Definition of Copywriting and Copywriter
What is Copywriting?
Copywriting is the activity of composing documents (plain text or multimedia text) for advertising purposes or other purposes in Marketing. The content of copywriting documents in most cases is information, reasoning and evidence to persuade readers to take action (purchase, register, download app...) or contribute to improve high level of brand recognition.
If explained in a simple way, Copywriting = Copy + writing, where copy in this case is advertising text products. ("Copy" in this case is not "imitate").
What is a copywriter?
Based on the definition of copywriting, a copywriter is a person who does the work or practice of copywriting.
Short history of Copywriting
Copywriting is said to have been around the world since the Babylonian period (1470s). In 1477, the first copywriting publication was published with the purpose of promoting a bible. During this period, copywriters created advertising products on large sheets of paper, with motifs & characters depicted by feather pens. Since this period did not have the tools and equipment to create a large number of publications, this job was quite arduous and heavy for copywriters.
Years later, the size of the publications was reduced to speed up the process. That was the time when small-sized publications were born and gradually became popular. In the early 1600s, when the technology of mass printing was developed, the world saw newspapers being printed in large quantities being peddled on the streets. About 60 years later (1660), the first English-language newspaper (Oxford Gazette) was published. It was a large-format newspaper with multiple placements for advertisements. This birth marked a breakthrough in the development of copywriting, when copywriters can now reach many people in a short time and without too much effort as before.
The years 1837-1919 marked the next big leap in copywriting. If before, copywriters all had to work for an organization, now, freelance copywriters have officially appeared. John Emory Powers is said to be the father of freelance copywriting. Prior to that he worked for several department stores (Lord & Taylor, Wanamaker). Realizing the importance of creating brochures, as well as Emory's excellent writing skills, these outlets contracted him to produce weekly publications in major newspapers & small. Through his advertisements, the sales of these stores have skyrocketed. However, it was not until 1800 that the value of copywriting was recognized by most countries in the world.
The 1960s was the period that marked Copywriting turning to a new page - Digital Copywriting, with the advent of the Internet. The convenience, speed and attractiveness of digital content has attracted a large number of copywriters to create advertising products on the Internet, such as promotional emails, promotional articles, banners and promotional videos.. Along with the explosion of the Internet, the number of digital copywriters is increasing day by day.
With the development of SEO, the competition is increasingly fierce in the market, Copywriters now have to focus on value and content more. Only the value of the content determines whether the reader is interested in what the copywriter wants to say, taking the actions the copywriter wants to promote.
Products from Copywriting industry
The products of the copywriting process are very diverse, from advertising articles in newspapers, magazines, leaflets, emails, websites, social networks, promotional video scripts...
Differences between Copywriting and Content Marketing
The definition of Copywriting is only encapsulated in the activity of drafting advertising documents (copying), while Content Marketing has a broader meaning, including researching the interests of readers, planning, using copywriting products to reach customers (readers) to serve the purposes and goals in Marketing.
Major tasks in the field of Copywriting
The tasks of the Copywriter profession are diverse and flexible with many types, of which the main ones are: Researching & gathering information, drafting & editing, media composing, revising.
Researching & gathering information
Before copywriters can start drafting, they need to grasp the information related to the topic or idea that needs to be written. In some cases, the information is already available (information on the product, catalog, profile of the business), but in other cases, copywriters need to visit the site for a survey, interview or even conduct research to obtain the necessary data.
Drafting & Editing
Of course, editing is the main forte of copywriters. For copywriters who are freelancers, or work full-time and part-time for small and medium-sized businesses, editorial work will include the process from creating content layouts, implementing content. detailed content, to the adjustment stage to produce the final product. Meanwhile, in some large, highly specialized businesses in copywriting, each of the above steps can be handled by a different editor.
In the age of multimedia content, photos or video clips will often appear in articles and copywriting products. Most copywriting requires basic photo editing, or even professional photo and video editing. However, in some other cases, this job can be taken up by people with expertise in graphic design.
Copywriters operating as teams or organizations will always have a head to review copywriting articles or products. Of course, people who review these products need to have a high level of expertise and long-term experience in the field of copywriting, or even Marketing, in order to have the basis to evaluate a quality copywriting product. request or not.
Common Copywriting styles
Based on the difference in language usage style, product form, content construction method, copywriting can be divided into 2 styles: Traditional Copywriting and Modern Copywriting.
