A beginner’s guide to copywriting

Today on the Opportunity Marketing blog we’re providing you with a beginner’s guide to copywriting. Copywriting is the art of creating copy for marketing and advertising. It’s writing that’s there to persuade the target market to take action – usually by buying a product or signing up for a service. It’s almost impossible to market your company without writing some copy.

In this beginner’s guide to copywriting, we’ll explain copywriters’ roles in more detail, alongside and the steps your business needs to take to utilise copy effectively.

The role of copywriting

Copywriting is required for adverts, websites, whitepapers, press releases, social media and much more besides. Its chief role is to influence a targeted group to feel a certain way and take action as a result. Copywriting encourages potential customers or clients to take another step towards a sale by persuading, engaging and even entertaining readers.

How to get it right

Let’s face it – not everyone is a naturally talented writer. If your marketing team is lucky enough to have a talented writer, it doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily a great copywriter too. Copywriting is a very different style of writing to straightforward, informative writing. Here’s a list of some of the most important rules that copywriters must understand and follow:

  • Know your target audience. Your target audience isn’t everyone. It must be a specific group, such as local SMEs, HR departments of large corporations, female teenagers or wealthy pensioners. The content and subject of the piece must be relevant to the target group.
  • Know how to change tone. In general, copywriters are required to produce copy that’s more conversational than copy that’s only intended to inform. However, good copywriters can easily switch between tones to match the target audience of the piece, in addition to the company’s brand and values.
  • Know your goal. What is the piece trying to achieve? Every word should contribute towards this goal. Don’t go off on a tangent.

SEO copywriting

If you’re on the search for a copywriter, no doubt you’ll come across the phrase ‘SEO copywriter.’ This is a form of copywriting used for digital content with an aim of increasing the website’s search engine ranking. In practice, this means that the copywriter makes small changes to his or her usual style of writing in order to fit keywords within the copy. Keywords have a particularly significant impact on ranking if they’re used in the title and/or early on in the text. However, the best SEO copywriters can make these changes without them having an effect on the readability of the copy. SEO copy should still flow. If SEO copywriters start talking about keyword stuffing and keyword density, be cautious. The top SEO copywriters will focus on maintaining a natural flow to the copy, with keywords and hyperlinks added sparingly and carefully.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.