Technically, copywriting occurs whenever you create content for promotional, advertising or marketing materials. Your blog posts, social media posts and Google text ads are all copy. So is the content in marketing emails, case studies, catalogs and website landing pages, because these are all tools meant to market or sell your products or brand.
But good copywriters know that there’s a lot more going on than words on the page. Here’s what you need to know about copywriting for modern marketing purposes.
So, What Is Copywriting in 2019?
It’s exactly what good copywriting has always been: Engaging content that focuses on the needs and desires of the consumer and connecting those with your business goals. But to succeed in marketing today, you need to produce excellent copy that accomplishes numerous things — or hire freelance copywriters who can do it for you.
Some things copywriting in 2019 and beyond must accomplish and include:
- Connecting with consumers in an authentic and authoritative manner
- Presenting your brand as a trustworthy expert
- Jumping through SEO hoops to enhance your site’s performance in the search engines
- Providing the right type of information for consumers in specific parts of the buying journey
- Persuading consumers to take the next step (signing up, clicking through or making a purchase)
7 Traits of Professional Copywriting
So, how do you write copy that does all those things? Whether you’re crafting a clever call to action or paying a freelancer to create content marketing materials, understanding what good copy looks like and does is important. These seven traits of successful, professional copywriting epitomize what copywriting is in 2019.
Here’s the deal: Consumers want content that meets their needs. Obviously, right? But Google wants content that meets consumer needs too. So this one is a double-edged sword — how well your content performs for a specific person doesn’t just impact whether you make that sale. It could affect whether you get a chance at a future opportunity.
Good copywriters identify consumer motivations and create content that speaks directly to those motivations. Rather than avoiding consumer questions, good copywriting addresses them upfront. If you bury the information, you force consumers to leave your site to find what they seek. When that happens, you lose the sale and your behavioral metrics (such as time on page and bounce rate) are negatively impacted. That can lead to poorer performance in the search engines.
2. Authentic to Brand
Authenticity is increasingly important in today’s marketplace. Consumers are wary of fake information online and savvy about avoiding phishing schemes or click bait. The gig is up, and many people understand that not all content on the internet is coming from a place of expertise and authenticity.
That makes it critical for you to uphold your brand voice — and mission, vision and values — in all copywriting and marketing efforts. If you or one of your writers strays from those foundations, consumers may not believe the content is coming from you or they may begin to question your message.
Web pages certainly don’t exist in a vacuum, and it’s important to understand that all your copy is connected. Whether you mean to or not, your channels will overlap, and being proactive about this helps you make the most of your content marketing and copywriting efforts.
In 2019, copywriting is social; you must approach it with the concept of likes, shares, comments and other engagement in mind. Consider how you can:
- Integrate short answers into content that can be picked up as featured snippets
- Create one-liners that are Tweetable
- Ask questions to invite consumers to join the conversation
- Weave an overarching culture through all of your copy so that it works as a whole
Technological advances have led to more visual capability in the form of images and video. Online copywriters have always had to be sensitive to the way their words appear on the screen, but now they must find ways to incorporate visuals to remain competitive and hold the user’s interest. A good copywriter understands which text elements should be incorporated into graphic elements and how to translate a blog post into an engaging video.
As of 2015, mobile phone access to the internet exceeded desktop access. By 2019, more than 63% of individuals were accessing the web on smartphones or tablets, and that number is going to continue to trend up. You can’t afford not to write for mobile users.
Mobile-ready copywriting includes:
- Short paragraphs to avoid walls of text on mobile devices
- Bullet points and subheadings to break up text further
- White space that makes the content easier to read on any screen
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6. Always Optimized
No element of your digital content should ever be published without being optimized for search engines. If it exists on your webpage, social profiles, Google My Business page or a guest post you write for someone else, then it is copywriting that has the power to draw organic traffic — which means it needs to include the right keywords in the right places.
Make sure you or your writers are conducting keyword research and placing those phrases:
- In page titles and meta descriptions
- In H1 headers
- In H2 and H3 subheadings
- In the first paragraph of content, if possible
- A few times throughout the rest of the content on the page
- In alt image tags
ALSO: Copywriting for SEO
7. Aligns With Business Goals
Finally, make sure that copywriting aligns with your short-term and long-term business goals. Content marketing is complex in this digital age, and it’s easy to get lost in analyzing the metrics and reach for the wrong star. For example, many brands get caught up in the chase for organic search traffic and end up targeting keywords that get them thousands of views. But if those are the wrong views, you’re not going to drive sales or revenue.
It’s better to have 100 views with 50 that convert than 1,000 views with only 10 that convert. Always keep the bottom line in mind.
What Are Some Common Types of Copywriting Jobs or Projects?
The traits of good copywriting can be applied to all types of content marketing projects. Here are just a few types of copywriting your brand may require.
- Product descriptions use strong marketing language to educate consumers about the features and benefits of a product, often painting a picture so the person sees themselves using or enjoying the product. The goal is to persuade the consumer to make a purchase.
- Landing pages are the first port for consumers who journey in from ad links or organic search results. Content on these pages should address the likely needs and questions of the consumer in whatever portion of the buying journey you’re targeting and include a call to action for the next step.
- Sales letters or emails are often targeted to specific audience segments or those who have taken some previous action, such as signing up for a newsletter. These messages can be informative, entertaining or even a hard sell, but they should all attempt to enhance the consumer relationship with your brand and include a call to action of some type (to click a link, respond, make an appointment or call).
- Blog posts are typically less hard sell and more brand development; the copy on these pages tends to be educational or entertaining and is meant to create your brand culture, position you as a leader in the industry or provide something of value readers are likely to share.
- Social media posts are similar to blog posts, except much shorter.
- Long-form marketing collateral can include white papers, case studies and even eBooks. The point of these pieces is to position your company as a thought leader or to operate as a lead generating tool. For example, you may offer a free ebook answering common questions about a topic in your niche for anyone who signs up for your email newsletter.
Find Copywriters for All Your Content Marketing Needs
Whether you need cleverly worded product descriptions or eBooks that position you as an expert, discover copywriters at Crowd Content who know what it takes to get the job done in 2019.