Copywriting Basics Copywriting Guidelines

Exactly what is copywriting? Find out through this guide.

Copywriting is the act of writing words on marketing assets to make people take action.

Exactly what is copywriting?

There are two ways to find out: you can either spend time opening articles to new tabs or you can just read this guide.

Mind you, this post is not an ultimate guide, but it will shine a light in your way if copywriting is a road that’s still too foggy to explore.

After reading this guide, you can start taking a step forward.

What is Copywriting?

Copywriting is the act of writing words on marketing assets to make people take action. Besides that, you can also use copywriting to improve brand awareness or increase a product’s perceived value.

Copywriting is a crucial job that requires skills, strategy, and human insight.

And maybe patience. A lot of it.

What are examples of copywriting?

  • Scripts for TV, radio, or internet video ads (ex. a 30-second Coca-Cola TV ad, radio jingle about flu medicine, 10-second YouTube ad for Whiskas, etc.)
  • Print copy (ex. Print magazine ads, newspaper ads, billboards, etc.)
  • Website copy (ex. landing pages, service pages, contact forms, etc.)
  • Direct response copy (ex. pop-up ads, sales pages, product descriptions, sales letters, etc.)
  • SEO copy (e.g. any website copy that contains researched keywords)
  • Social media (ex. product teasers and launches on Facebook, branded Instagram posts, etc.)
  • Emails (ex. sales letters, paid newsletters, etc.)

What is the purpose of copywriting?

Copywriting is one of the means to hit your marketing efforts’ success metrics, and ultimately, achieve your business goals. You can use copywriting to:

1. Persuade people to take action

Through copywriting, you can make people do any desired action. There are dozens of techniques to make this happen. One of them is appealing to a customer’s emotions.

The truth is people make decisions based on their emotions—and justify those decisions using logic.

For example, customers can still feel hesitant about a product. One of the reasons for this hesitance is being worried about wasting money and time on a low-quality product.

So, if you’re writing copy for a sales page for product X, the copy can address the customer’s pain point (worried about quality) and how product X can take away that pain.

Through this, you will be communicating that the solution to their pain is getting product X. This is because other products aren’t as authentic and high-quality as product X.

But how can we justify that claim?

We can use reassuring content (ex. facts, testimonials, proof, or statistics) on the copy.

See how we appealed to their pain by addressing it and then justified the solution (buying product X) with logic (testimonials)?

Great copywriters know this technique by heart—and they know to use it when necessary.

2. Build awareness around a brand

Copywriting doesn’t always aim to persuade. Other times, it can focus on building awareness around your brand or your product. This is because customers go through a buying journey, which consists of different phases.

Oftentimes, your customers get stuck to the indecision phase—probably because they’re not sure how to choose a product or if they should even get it.

So, in this case, your goals are to:

  • Help them move past the indecision phase
  • Help them make a well-informed decision
  • Build awareness about your product

Remember, the main goal here is to help them move past indecision by educating them. You’re not supposed to talk about your product or brand in depth yet.

Now, how can the copy help build awareness?

This is where copywriting and content marketing can overlap because of strategies the marketing stakeholders will use to build awareness.

For example, the content marketer can offer a free asset such as a PDF or whitepaper that the customer can download through a landing page. This asset will educate the customer and, at the same time, build awareness about the product.

How do the copywriting and content marketing roles overlap or work together?

The copywriter can write the landing page copy that addresses the pain points or information needs of a customer (ex. the questions they want to be answered, such as “what to consider when buying a vacuum cleaner”). They will also use actionable words to persuade the customer to download the free asset.

Meanwhile, the content marketer can write the asset’s content (ex. “Top 10 things to consider when buying a vacuum cleaner.”)

3. Increase a product’s perceived value

In saturated markets, how can a product stand out?

Apparently, when you’re selling products, you might as well assume that they have no objective value.

So, to make your product stand out, the key is to communicate your product’s subjective value/s to your customers. By doing this, you can increase its perceived value.

But how can you make this happen? You can start with reframing your product in the copy. Write from an angle where the customer can get more benefits from getting product X than they should.

Reframing your product can help eliminate pain points such as fear of wasting time, doubts about quality, or difficulty of ordering.

Removing those hurdles will then make it easier for your customers to appreciate your product’s value.

For example, instead of saying they can buy an expensive but high-quality pair of shoes online in 3 easy steps, you can say that they can buy it in just one click (especially if it does really take only one click.)

Take note, the customer isn’t worried about the shoes’ quality. They’re more concerned if the ordering will be complicated. So, by making the ordering process sound hassle-free in the copy, you can remove the customer’s fear. As a result, it’s easier for them to appreciate the shoes’ value—which is their high quality.

At a glance, it can border on manipulation, but think about this:

Why make things sound complicated when you can do the opposite and help the customer appreciate your product’s value easier?

Why make things sound complicated when you can do the opposite and help the customer appreciate your product’s value easier?

Tricia Hingpit

Now, exactly what is copywriting?

I’m leaving this to you. I’m challenging you to share this article with your friends and tell them what copywriting means to you.

About the author

I’m Tricia Hingpit, a conversion copywriter & UX writer at Poplar Homes. I help people understand each other and the computers that talk to them. I lead Filipino Remote Copywriters, a nonprofit community that empowers Filipino professionals all over the globe.


By Tricia Hingpit

conversion copywriter & UX writer from Davao City, Philippines.

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