Copywriting Meaning: An In-depth Analysis
The word “Copywriting” has created a lot of interest nowadays, in the writing community. A lot of budding writers and aspirational writers want to become copywriters. But, copywriting can be a very highly misunderstood term. The definition of the term ‘ copywriting meaning ’ changes over time and it is not a fixed entity. In this context, it becomes essential to understand its meaning properly before one decides to pursue it.
It has been a very lucrative career for some time now and will continue to be so in the future as well. Hence, understanding the ethos of copywriting becomes paramount in building an awesome writing career.
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What is Copywriting Meaning?
Although it may seem otherwise, copywriting has very little to do with any ‘copying’ or ‘handwriting’. The term ‘Copy’ initially was referred to written material such as newspaper articles, advertisements, pamphlets, etc. Over time, only the content which focused on making sales and advertising began to be recognized as a copy.
Before the advent of the internet, Copy just meant content written on paper. Later, the development of the digital era led to a revolution in how content is produced, processed, and consumed. This resulted in a modification of the definition of Copy, and in turn, ‘Copywriting Meaning’.
Simply stated, copywriting is the art of writing ‘good copies’. A ‘good copy’ means a ‘copy’ that manages to perform well in achieving the goal behind commissioning the work. The eventual aim of any Copy is to either make sales or prompt the consumers to take an action. For example, if you run a stationery shop, you would aim to increase sales of your shop. On the other hand, an NGO may aim to convince the readers on its website to sign up for meaningful volunteer work or to make donations to them.
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Therefore, ‘ Copywriting Meaning ‘ can be defined as :
The art of writing content that evokes a response from the reader as desired by the person who commissioned the Copy in the first place.
Every business or enterprise is created for a goal. Most of the time the goal is to increase their profits through increased sales, awareness, reach, and brand value. So, in today’s era almost every business needs copywriters to act as the bridge between it and its intended customers.
Copywriting is growing very rapidly as an industry. The major contribution towards that is of the digital market. The Digital era has transformed how copywriting is done. As a result, the term ‘Copywriting Meaning’ is often misunderstood. Let us define two terms: Overt copywriting and Covert copywriting.
Overt Copywriting refers to copies whose goal can be seen directly by looking at the content. For example, when you see an advertisement it is very clear to us what it wants us to do and what is the goal of the company here.
On the other hand, Covert Copywriting refers to copies whose goal is not apparent directly by looking at the content. For example, Mashable runs a blog focused on entertainment, tech, and culture. But they also sell online courses, apps, and software.
The credibility established by Mashable through its blog helps them make sales somewhere else. So indirectly, the blog is also performing the task of increasing their sales, although in an indirect manner. Hence, the blog is also a Copy. A section of copywriters believes that every written content on the internet has an element of copywriting. They feel that if a business devotes its resources to writing an article, it helps them achieve their business goals. Hence, at some level, every written content for a company is a copy.
Therefore, ‘ Copywriting Meaning ‘ varies depending on what you do. One must always stay updated with the latest happens in the copywriting world to stay in sync with ‘ Copywriting Meaning ‘.
Who is a Copywriter?
A copywriter is a trained professional who has a good working knowledge of the art and techniques behind copywriting.
Such professionals may operate in very different ways. A copywriter can function in different setups such as freelancing, an in-house company expert, a digital marketing agency, or someone who offers a complete digital marketing service as an individual.
Copywriting is one of the highest paying professions in writing and hence is in a lot of demand. Copywriters combine their marketing and product knowledge with their writing skills to drive sales. For a high-quality copywriter, the sky’s the limit! That is why ‘Copywriting Meaning’ must be analyzed practically as well.
Copywriting Meaning: In practical life
Till now, we have understood copywriting in a theoretical and conceptual manner. Now let us try to understand what ‘Copywriting Meaning’ stands for. For that, it is essential to look at various types of copywriting that are required in the industry. That would make our pursuit of copywriting a bit more clear and crisp.
Types of Copywriting
1. Direct Response Copywriting
As the name suggests, such writing is done when a direct and prompt response is needed from the consumer. It can be advertising for the sale of an item, convincing the reader to subscribe to the newsletter, capturing leads, or writing product descriptions for e-commerce websites like Amazon.
2. SEO Copywriting
The company’s digital footprint highly depends on how its content ranks in search engine results. Such performance depends on the quality of the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) done. SEO copywriters have a dual-task: Firstly, they must provide content that answers the query that the person looked for in the search engine.
Secondly, such content should be shaped in such a way that the credibility of the website is established, it helps in building brand value and increasing sales. SEO skills become very essential as the competition keeps on increasing, as SEO copywriting can act as a very good source of ad-free and evergreen marketing, hence reducing costs and increasing longevity.
