Let’s get real, folks. What really makes an umbrella an umbrella, and a shoe a shoe?
Sorry, didn’t mean to be a pain-in-the-you-know-what.
But, as a copywriter — to me “copyrighting” and “copywriting” is SO obviously different, it’s like you calling a shoe an umbrella.
And while it used to be laughable, now it’s just tiring. (Just kidding, no hard feelings here, only love. Wait…why are you taking my steel-capped baseball bat away from me…)
Let’s clear up that confusion once and for all!
What is Copyrighting?
Copyrighting is a legal action protected by government law that grants a creator of an original piece the exclusive rights to that piece and its distribution. This protects their work and enables the creator of “intellectual goods” to receive monetary return for their work.
What is Copywriting?
This is a term used to denote a profession that engages in a comprehensive process — from planning to conceptualization of advertisements and marketing campaigns. They write articles for advertisements and marketing purposes.
Although copywriting was a purely in-house job of the company, with the recent focus on outsourcing, many of the copywriting tasks have been outsourced and freelancers over the world have since taken over the majority of the role of copywriter.
Copywriting for the Internet: Tides Have Changed
Just ten years ago, copywriting was still the top avenue of television and the print media — immortalized in the amazing television show, Mad Men.
Nowadays, the internet has become a main target of copywriting, and a lot of effort is being devoted into online copywriting. Hence, it is necessary to understand the changing nature of copywriting.
With the advent of faster Internet connections and more importantly the smartphones, copywriting is hugely a part of our internet and web world.
Jakob Nielsen, a usability expert, recently conducted research and claimed that according to its findings, “users on the internet surf sites to find relevant information in as short time as possible” and hence, according to Nielsen, “the success of online copywriting depends solely on scan ability, conciseness, and objectivity of information.”
Why is Copywriting So Important Today?
Any business, no matter how strong its product line-up, depends very much on the success of the marketing campaign for the simple reason that people should be able to know about the latest product of the company, and thereby attract them.
Sometimes, the purpose in certain advertising campaigns is not to highlight a particular product, but simply maintain and build brand familiarity in the minds of the customers so that the day they need something, the first company that comes to mind is yours. It is therefore necessary that you have a rock-solid marketing game plan to successfully position yourself in the market; this is where the copywriter’s role begins.
The copywriter is entrusted the critical task of communicating with the customers through writing. The ability and skill of the copywriter can make or break your marketing campaign and thus, most copywriters are paid handsomely because there are very few people who can effectively communicate the ideas of the company.
Copywriting is very important and it is sometimes considered as the center of the entire campaign.
Thus, the importance of the copywriter to the advertising industry is immense.
Techniques of Good Copywriting
Copywriting has some ‘ground rules’ that need to be followed to ensure that your success in the advertising campaigns.
Beyond these basics, there are copywriters who make use of techniques like hypnotic written command patterns, making use of emotional triggers and special numbers. We’ll start here.
Below are just some basic, key copywriting principles and techniques that every copywriter should follow.
#1. Conciseness & Brevity
These are the most important factors as far as copywriting is concerned. The average customer today is very short on patience in comparison to twenty to thirty years ago, thus it is necessary to make your point in as few words as possible. It is also necessary that the use of language is such that a common man with an average knowledge of the language can understand; use of superfluous and over the top vocabulary means it will only end up isolating a large part of your target audience.
It is imperative that you convince within the first few lines; in online copywriting, there is no scope for Shakespearean language as you want them to understand the gist of what you are saying in as short time as possible.
Attention-catching capability is the first step to success; if the users don’t click on your website, they will never come to know what’s inside the website and hence, the first step is to attract users to your website. User attraction depends on three things: the headline, decks or the sub-heading, and lastly, photos and related multimedia. Just like in the print media, online copywriting has the headlines and sub-headings as the only way to attract users and thus, it is important that they be attractive and catchy. You have to be able to sell the story to your visitor, and they should be uncluttered and make special emphasis on verbs which denote action and at the same time, should be a reflection of the topic of the article. There is nothing more frustrating than clicking on a link, expecting it to be on a particular topic and finding something entirely different.
#2. Generating Interest From the Reader
An average user is under a barrage of so many ads that unless he/she finds something that’s really appealing, your ad is going to end up in the dustbin. The concept of print media is applicable to online copywriting as well and, hence, it involves the use of bold and attractive headings and sub-headings. The important point to understand is that you, as a copywriter, should be able to sell the story of the company you represent within those few minutes that the user spends on your ad and the layout of your ad should be uncluttered and lucid enough to understand for the people of your target audience.
