.

What makes a good copywriter?

Often no specific degree is required for a job as a copywriter. Many people changing career paths start out in this field as junior copywriters in an agency. Nevertheless, training as an advertising copywriter can be profitable in many ways. On the one hand, strategic thinking and brainstorming are encouraged and basic knowledge about topics such as digitisation is conveyed. On the other hand, trainees already gain valuable practical experience as a result of the dual training program. Whether you are a trained copywriter or are changing careers, the following characteristics especially help with text creation:

  • Feel for languages
  • Creativity and imagination
  • Comprehensive general knowledge
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Willingness to learn
  • Ability to research

How to elicit an action

A copywriter’s success can be measured by the number of actions (so-called conversions) that are triggered by the corresponding marketing measure. If you want to explicitly make a potential consumer complete an action, you should include commands such as "order now" or "visit our online shop." This is called a call-to-action (CTA). Note the following three points to generate a response from the reader:

  • Determine in advance who you want to reach with your content and actively address your target group.
  • Convince the reader of how good the product or service is by highlighting the USP (unique selling proposition). Here, you should answer the question of how the product or service differs from the competitor’s products.
  • Performing an action should be made as simple as possible for the reader. If you would like the reader to watch a video of the product, then write: "Click on the video to see the unique range of functions."
Tip

Testimonials from satisfied customers can strengthen the credibility of the unique selling proposition.

What are the different types of copywriting?

A total of 27 million pieces of content are shared online every day (as of 2016). How do you prevent your advertising message from drowning in this flood of information? Companies are increasingly turning to copywriting experts to achieve a better position in Google searches, to win over more customers and, last but not least, to present themselves as a brand with individual and value-added content. Depending on the purpose of the text, different types of copywriting are used. Below we explain some of the approaches in more detail.

Search engine optimsation (SEO) copywriting

By using certain keywords (search terms), search engine optimisation copywriting achieves the best possible placement in the Google ranking. It is irrelevant whether the text is intended to serve an advertising or informative purpose. It is more a question of integrating suitable keywords into a text as effectively as possible. Keyword stuffing isn’t the answer, but keywords should be used in such a way that they clearly outline the theme of the subpage. The information content of SEO texts has become increasingly important in this context (keyword content marketing). Copywriters have to adapt to these changes and write extensive texts as much as possible.

Tip

In our guidebook you will find 10 tips on how to optimise your SEO content.

Sales copywriting

In sales copywriting, the copywriter faces the challenge of convincing the reader of the advantages of a product or service and ultimately persuading them to buy or use it. But that's easier said than done. In addition to a convincing writing style, profound creative skills and knowledge are required, often only available to marketing experts. The following strategy is recommended in order to convince the reader to make a purchase:

  1. Communicate your message to your target audience in a clear way and address them directly.
  2. Identify the problem that your product or service can solve. Describe the problem from the point of view of potential customers and as graphically as possible in order to gain approval and trust.
  3. Highlight why previous approaches cannot resolve the problem.
  4. Explain how you found out how the problem could really be solved.
  5. Point out to the reader how he can receive the product or service and therefore solve the problem.

Technical copywriting

Technical copywriting is the writing of topic-specific or industry-specific texts, the creation of which requires a high level of specialist knowledge. The aim is to provide added value to readers using specialist knowledge. That is why technical copywriters are usually not professional copywriters, but experts in their respective fields. After all, the task of writing a text on the evidence of hydrochloric acid should be left to a chemist rather than a sales copywriter. The challenge for the copywriter is that the texts are aimed at people who also have specialist knowledge. Therefore, the content must be detailed and factual. In addition to advertising material, a technical copywriter also writes blog articles, magazine articles, as well as operating instructions.

Content copywriting

Content copywriters write content for websites and focus on a specific topic. Website visitors receive information about the topic and are informed of any new developments. As a content copywriter, you usually create how-to articles and step-by-step guides. Especially important is the appealing and interesting design of the articles. If a potential customer finds a text both entertaining and informative, they are more likely to make a purchase.

Creative copywriting

Creative copywriters write about a topic they’ve chosen themselves, but integrate certain products or services into their posts. There are some parallels to the principle of sales copywriting, since potential customers should be convinced of how good the product or service is here as well. Creative copywriters also often create company slogans or headlines and design concepts. Many creative copywriters have a marketing background, others are simply talented in presenting topics in an appealing way.

Summary

Whether in print, on television, on the radio, or on the internet: copywriters convey clear messages that ensure that advertising measures are recognised and don’t drown in the masses. As a copywriter, every working day is different. One day, you might create a statement or slogan and tomorrow you might create a text to accompany a demo video. The success of a particular text can ultimately be determined by the actions generated after it’s been read.