Advertising dates back to the Ancient Greeks. The art of copywriting is just as ancient as it is an integral part of how advertisements are created. As the years have progressed and ways in which we advertise have changed, copywriting has needed to adapt. But has copywriting changed that much? Is the digital copywriter that different from the type of copywriter who worked solely on print publications?
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Digital Copywriting vs Traditional Copywriting
What is ‘copywriting’?
Traditionally, the job of a copywriter was strictly to put together text – or copy – for advertising materials. American Writers and Artists Inc. (AWAI) defines the process of copywriting as “… the process of writing advertising promotional materials. Copywriters are responsible for the text on brochures, billboards, websites, emails, advertisements, catalogs, and more.”
It was (and still is) the job of the copywriter to create copy to persuade their readers to buy a product. In fact, the AWAI calls the copywriter a salesman/-woman on paper. They operate on the principle that in order to convert a reader into an active customer, you need to appeal to their emotions, make them keenly feel why they absolutely need your product.
One of the techniques that copywriters know is that in order to ensure that your reader is drawn into your copy is to create a headline that appeals to their emotions and makes them want to read more. A powerful emotion to tap into is curiosity. A headline that did this very successfully is the famous one: “What not to eat on an airplane.” The reader is so intrigued and wants to know what he or she should not be eating on an airplane that more is read. This technique was so successful that it has extended to videos on social media with similar headlines.