What is copywriting?
Although commonly used within marketing circles, the term “copywriting” is largely unfamiliar to most other people. Ask the average person what copywriting is and they’ll probably suggest it’s something to do with copyright protection – i.e. registering a writer’s work to legally prevent it being used by others without permission, communicated via the © symbol.
Confused? It’s hardly surprising!
Despite its similarity, “copywriting” is not about copyright protection but is the art of writing text that gets used for promotional purposes. Copywriting provides the words on everything from websites, advertisements and posters to packaging, product descriptions and user instructions. Copywriting provides the carefully worded content of press releases, promotional videos, TV and radio ads and show scripts. Catchy advertising slogans that permeate the language and many product names are the result of carefully considered copywriting.
What is copy?
The work produced as a result of copywriting is referred to as “copy”. Why? I don’t know. Especially as the work referred to as copy is actually an original creation. Somebody once told me it’s because copy is often created for the purpose of being be copied by others. I never found out how seriously that remark was made.
What is a copywriter?
You guessed it, a person who writes copy.
Makes sense now?
What makes a copywriter a good copywriter?
In theory, anybody who can write can write copy. And many do, without delivering the full set of benefits that make a bone-fide copywriter’s work so valuable. That’s because there’s more to copywriting than just writing words.
A good professional copywriter has an appreciation of marketing strategy, customer psychology and media functionality. Bound together with an unrelenting sense of logic. It’s the combination of these insights which produces the clear, convincing communications that encourage audiences to follow calls to action.
It’s often very difficult to remain objective when presenting your own business. But an experienced freelance copywriter brings an impartial view to the table that sheds essential light on how outsiders perceive what you do. If the story you’re trying to tell doesn’t add up, they’ll ask probing questions. If this exposes holes in your messaging or process, it’s an opportunity to be welcomed. With the help of a good copywriter, you can plug the gaps before your customers fall in to them.
So when you’re considering who should write your copy, ask yourself whether you just want good grammar or whether a full-on voice of reason might actually be the fix you need.