3. Technical Copywriting
This type of copywriting is very niche compared to the other types of copywriting. It involves specialized technical skills, often acquired only after years of effort and achieving technical degrees and expertise. Such writing may be related to technical fields such as medicine, engineering, science, finance, etc. Research papers, white papers, user manuals, and guides are some of the best examples. While such writing requires less creativity, it requires greater precision, accuracy, and adherence to certain norms and procedures.
4. Marketing Copywriting
It focuses on increasing the reach or awareness of the company. It also acts as the company’s pitch to potential clients to try their products or services. Such writing acts as a trust builder between the company and the consumer. Marketing is usually a cost-intensive exercise, so a higher rate of conversion is highly helpful financially. Hence, this skill is very important to create effective campaigns. Such campaigns can be video campaigns, email marketing, newsletters, etc.
5. Brand Copywriting
Brand copywriting aims to convey the central ethos of a company to the people. It seeks to build long-lasting trust and relationships. It does not seek immediate sales, but rather a positive opinion of the brand in the consumer’s mind so that they may reap the benefits of that later. It is also essential in defining the brand’s identity, bringing clarity and making the brand stand out from its competitors. The name of the brand must evoke an emotional response from the consumer.
6. Social Media Copywriting
Although social media marketing is a part of marketing, it must be dealt with differently. It is due to the very different nature of social media platforms. For example, the way one needs to convey a message on Twitter is very different from the delivery of the message on Facebook or Instagram.
Each platform has its restrictions as well. The attention span and the focus of the reader are very different while accessing Facebook as compared to reading an article in the newspaper. Hence, it requires a separate specialized skill depending on the platform. The message must be short, simple, sweet, and creative.
7. UX Copywriting
UX stands for User Experience. Such writing focuses on enhancing the experience of the user on the website or the app. The aim is to make the consumers spend more time on our platform, increase his/her interactions with our content and reduce the bounce rate. Therefore, it helps in increasing the chances of consumers taking any action or buying any product and makes their experience very smooth.
8. Public Relations (PR) Copywriting
PR activities such as Press Releases and statements help established firms in staying connected with people through media. Catchy, structured, and attractive writing attracts greater media attention which would later be published in their newspapers or blog, etc. It helps people in staying updated with the latest happenings and establishes a bond beyond the transaction of a sale.
9. Long Form Copywriting
As the name suggests, such writing is lengthier in its content. For example, E-Books are a great source of marketing for companies. But it involves a much more time taking procedure. But, they establish a great amount of trust as the consumer has dedicated his/her precious time to learning about an offering of the brand.
10. Creative Copywriting
Such copywriting is not restricted to any one platform. It involves creating innovative, catchy, and out of the box thinking. Jingles, radio, and television advertisements are the best examples of such writing. Its aim is not only to inform the consumer but also to evoke an emotion and create a curiosity about the brand or product. Storytelling and lateral thinking are essential skills one needs to succeed in this sphere.
To better understand the term ‘ Copywriting Meaning’ we must look at the personality traits you must develop to become a successful copywriter.
Personality Traits needed for Copywriting
Putting yourself in the shoes of the reader is the single most important skill you need to develop. Any business or enterprise aims to solve problems faced by people in their daily lives and make their lives better. Therefore, you need to develop a relationship with people and their problems. Only then you can think about what solution works best for them. You must try to align the product or service with the requirements of the people.
The process of copywriting requires a lot of patience. A major portion of your time would be dedicated to understanding the company’s ethos, learning about the product, doing consumer research, and analyzing industry trends. The actual task of writing often takes up much lesser time than the research. Later, the editing process is often time-consuming and cumbersome.
Also, the entire process of becoming a copywriter requires a lot of patience. You may need to start small, spend hours looking for your first client and update your skills daily to remain in touch with the ever-evolving market requirements.
Clarity is needed at multiple levels to deliver a successful copywriting project. First, you need clarity to understand the requirements of the entity that asked for your services. Second, you need clarity about who your audience is and what they want. Third, the Copy itself must be clear, crisp, and concise to deliver a message properly.
No one likes unclear or vague messages. With a single glance at your Copy, one must be able to tell what it is actually about. The benefits and features must be communicated in a measurable and defined manner. For example, ‘ Reduce your weight by 20kgs in 2 months ‘ sounds much better than ‘ Get fit soon ‘.
There is nothing such as a perfect Copy. Any Copy that serves its purpose the best is the perfect Copy. Therefore, you need to be creative to hold people’s attention. The modern lifestyle is very busy. If someone takes time out of his/her busy schedule to read your content, you must not bore them. Try to convey what they are looking for but in an enjoyable and mind-tingling manner.
