Copywriting for Beginners

The root of all advertising is effective copywriting. This applies to print, radio, television, and Internet, ads, because how the words are arranged in sentences and slogans will influence every other aspect of a marketing campaign.

On the surface, copywriting is writing with the intent to sell a product or service. This broad description is certainly functional but undersells the skills required to string together the right words to drive audiences to action. Copywriting is a blending of science and art, the weaving together of words in order to create the most impact. Along with print media, copywriting also applies to scripts for audio broadcasts (such as radio broadcasts or podcasts) and visual media (such as TV commercials or animations). Writing slogans and social media posts promoting goods and services also falls to copywriters.

Copywriting is about using words to motivate people to action. It is the cornerstone of any communication between a brand or idea and the general public. Therefore, while copywriting exists to sell products, that is only the surface of the copywriter’s job. They also have to build trust and establish or reinforce the reputation of the company they are marketing. They write in the voice of the brand and are the first point of interaction with the public. It is a copywriter’s responsibility to ensure that the brand they write for is so well-represented in the public market that they attract the most customers. This takes more than buzzwords and catchphrases. This takes effective and informative communication.

Good advertising copy establishes trust. It does this by being credible and authoritative. Credibility means the copywriters present believable information that is consistent, factual, and verifiable. When advertisers say something false or misleading in their copy, they run worse risks than lawsuits; they lose the trust of potential customers. Authority is established when someone is an expert in their field. Certainly, companies should be experts in the fields they work in, but copywriters prove this to the public by presenting the facts in a way the public can understand and respond to. When people recognize authorities in a field, they are more likely to respond to information provided by those authorities, including buying their products and services. Copywriters establish both credibility and authority by writing to present the company’s knowledge and experience.

The Internet adds another dimension to copywriting because other media reach out to potential clients, while the Internet requires clients to find companies. Establishing authority is also about being found at the top of the search engine results, which has its own set of challenges. Presenting credible information involves using established references and knowing which keywords and phrases will reach clients. In an ever-changing climate, copywriters have to keep track of what customers respond to in all media, but online, they need to know exactly what words to use and how to use them to motivate the largest number of people while maintaining public trust in the company.

Effective communication relies on knowing who the audience is. An audience is anyone listening to, reading, viewing, or interacting with a presentation. All communication is intended for an audience, and the best communication knows a few things about the audience beforehand. In marketing copy, there are two basic types of audiences, and each has different needs and requires different styles of communication. Business to business (B2B) refers to companies that market their products to other companies, such wholesalers or dealerships. Business to customer (B2C) is the advertising we most often see, directed toward individuals with a need that the company can fulfill.

The ultimate goal of copywriting is to motivate people to respond to “the call to action.” Calls to action might encourage the potential customer to click a link, call a telephone number, or go to a store, but they all ask for some kind of response from the audience. Effective advertising draws a positive response from the audience, while bad marketing campaigns evoke either a negative response or no response at all. Convincing customers to respond to a call to action requires creating a sense of urgency around their needs and how the company can fulfill them.

If you are interested in becoming a copywriter, it is never too late to learn or improve these skills. Here is more information to get you started: