Content That Works

The Changing Definition of Copywriting

It only seems fitting that a business dealing largely in words would have its own struggles with semantics! A consistent misconception deals with the idea of copywriting as part of the services I offer. What is it exactly anyway? Do I write for the newspaper? No, that would be a copyeditor. Do I deal with legalities of protecting writing? No, that would be copyrighting. Oh, so I write sales letters! Well, yes, and no

Copywriting is evolving

Traditionally, copywriting has been considered the text form of selling, basically. Presenting the sales pitch for someone to read instead of listen to. Copywriting is defined as the act of writing for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing. The product, called copy, is written content that aims to increase brand awareness, with the ultimate goal of persuading a person or group to take a particular action (read: buy). While all this is still true about copywriting, the profession of copywriting has evolved considerably as marketing has. Digital marketing has dramatically changed the way people shop. More savvy consumers, enlightened by sheer volume of information and opportunities to compare and contrast brands, have no tolerance for the simple sales pitch any longer. Consequently, copywriting has changed to include writing informational, educational and storytelling pieces of content used for a variety of purposes.

The definition of copywriting has evolved far beyond sales pitches and discount offers.

Welcome to the brave new world of content marketing! Consumers today are looking for valuable and interesting information. Information that proves to them you are worthy of their time, then they may choose to also give you their money. They do not want to hear about why you are the best – share a story about a customer experience instead. They are not interested in how you crush your competition – give them behind-the-curtain information about your technology or techniques. They have no patience for your sale or limited-time discount – show them how you make their life easier. Copywriting has become far more about education than talking about the products your company sells. When you can provide good quality information that helps people in their daily living, they will become loyal to your brand. Today’s consumers – whomever your audience is – want to learn more about how you will change their life. That may sound a bit dramatic, but essentially we all want our lives to be easier, less complicated, and happier. Every product and service addresses these needs in some way. Share the story of how your brand does this! That is the essence of good copywriting.

Good copywriting shares the story of how your brand improves people’s lives. Share the experience, don’t sell the product.

While copywriting is only part of the Content Marketing picture, it is essential to creating the customer experience. Successful copywriting focuses on your audience and what they care about, not about your products or services. It’s not about you and your brand – it’s about them and their needs. This is a big shift in copy message over the last 10 years. Content, the collection of copy you have written for your business, is vitally important to your marketing strategy. Shift your focus from selling people to providing them with something they can benefit from, something they can’t get somewhere else. When you position your business as the expert, an authoritative resource in your industry, then you engage your audience with you specifically, not just the type of product or service you offer. This engagement develops trust and loyalty in the marketplace of a zillion choices. Strong customer relationships, established through helping and giving, not asking and telling, will build your brand awareness. When people feel connected to you they will buy from you.

Position your business as an authoritative resource in your industry and engage your audience with you specifically, not just the type of product or service you offer.

The easiest way to improve your brand awareness is to build your content through expanded copy on your website, adding blogs to your website, and emailing useful information to your customers and prospects through eNewsletters. Let us know how we can help write your brand story!