There are many approaches to creating copy that makes an impact on your audience. There have been many copywriting greats who have made their own contributions to the craft of copywriting and each has built on the work done by the last.
The dictionary definitions of copy and copywriting
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, ‘copy’ has a number of definitions. However, for our purposes, the term refers to “text, especially of an advertisement”. The Oxford Living Dictionary defines ‘copywriting’ as “The activity or occupation of writing the text of advertisements or publicity material.”
People – especially in the journalistic world – refer to ‘copy’ as the text that they publish. However, copywriting does not encompass all forms of writing. A piece of copywriting serves to inform, educate, incite action and/or sell something to a customer. This purpose differs from content writing, technical writing, and public relations writing:
- Content writing is designed to inform or educate a person about a particular concept while copywriting always functions to sell something.
- Technical writing functions to explain how something works while copywriting promotes products and/or services.
- Writing for public relations is about informing, persuading or changing perceptions about a particular item. This differs from copywriting as the goal of this practice is to sell.
Digital marketing and the need for copywriting
With the arrival of digital marketing, in particular, content marketing, the need for generating copy for publication has increased ten-fold. Writing articles has become no longer just about demonstrating thought leadership in a particular area.
The articles and written content that you put out for your business are indeed there to inform as well as educate people about your business but they are also there to act as virtual salespeople for your business when you’re not able to.