Copywriter: Brief Summary
A copywriter is the name given to a writer who primarily creates “copy”, which is terminology used to describe text that is produced for the purposes of marketing or advertising. In most cases, the primary purpose of copy is to increase brand awareness, or to encourage the consumer to perform a certain action. Therefore, a copywriter is a writer who specialises in the production of this kind of content.
The range of content created by copywriters is broad and includes landing page content, blog posts, articles, email newsletters, social media posts and the content for online advertisements. In offline settings, copywriters may produce billboard content, advertising brochures, newspaper advertisements and even television advertising jingles. Aside from writing, responsibilities typically include research, proofreading, editing and utilising SEO techniques.
Copywriter: Detailed Summary
As a profession, copywriting has a history dating back to the 1870s, with John Emory Powers being widely recognised as the world’s first full-time copywriter. Although originally linked to magazine and newspaper advertising, the role later branched out into television and billboard advertising, before online or digital copywriting became popular in the internet age, with the rise of content marketing, email newsletters and landing pages.
Copywriters may choose to work for copywriting agencies, advertising agencies, or work on a freelance basis. Meanwhile, some are employed by specific businesses, meaning they work in-house. Occasionally, freelance copywriters might also work in connected fields, such as journalism, publishing, or web development.
The main difference between a copywriter and a content creator is the purpose behind their work. With copywriting, the ultimate purpose behind the content created is to build brand awareness, promote a product, service or business, and encourage consumers to actually perform a certain action, such as buying a product, registering for an account, or signing up for a newsletter. Nevertheless, there is some cross-over between the two roles.
As part of their work, a copywriter will typically create written content of a promotional nature. However, the role may also require them to carry out research or fact-checking, locate images, interview people, edit the content, proofread the content and plan the way the content will be used as part of a marketing campaign. Therefore, journalism, blogging and other writing disciplines may factor into a copywriting role.
Copywriters may have previous experience performing other writing jobs, and may have an academic background in areas like journalism, advertising, digital marketing, creative writing or English. With the rise of content creation platforms, including Textbroker, the viability of working as a freelance copywriter has increased dramatically over recent years, so there are no rigid qualifications, although strong written communication skills are a must.
In certain instances, copywriters may operate in a wider team of writers, as part of a broader content creation strategy. For example, they may work alongside a technical writer, who will create the basic information that the copywriter then utilises to inform their promotional content, or they may work with search marketing experts, or SEO experts, who can help to optimise the copywriter’s content for maximum visibility on search engine results pages.
Typically, a copywriter will be expected to adopt the ‘voice’ of the business or brand they are working for. As a result, copywriters need to be adaptable when it comes to the tone and style of their written content. Although some copywriters do receive acknowledgement or a ‘credit’, it is not the most common practice. Usually, copywriters will produce content which is published under the name of the business or client they are working for.
Types of Content Created By Copywriters
As stated, copywriting is a field which encompasses a broad range of disciplines. Depending on the way they work, a professional copywriter may need to produce a large number of different types or content, or they may instead choose to specialise in a more specific area of copywriting. Regardless, some of the most common types of content that may be created by a copywriter are outlined below:
Website Content – Copywriters may be asked to produce the written content that appears on certain website pages, such as landing pages, which are designed to drive actions. Within this category, there may be a need for the content to be search engine optimised through the use of keywords and similar techniques.
Blog Posts – Blogging tends to form part of a wider content marketing strategy, and copywriters may be used to create blog posts which have a more overtly promotional nature. In many cases, blog posts have a slightly informal nature and they can be especially useful for building brand awareness.
White Papers/Case Studies – White papers tend to be informative documents, typically over 1,000 words in length, which work through a problem and a solution. This often has a promotional element to it. Similarly, case studies are documents which detail specific cases where a product, service or solution was used.
Email Content – The services of copywriters may be used to create written email content, and this can vary from specific marketing emails, through to more general email newsletters.
Social Media Posts – Finally, copywriters may also be used to produce compelling, creative and attention-grabbing social media posts. Again, there is significant variation within this category, as social media posts can range from short posts on Twitter or Facebook, through to longer pieces of content shared on LinkedIn.
Ultimately, the job of a copywriter is to produce ‘copy’ that meets the requirements of the client or business they are working for. This will usually be promotional in nature and, in most cases, will also be geared towards encouraging users to carry out a specific action. Copywriters may produce a number of different types of content and will typically need to adopt the voice of the client they are writing for, rather than their own perspective.
Copywriters can work on a freelance basis, or in-house within certain businesses, but the most common arrangement is for them to work for dedicated copywriting or advertising agencies. Although copywriting was originally a print media discipline and later a discipline linked to television advertising, the scope of the role has increased substantially since the invention of the world wide web and the rise of online content strategies.