Since Babylonian times, advertising copywriting has existed and the first printed material is said to have appeared in the world in 1477, supporting the selling of a prayer book. The copywriting history dates back to the times when the first printed papers were circulated on the street.
Copywriting has existed since ages now but there’s no formula or rulebook to it. It’s the art of communicating your message through catchy and short phrases or lines. There are many people who still haven’t understood what Copywriting is. And it might sound funny, but if you’re a Copywriter and you’re reading this, we are sure you might have heard this question way too often, “Do you copy and write?”
This comes from no advertising books, but through experience we can say that there are a few types of copies, namely:
– Plain Copy
This type of copy is basically, ‘Seedi baat no bakwas’! It just states the facts and benefits directly.
– Storytelling Copy
You communicate through a story. Telling how a certain person faced a challenge and how your product or brand helped him/her to overcome it.
– Conversational Copy
You write as if there is a dialogue between two people in this type of copy: the copywriter and the prospect.
– Long Copy
Since, copywriting is communicating through words that people will read. This type of copy is nothing but explanatory copy, like a salesperson explaining a product face to face.
– Poet Copy
This is a combination of creativity, selling and marketing. You convince the audience through beautiful lines or phrases in a poetic way.
– Direct-from-CEO Copy
This is an effective direct communication between the company founder and his or her customer. It’s their own words that will contain the copy.
– Frank Copy
Not many brands go for this type of copy. Here, you write frankly about the product, its disadvantages as well. You come across as an honest brand to your audience.
– Superlative Copy
You make claims in this type of copy. But you can only claim when there’s certain backing to it.
Here are a few tips that can help you understand the dos and don’ts of copywriting.
1. Know your audience:
Okay, you might be tired of listening to this one. But this is the undying fact about copywriting. You have to know your audience so well that you can produce and compose your copy directly to audience personas. Without research, you cannot make claims that you know your audience. Study the audience anyway, even though you are part of the demographic.
2. Write a clear CTA:
Each copy you write needs to have a simple call to action (CTA) located in a position where it can be seen by people. It has to leap off the page and push the reader to respond. No one is going to bother about your brand or do anything unless your CTA is not transparent and visible.
3. Use Graphics and Color to Highlight Points:
Be friends with your designers. A good ad will always be the result of an effective collaboration between you and the designer. When it comes to efficient copywriting, graphics are your buddy. If you can ask the designer to use an arrow, a red circle, or something that you don’t want your audience to miss to emphasize words, then you should. But at the same time, make sure the template is tidy, with graphics and color, and point out significant words and phrases.
4. Write for quick readers:
They read vertically, not horizontally, as individuals read copies online. To build a path for the eye to follow, it is critical that you use different fonts, bold, italics, and bullets, along with colors and graphics. If your bulleted words, headline words, and sub headline phrases are well thought out, simply by scanning, anyone will get the idea.
5. Go for benefits over features:
No one cares about the product’s characteristics. What it does for them is what they care about. What dilemma is it solving, and what solution is it giving them? You will need to give it some consideration if you can’t articulate it clearly.
6. Be relevant:
Relevancy is of utmost importance. Go with the flow and catch the trends. If people are using ‘Issa mood’ rather than ‘It’s a mood’, go for it!
Now let’s look at the don’ts.
1. Don’t consider everyone as your audience:
You should write for a small subset of your entire audience. Much like you had to target your audience, you need to target your subscribers and compose for just the active portion of your audience.
2. Don’t write incomplete copies:
Say what you think. Your audience would not be reading between the lines. If there is a particular advantage to your product or service, say so. They won’t know if you don’t say so.
3. Don’t use same types of content:
The days are over when you just use text on your website, blog, or sales pages. To get your point across more clearly, you need to use various forms of content, such as video, podcasts, graphics and text.
4. Don’t exaggerate:
Be clear and precise. Don’t stretch your content to make it look wow. You can in fact make your copy look wow if you keep it short, on point and crisp.
5. Don’t make grammatical mistakes:
Grammatical mistakes are a big turn off. Use right grammar and proofread it quite a few times.
These are a few dos and don’ts of Copywriting. You can make a note of it and keep it handy when you are writing copies.