We have understood what ‘Doing Copywriting’ actually means. Now, we will look into ‘Copywriting Meaning’ in an attempt to understand what it means for your life. Like everything in life, it has certain Pros and Cons. One must understand ‘Copywriting Meaning’ properly before diving deep into copywriting.
Most copywriters work from the comfort of their homes or from wherever they want to. A majority of them run their agencies or work as freelancers. Being a lone wolf and not being answerable to a corporate hierarchy often attracts a lot of budding writers. If you are a travel freak or aspire to become a Digital Nomad, then copywriting can offer you a very well rewarding career. It provides you with a great opportunity to pursue your other interests in life.
2. Flexible hours
You can work as and when you want as a copywriter. You are only required to submit your content within a limited timeframe. How you do that is completely up to you. If you are a night owl like myself, you can choose to work then. If you don’t feel like working today, you can make up for it the next day. The hours you put in is up to you, but what you produce must be of excellent quality.
3. Provides wide experience
Copywriting provides a great opportunity to gain experience in a variety of domains. As a copywriter, you can wear multiple hats. One day you can become an Ad-writer, later you may choose to write the content for a website’s home page. You can work in different fields from fashion to education. You can make great connections and connect with people from different countries, which can provide you with very interesting experiences.
4. Growing industry
Copywriting is a very rapidly growing industry. More copywriters are in demand today more than ever before in history. With the increasing digital presence of all enterprises, the demand for copywriters is set to increase at a rapid rate. If copywriters succeed in defining niches for themselves, there are great opportunities to earn very well. On the flip side, there are certain disadvantages that one needs to consider before deciding to pursue this career.
1. Less stable than full-time jobs
A majority of companies even today prefer outsourcing their copywriting work to agencies or freelancers. The number of full-time jobs is still very limited in number. So, the stability in your monthly payout would be lesser than the regular 9-to-5 jobs. But after the initial hustle, most of the copywriters can get reliable, well-paying clients.
2. Learning curve
Like any other skill, copywriting too takes a lot of effort and time to master. There is a reasonable learning curve during which you must work hard while expecting limited results. But once you overcome that initial barrier, success is only a few steps away.
3. Requires a lot of self-discipline
While being your boss is a lot of fun, it also adds a lot of responsibility. You won’t have your boss who makes you show up on time and meet the deadlines. So, a lot of discipline is a must while pursuing this direction. Finally, to get a complete grasp on the term ‘ Copywriting Meaning ‘ it is best to learn about what are the features of a good Copy.
Features of a Good Copy
The headline of a copy is the most important aspect. It is the headline that, in most cases, decides whether the person is going to read further or not. It is the headline that
appears in the Search Engine results on the top. The headline is the gateway to the article and must stand out. There are some general features of a good headline which you must follow:
● Never assume that the reader knows a lot about what you are talking about. Rather, focus on what can attract his/her attention in the shortest amount of time. If they are looking for something, such as a solution to a problem, your headline must strongly indicate that you can address the reader’s concerns.
● The headline must not be more lengthy than it needs to be. A deliberate attempt must be made to provide maximum information in the minimum possible length.
● It must not be vague or unclear. Clear and specific headlines are more likely to evoke positive responses.
● It must be unique and stand out from the competitive articles.
● Further, it must create urgency in the user to read the content immediately.
● Any reward or benefit provided must be mentioned in the headline.
● The length of the headline must be apt, neither too short nor too long.
The body of an article is the actual information that will be read by the individual. It will decide whether the consumer feels satisfied or not after reading the article. A satisfied consumer is much more likely to respond positively to any Call-To-Action (CTA) such as buying a product/service, subscribing to your newsletter, etc. The salient features of a good body are mentioned below:
● The content must answer the reader’s concerns, rather than focus on what the business offers. Consumers must be the centre of the write-up, not the business.
● Try to focus on the benefits the reader gets from buying any product/service instead of telling them the features of that product/service.
● The tone must be friendly and must sound like a conversation between the writer
and the reader. Any robotic or mechanical writing is highly unlikely to achieve its target.
● The content must be easy to read and must be produced while keeping in mind the UX or User Experience.
● A cursory glance at the article must be able to convey the key points. Headings, sub-headings, lists, and bullet points are good ways of doing so.
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We have discussed ‘ Copywriting Meaning ‘ in a very comprehensive and wholesome manner. We have covered multiple dimensions of the term ‘ Copywriting Meaning ‘. One must understand that writing is like any other skill which can be mastered over time. Contrary to the general misconception, no one is a born writer. Copywriting can be a very lucrative and high paying profession. It is one of the rare forms of professional writing where you can be associated with brand and product development. Stick to the basics properly and you will do very well in copywriting. An exciting career awaits you!