Copywriting refers to the written text or “copy” created for marketing and advertising materials. Generally speaking, copywriting is the art of writing for the internet, or any medium, really, married with the ability to convince or drive the reader to action.
Copywriters are the Michelangelos that make the magic happen.
Copywriting is all around you, probably to a greater degree than you realize—certainly blog posts, website content, and Facebook ads are all written by a copywriter, but the domain extends further. Signage for a new drink at Starbucks, the company motto on business cards, a flyer you received in the mail, and even product descriptions on Amazon are all written by a professional copywriter.
Copywriting, boiled down, is essentially “buy now!” But over several decades of advertising, consumers aren’t necessarily so apt to respond to such a borderline crass (not to mention utterly unimaginative) message. This copy could be either overtly salesy and highly branded or much more subtle, operating to a more educational, long-tailed nurture through the digitally-based inbound marketing methodology.
What makes good copywriting?
This, besides the obvious requirement of stringing together words into coherent sentences, is superseded by an understanding of human psychology (or more specifically, the psychology of your customers), what drives buying decisions, and what lies behind successful persuasion.
Other crucial questions to consider to write good copy:
- What messages will be especially sticky? What can people remember, or at least immediately react positively to if we’re building awareness?
- Who is our audience? How can we more deeply understand their pain points and communicate to those and propose our solution to be the painkiller?
- What common objections do we need to overcome or address head-on?
- What is our brand voice? Do we want to be more instructive in sound as a thought leader, or more conversational and light-hearted to convey our identity to the target audience?
Important considerations for hiring a copywriter
- A copywriter that knows the importance of and how to craft compelling, appropriate headlines.
- A copywriter who is well versed in SEO copywriting (and can work keywords in naturally to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to copy).
- A copywriter who ensures that every piece of copy is working as hard as it can for your business, i.e. not giving the ‘About Us’ page the cold shoulder.
- A copywriter that demonstrates an interest in learning about and understanding your audience on a deep level (if they don’t, they won’t be able to speak directly to your prospects).
- A copywriter who has experience in the area that you need assistance with—don’t be afraid to ask about specific experience with sales emails, call-to-action copy, social media posts, website copy, article writing, ads, long-form content, and more.