#3. Pyramid Writing (Not the MLM Type)
This classic art of newspaper writing has wiggled its way into the online copywriting world. This style of writing involves writing in an inverted pyramid form, which means that the most important information is displayed first and then information is subsequently placed in the descending order of its importance.
Generally, this is achieved by giving information in the order: ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘why’.
A major reason why this pyramid style of writing is important, especially in an online article, is because very few readers will bother to check the second page; that’s why it is imperative that you display the most important information at the top.
This is an old trick which was employed by early newspapers to keep the users interested throughout the article. In this type of writing, information is arranged in a descending order with the most important information about a particular product being right at the top, followed by information of subsequent importance, and so on.
An important reason for the relevance of this style, even in the online world, is because users generally don’t read beyond the first page, so all the important information must be contained in the first part of the first page.
#4. Benefits are More Important Than Features
Oftentimes, copywriters get caught in the battle between the specifics and the general features of the product. The fact remains that an average consumer has no knowledge of the specifics and neither is he interested in it; what matters to him is what benefits he will accrue if he goes ahead with purchase. A good copywriter will focus more on highlighting the advantages of the product rather than the specifications.
#5 Use Emotional Triggers
Many copywriters use this technique to trigger an emotion from happiness/surprise/fear to generate interest in the product. This has been one of the most successful techniques to date and every copywriter must work towards striking an emotional cord with the target audience.
#6. Formatting and Flow
A good copywriter does not only depend on the number of words used but rather, organizing your writing in an acceptable and pleasing manner is equally important.
For example, if you have just one long rambling paragraph, users are going to lose patience in the site very fast; but, if you divide it into coherent paragraphs with sub-headers, it is much more appealing. From the users’ point of view, having different sub-headers enables them to go directly to his/ her point of interest without wasting time in reading the whole article.
#7. Hyperlinking, Style & Visuals
Hyperlinking is an important aspect of copywriting. Hyperlinking enables users to have much more detailed information about a word or topic on another site which has been linked to the word. This helps to maintain brevity and conciseness of the article, so you don’t have to explain each and every word in detail. The other major reason is attribution – for example, if you have taken an idea from some other writer, then it would be more appropriate to provide the reader a link to that writer.
Style matters; make sure that your website stands out among the crowd and draws the users in. Make your website much more informal and conversational rather than being preachy.
Use of photos, videos, or additional graphics are all part of the plan to make your copywriting much more attractive.
Bullet points are often the best way of clearly projecting your views in a concise and precise manner. The most important information of your copywriting exercise should be in bullet form so that the reader gets the gist of the whole article by just reading those bullets.
Also, remember to check the effects on font of different web browsers and different screen sizes so that you have an idea of how your copywriting will look to the average user. Ensure that you display the most important information on the top of the first page – that is, the user should not have the need to scroll down to read about your website.
Copywriting vs Copyrighting: Now You Know, Why Hire One?
Now that we’ve cleared up copywriting vs copyrighting, officially…
The purpose of your marketing plan, more specifically the online marketing article, is to capture the attention of your target market that will eventually lead to more sales and leads. A copywriter understands this and, thus, will make sure that every sentence is written with the purpose of persuading prospective buyers to do so and not just for the sake of writing.
You as a business owner will be involved in running your business daily, and may not have the proper skills in writing and marketing. Getting an expert copywriter to handle that will deliver a fresh perspective.
Copywriting Ideas from Copywriters Themselves
A headline is the most important part of effective copywriting.
Copywriters are aware that nearly 80% of readers only look at the headline of an article, so they know that getting the perfect catchy heading is crucial, and with so many articles being written by them, they have a pretty good idea of what will catch on with readers and get them reading the rest of the article.
Copywriters understand what the people look for in an article and how they react to it. They know that customers like to feel special; copywriters make sure that their articles are engaging, warm, and friendly towards the intended audience – in a manner that other people cannot really write and comes from experience and practice in this area which most of us lack. Another attribute is that they know how best to write an article depending on its format whether it is for printing, website, reports, or case studies.
Just Remember, Not All Writers Are True Copywriters
You might be an excellent writer, praised for your skills in academic settings perhaps, but writing marketing pieces for your prospects is a whole different ball game.
Copywriting can play an important part in improving and even creating a corporate identity for your business through the articles.
A copywriter can put the identity of the business and what it does in such a manner that it is appealing to prospective customers and investors alike.
Copywriters write as a way of living and as such, continuously improve upon their skills and knowledge in this area. So no one is qualified more than a professional copywriter to write a quality marketing piece. Invest in expert copywriting from our team at Express Writers.