A few weeks back, I was chatting with a lady at a coffee shop here in Bozeman, and she asked what I did for a living. I told her about Total BS Media and then offered up that I had been a copywriter for a good majority of my career. She looked impressed, which caught me off guard because, typically, that's not the response to a career as a writer. Turns out, she thought that a copywriter was a fancy legal position that had me crafting and submitting patent documentation on behalf of all sorts of important inventors and scientists.
When I corrected her and explained that copywriting is writing for marketing and advertising, she was immediately less impressed. She went from associating me with a pivotal role in scientific progress to a sleazy salesman who crafts the pop-ups she so diligently blocks.
Our conversation came to a screeching halt, and it made me realize that copywriting is an art form that has yet to have any type of distinction here in my little town of Bozeman. That's a problem when I run an agency that specializes in content marketing, which relies heavily on the written word.
So let's dissect this field a little bit in the hopes of creating a better understanding around its intent and purpose.
Copywriting, by definition, is the art and science of writing copy (words used on web pages, ads, promotional materials, etc.) that sells your products or services and convinces prospective customers to take action.
Content marketing or the inbound methodology, by definition, is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage with a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
The common thread in both of these definitions is driving someone to action. The copywriter is usually paired with designers, brand managers, and creative directors to highlight specific points of a campaign (products or services) through the written word.
Before the 1950s, advertising was heavily influenced by text. Text appeared below a single image and was written to persuade consumers to buy the product. During the 1950s and 1960s, a major advertising shift occurred, which utilized an image plus long-form text. The growth of advertising agencies brought about a “Creative Revolution,” a period during which art and copywriting came together to produce symbolic advertising. Take the iconic 1960s “VW: Think Small” advertisement as an example.
A good copywriter is not just a good writer with grammatical know-how and efficient sentence structure. A good copywriter is a student of sociology, psychology, and human nature. Great copywriting uses humor, emotion, and logic to appeal on a deeper more subliminal level and elicit a specific action.
Today, a good copywriter needs to wear many hats. At Total BS Media, we stress that you need to be part researcher, part editor, part writer, and part marketer. This unique hybrid allows us to write for a diverse client list that spans tech startups, retail, restaurant, events, government, and action sports. Clients trust that they will receive a product that is accurate, engaging, and rich with SEO value.
We write to attract customers naturally, which we equate to using our indoor marketing voices. We use SEO as a guide and create content channels that align to what Google wants, which is content that is informational, entertaining, and engaging. The days of keyword loading are over. Today’s marketer needs to be a storyteller who crafts prose to meet the needs of prospects and customers. We want prospects to see value, rather than just writing ads that scream desperation and are void of personal connection.
Our written content consists of blogging, e-books, infographics, case studies, press releases, thought leadership, earned media, research papers, white papers, newsletters, taglines, slogans, direct mail, sales enablement, and lots more.
So, while we might not be advancing scientific pursuits or the Inventors Guild here in Bozeman and the greater state of Montana, we are advancing a movement that accepts and adopts great copywriting.
Brands are quick to hire a designer or programmer to build a fancy website, and while those tactics might pull a reader in, if you don't have compelling and informative written content, you won't generate action.
If copywriting is something that you struggle with or need to improve on, get in touch for a free content consultation.