The term “Copywriting” (sometimes also written as “Copy Writing”) is used in marketing to describe the writing of copy. “Copy” in advertising terminology means text. “Copywriters” are therefore writers who create slogans, taglines and other advertising messages. These copywriters deliver content for marketing measures of all kinds and play a crucial role in the success of a marketing campaign.
Television advertising mainly employs live pictures that generate an emotional response to achieve their desired effect. However, even in television advertising spots, the dialogue text still has an important part to play. On the internet, the contribution of the text is even greater because this medium uses “classic” ads that usually display just a picture or a simple graphic. Therefore, it is more important to stand out from all the other online websites and score points with your own content. This is the copywriter’s job in a nutshell.
Copywriting generally has one goal – to prompt a conclusion, a sale, or some other customer action. The reader should be engaged by the content and then be moved to perform a specific action. Whether this is signing up for a website newsletter or the purchase of an electronic device that costs several thousand dollars, it really doesn’t matter. There are many ways to achieve this goal in copywriting. Depending on what kind of product you want to advertise, the copywriter will have to write serious, funny or creative content in order to reach the target audience.
All these variants usually deploy one basic marketing concept: AIDA. This acronym stands for “Attention,” “Interest,” “Desire,” and “Action,” and describes the way content should be used to guide the reader to a desired action. The first step requires the copywriter to grab the reader’s attention. This is especially difficult online because the internet attention spans of many potential customers are lower than in everyday life. On the other hand, the way in which online advertising space is sold makes it difficult to precisely define the environment where an ad will appear on a website. In fact, real-time where display spaces (Google Adwords) are automatically auctioned in a fraction of a second – has become an established practice in online marketing.
Although advertisers can designate the site on which their ads are to appear, as well as the position of the ad on the page, it is not always possible to tell in advance what content will appear on that page. Because a website with a long reach will adjust its content quite frequently, this complicates the planning for online marketers. However, the basic requirement is always to attract the reader’s attention with short, crisp headlines or statements.
It is not sufficient for the reader to just see the advertising, afterwards his interest must be further awakened. In addition, the copywriter must also present the product’s features and its important advantages. This step often merges seamlessly with the next, where the copywriter must persuade the customer that he or she would like to own the product. The USP of the product is now called upon, as well as images – of happy or successful people, for example – which will enhance the customer’s desire. Finally, the potential customer’s action then follows – or rather should follow. Copywriters often achieve this primary aim by using a call-to-action, i.e. an action request that induces the customer to finally perform the desired action. While the AIDA model is not always used or fully implemented in copywriting, it has proven to be a useful guideline for copywriters to help them create an advertising message that is effective and has an impact.
The Internet Content Jungle: Copywriting and SEO
Unlike television and print advertising, online marketing is not all about the impact of the advertising message. The reason for this is that you first have to be found online. In a magazine, virtually every reader will find the ads placed in between the articles, but within an online page they can quickly sink into oblivion. If you put advertising space on a website with a long reach, this problem will not arise, but the company’s own website is supposed to be a flagship location for advertising its own products and attracting potential customers.
As a result, the copywriter has to consider the demands of search engine optimization when he or she sets out to create advertising content. For example, adherence to a specific keyword density is the classic restriction, but other requirements such as the text structure or article composition must also be carefully followed.
Since the copywriting on your own website can usually be slightly longer than normal advertising, the AIDA model and the measures required for SEO can often be combined in this context. However, it is difficult to write a well-functioning advertising that at the same time meets all SEO guidelines. After all, the depth and detail of your text content plays an increasingly important role for search engines – and these qualities are usually very difficult to achieve with short advertising messages. Therefore, if longer copywriting texts must be created for a website, it’s often a content writer rather than a copywriter who is approached.
The difference between copywriting and content writing
Often, the term copywriting is used to summarize everything related to content creation in the context of online marketing. However, this generalization is not entirely correct because whether a copywriter or a content writer is used depends on the task and the objective.
The former specializes in creating short copywriting texts with a clear message. The principles of the AIDA model are used, and the texts usually have the goal of getting the reader to perform a specific action. Content writers, on the other hand, specialize in creating texts with content-related added value which, when necessary, can be adapted to the requirements of SEO.
However, this blurring of the terms content writing and copywriting has not arisen by chance because the two areas are merging. The reason for this is as simple as it is plausible: Content without “copy” hardly works online any more. An article may well describe the benefits of a product or service, but if the headline and introduction are boring, if the text is a poor stylistic match for the target audience, or if it is simply too long, it will not be particularly effective. At least from an online marketing point of view, it will probably fail to achieve its purpose. Therefore, it is now necessary to combine interesting content with an interesting presentation.
It should be noted, the assertion that “Content is nothing without copy” also works in reverse. An advertising message without good content is unlikely to have much impact. However, many users have (sensibly) become very wary of the use of hollow phrases that don’t mention the actual benefits of the advertised product. Content and form should be unified to maximize the impact of an advertising campaign.
Like content writing, copywriting is an integral part of online marketing. Of course, pictures and music also play an important role in advertising because these are easy ways to create emotion and thus connect with the customer. In the online area, however, texts and the writing and presentation of these texts have at least a similar effect because of the technical requirements and restrictions.
The art of copywriting is to combine content with marketing-specific and target-group-specific demands to convince the potential customer on a content and structural level, and thus to induce him or her to take the desired action.
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