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Is copywriting still important in advertising?

Admittedly, as the head of a creative agency, this wasn't a question I thought I'd ever have to seriously answer. But the question has surfaced and I'd like to empathically say, YES! copywriting is still important and possibly more important than ever. I can only assume that copywriting is being taken for granted because it is so pervasive in our everyday lives. Copywriting is everywhere. Ads, videos, blogs, books, emails, product descriptions... all copywriting.
Is copywriting still important in advertising?

In the most recent studies, the average person has an attention span of only 8.25 seconds - 4.25 seconds less than in 2000. And, more importantly, less than a goldfish, which has an exemplary attention span of 9 seconds. Adding to this, the average person is estimated to encounter over 6,000 ads every single day. This means that it’s only the most gripping headline that will get people to click on your page. It’s only the most engrossing story that will keep your audience reading and eager to learn more. And only the most compelling call to action will convert your marketing into sales.

People use content to educate and entertain themselves. So, as an advertising agency, we need to leverage educational and entertaining content to connect people with your products and services. Copy is the most important non-verbal spokesperson for your brand. And, admittedly, one of the best weapons available in a creative agency’s arsenal. It is through words that we give people reasons to believe in you and your brand. Good copywriting gives your brand an identity that can captivate your audiences enough to take an interest in your products and services. Good copywriting will take your brand places… it will turn heads for you;, it will gain trust for you; and finally, good copy will sell for you!

That alone sums up why good copywriting is critical today, but I think it’s worthwhile to understand the different roles copywriting plays in brand development, relevance, memorability and engagement.

Creative copy is about catching and retaining attention long enough to land your brand’s message. This is generally considered to be awareness driven copy. It includes script writing for TV, video, radio and print and is most often ATL driven.

Sales copy is call-to-action oriented and motivates action or engagement with a brand. It’s all about the deal and is mostly used in TTL or BTL creative campaigns.

Content or corporate copy is informational. It’s strategic, focused and outcomes-based. This is the nitty gritty stuff that your audience needs to know about your brand, products and services. It’s still imperative to keep it interesting though.

Technical copy is all about the detail. It’s procedural and precise and best left to the subject matter experts in that particular field and not copywritten for brand engagement but rather for legal and technical purposes.

PR copy includes the traditional media releases, newsletters, boilerplates, op-eds and features as well as thought leadership pieces. This is copy that helps to solidify a brand’s position and relies on opinion and people to make it insightful and valuable.

Web copy is probably the most expansive and prolific use of copy today. Web pages are filled from top to bottom with copy, but to be effective, its structure, tone, and messaging must be specific, lead generating, engaging to prospects, and most importantly, must make Google love it, so everyone can find it.

Social media copy is the content you see on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and the like. This is the “get your reader’s attention in 15 seconds or less, or don’t bother” medium. It’s short, punchy and most importantly, arresting.

SEO copy is a sub-sub category because searchable keywords can (and should) be used in any of the online categories above, but it requires a specialist to execute it effectively and one who understands that what Google wants is to establish Trust, Authority & Expertise before it will recommend you.

In closing, I have three golden rules when assessing whether we’ve achieved our standard of great copy

  1. Great copy doesn’t have to impress everyone. It just has to impress the right people – your target audience.
  2. Copy that is compelling and engaging, is unforgettable.
  3. Great copywriting must be evocative, because it’s emotion – not facts – that grip you, engage you and compel to you to act.

Let’s talk about your advertising needs. Mail me, I can’t wait to help build your brand with you… az.oc.yroviynobe@luap

9 Feb 2023 10:59


About Paul Middleton

Managing Director at Ebony+Ivory