Modern copywriting: while it may be similar to the copywriting of years past, it’s a different animal entirely.
Today, copywriters must be Jacks and Jills of all trades – switching effortlessly between marketing prowess, fine-tuned technical know-how, poetic turns of phrase, and hard-driving SEO experience meant to produce results.
If this sounds like a tall order, it’s because it is!
Modern copywriting is hard, and few people understand what it takes to excel in the field.
Read on to learn more about the seven key pillars of modern copywriting, and how they set the art this craft apart from anything that’s ever existed before.
How Do You Define Modern Copywriting?
That’s a great question, and it’s also a complex one. In many ways, modern copywriting is anything that’s being created right now. That’s not the extent of it, though. While modern copywriting is certainly content that’s being produced in the current era, it’s also a different type of content entirely.
Today’s copywriting is dedicated to so much more than just making sales. Instead, it’s about building relationships, defining brands, telling stories, creating laughs, playing on reader emotions, and learning how best to present a product, good, or service to interested consumers.
Thanks to all of these things, today’s copywriting is a drastically different pursuit than anything that’s existed in recent years, and it’s adapting every single day to become more functional and targeted for rising and developing brands.
The 7 Essential Pillars of Modern Copywriting
Just like any other industry out there, modern copywriting has a rulebook, and the people who excel in the industry know how to play by it. With that in mind, here are the seven foundational “laws” of modern copywriting, and how they all influence the industry for the better.
1. A focus on the customer
In the days of old, copywriting focused on the customer, but for all the wrong reasons. The copywriting of the past was all about making sales and convincing readers that they needed a product, good, or service, regardless of whether they did or not. Most of the time, this approach came off as pushy and sales-y because, hey, it was.
Today, though, copywriting takes a much different approach to relationships with customers. Instead of trying to shove something down peoples’ throats, the copywriting of today uses a complex series of emotional appeals, facts, statistics, and storylines to create a real, ongoing relationship with consumers.
Instead of thinking of customers purely from the standpoint of, “What can this person do for me?” Today’s copywriters look at customers as a unique group of individual people. To honor them as well as possible, copywriters attempt to create truly valuable content that addresses consumer issues and helps them solve problems, alleviate pain points, and build healthier, happier lives.
In this way, modern copywriting is more customer-centric than anything that came before it.
2. A dedication to quality and relevance
Before Google got as smart as it is today, and before consumers demanded quality, copywriters and marketers often settled for scrapped, spammy, and just plain bad online content. The attitude was, “As long as I’m putting something up on this web page or blog, it’s good enough!” Today, this no longer flies.
Modern copywriting is all about creating truly high-quality content that stands out. Spammy, black-hat techniques are no longer the norm and, today, it’s the best material that is the most likely to get noticed.
Contrary to the copywriting mindset of just a few years ago, when the creator who could put out the most content in the shortest period was the winner, today’s copywriters earn respect by crafting unique, original material that consumers (and search engines) love.
3. A focus on social media distribution
As I mentioned at the start of this post, today’s copywriters are evil masterminds who know how to use all of the things of the internet. Instead of being just writers, or just social media experts, the modern writer is both, and a whole lot more!
Today, copywriting that succeeds is copywriting that’s meant to be distributed on a wide selection of platforms. Because of this, the majority of modern content is designed for distribution on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
In addition to the fact that these social platforms often produce more engagement than a blog or website, they’re one of the most efficient ways for modern creators to connect with audiences in an effective and meaningful way.
4. A willingness to engage in storytelling
While storytelling has been around as a marketing strategy since the beginning, it’s become the focus on online marketing in recent years. Today, the pervasive notion is that copywriting is nothing without good storytelling and that any brand worth its snuff will understand how to craft a good tale for its audience.
From advertising to product launches, storytelling exists everywhere, and modern copywriting is credited with developing, perpetuating, and fine-tuning the practice.
5. A focus on additional types of content (video, audio, and visuals)
Modern copywriters know that, for a piece to be interesting, engaging, and compelling to increasingly discerning audiences, it needs to feature everything the audience wants and nothing it doesn’t. This is why so much content today features multi-modal assets, such as visuals, graphics, and video content.
By interspersing content with these unique formats, today’s copywriters succeed in creating an interesting and engaging body of work that truly benefits and fascinates consumers, rather than simply leaving them cold.
What’s more, adding visuals and videos into modern content is a wonderful way to ensure that a piece’s readers are getting the most out of the information offered.
6. Freedom to be as creative as possible
Anyone who has ever seen Dollar Shave Club’s launch video understands that creativity is here to stay in the world of modern content.
While the buttoned-up marketers of the 1950s would have cringed at such a bawdy, funny piece of content, today’s copywriters understand that creativity like this is one of the most effective ways to reach tough audiences.
By making a marketing message funny and unique, it’s possible to do virtually anything, and modern copywriters specialize in taking a brand’s message and making it creative. This, in turn, helps readers connect with the brand and makes it easier than ever before for brands that specialize in so-called “boring industries” (such as razor production) to stand out as marketing gurus.
7. A willingness to break the rules to make progress
Today, pushing the envelope is the only way to make true progress, and modern copywriting knows this. Today, copywriting has broken the metaphorical shackles it used to exist within to develop a creative, innovative, flexible mindset that allows it to adapt flawlessly to virtually any industry.
While this may seem like a luxury, it’s a necessity today.
The reason is simple: before the last several years, companies have never been so profoundly involved in online marketing as they are today. And this massive switch to the digital world has created a whole host of new challenges.
How does a brick-and-mortar tax compliance company, for example, create compelling content that makes people want to visit a local location? These are tough issues to solve, and modern copywriting has had to adapt and get creative to address them.
By breaking some of the long-held rules of the industry and being willing to make bold moves that push the boundaries of the industry, modern copywriting manages to extend incredible value to companies in all sectors. What’s more, it’s managed to make marketing something collaborative, engaging, and exciting, rather than icky and stale.
The Case for Modern Copywriting
While it’s obvious that the copywriting of today is different than the copywriting of yesteryear, few people understand how truly critical modern copywriting has been in overhauling the face of marketing as a whole.
While it goes without saying that today’s copywriting is more creative, unique, collaborative, and innovative than anything that’s existed in the past, it’s also true that all of those traits have given modern brands the freedom to express themselves more fully than ever before.
By creating a platform for expression, differentiation, collaboration, and branding, today’s version of copywriting has made shopping more exciting for consumers while also making the process of developing, launching, and marketing a brand much more enjoyable and inspiring for entrepreneurs.
So, how’s that for some positive changes? In a way, you could say that modern copywriting has sort of altered the world – for the better, of course!
Need modern copywriting services to help your brand shine? Contact Express Writers to hire our skilled copywriters today!