Traditional copywriters are copywriters who publish publications such as newspaper advertisements, flyers, letters, billboards, etc. Most traditional copywriters are very good at using language and are strict about their language. grammar & presentation, to create impressive and persuasive slogans and content for readers. These copywriters usually work in newsrooms or advertising agencies.
Modern copywriters are people who create publications in the form of media such as website articles, social networks, banners, videos... Contrary to the traditional school, modern copywriters do not put emphasis on grammar, but always promote creativity in word usage and presentation. Words with headlines, trending... icons, symbols are often used in the works of modern copywriters.
Major types of Copywriters
Categorized by business model: Agency Copywriter, Corporate Copywriter & Full-time Copywiter
Agency Copywriter works in companies that specialize in providing advertising services and copywriting products for other businesses. Usually, each copywriter in these agencies can simultaneously undertake copywriting articles for many different businesses.
Most advertising agencies always have a clear workflow, product evaluation criteria, and training path for copywriters. Therefore, Agcency Copywriters will not have to deal with many difficulties related to expertise. However, the amount of work assigned will be quite a lot, requiring Copywriters to work at full capacity to complete the assigned target.
Depending on each agency, copywriters can receive a hard salary, or a different commission/product, bonus, and allowance.
In contrast to Agency Copywriters, Corporate Copywriters work for only one business at a time, and their products only serve the brand of that business.
Non-Agency businesses often do not have a clear working process and evaluation criteria for Copywriters, so they often prioritize hiring copywriters with long-term experience to have the highest work efficiency. The amount of specialized work that Corporate Copywriters are assigned is relatively small, and in many cases these Copywriters will have to take on a number of other jobs.
If the work efficiency of the Corporate Copywriters is high, they will enjoy high salaries, bonuses and allowances compared to the salary level of other Copywriters, as well as other welfare regimes such as social insurance and travel. health check...
If you are a Copywiter who does not like to be tied down at work, then Freelance Copywriter is a suitable choice for you. This is a form of pure working capitalist model, meaning that the income will be exactly according to your work productivity. Earnings are calculated on each product that you have completed based on the requirements of the business, without the appearance of a fixed salary.
Currently, there are quite a few websites for Freelance Copywriters such as vlance.vn, glints.com, upwork.com... These websites provide tools for Freelancers to create accounts, view projects or positions. Jobs are posted by businesses, contact employers to join projects, get jobs...
Categorized by employment mode: Full-time Copywriter & Part-time Copywriter
Full-time Copywriters spend 100% of their working time on Copywriting tasks at the company.
Part-time Copywriter only spends part of his working time on Copywriting tasks, maybe only 1 session/day, or a few days/week. The remaining time can be used for other professional work, or study & research.
Required qualities and skills of a copywriter
Ability to use language fluently
Language ability is considered a skill, a core competency, a must-have for a copywriter. A copywriter with good language skills will make expressing ideas easier, more understandable and accessible, deeper & more profound. Language ability includes vocabulary (deep and wide), style of expression (variable & flexible), grammar (rigor), syntax (order and precision)...
In order to improve your language skills, of course, you have to read a lot, listen a lot and write a lot in many different areas of life (health, life, people, economy, politics, science.. .)
The ability to generate and develop ideas
Conceptualizing is the ability of a copywriter to develop an original idea into a complete outline, with additional headings and sub-details, resonating and reinforcing the value of the original idea. This ability is partly controlled by the writer's emotions (empathy, attitude) towards the idea, logical thinking (evidence, argument) and experience (the events that the writer has witnessed). , go through) for that idea.
To cultivate this ability, copywriters need to expand their interest to more problems in life to have more experience, the ability to think, to solve logical problems. In addition, copywriters need to practice empathy (putting themselves in the shoes of others) to have more accurate, multi-dimensional and objective perspectives.
Ability to listen, read & understand
While a copywriter's primary job is to produce content, the ability to consume content is also crucial. Just like a singer, if you want to sing well, you must be able to listen and appreciate good music. A copywriter must be able to judge how good a copywriting product is, what content can best represent the main ideas around the topic, what information flows represent the fast pace of life in society...
The ability to optimize SEO
We live in a time where digital content is taking over traditional content. Therefore, the role of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is extremely important so that copywriting products can reach more readers through search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo...). SEO is a process that includes many stages, including an important stage, Onpage Optimization. In addition to the content value, copywriters need to optimize the title, description, image and video size to enhance the viewing experience of the content on the website, the robots scan the content more easily and index it faster.