Monday, November 10, 2014 / 2 Comments

Copywriters: Disappearing into Obscurity or More Relevant than Ever?

For better or worse the glamorous days of the cocktail swilling, designer suit wearing, fast talking Madison Avenue copywriters are behind us. Copywriters, in the classic sense, are a dying breed. The position of the traditional copywriter is being eclipsed by a newer, more technical model with all sorts of bells and whistles.
The term “Copywriter” doesn't cover the simple definition it used to. It is now used as a blanket term that covers writers inhabiting a wide range of specialties and skills.  
Types of copywriter job titles include: Online Article Copywriting, SEO Copywriting, Website Copywriting, Copywriting Publishers, Agency Copywriter, and Freelance Copywriter
Let’s talk about the different breeds that exist today:
Traditional Copywriter
Today more traditional copywriters are an updated version of that Mad Men creature we love. They usually work for creative agencies in a collaborative environment, attending client and strategy meetings, coming out with a creative brief and working closely with art directors and other creatives.  Brainstorming, scribbling furiously, writing, rewriting, “killing your darlings” and writing again - a typical day for a traditional copywriter. They are coming up with ingenious slogans, copy for print ads, radio, television, and increasingly digital and interactive media.
Today’s traditional copywriters are using a lot more analytical and market research to reach their audience. Cocktails may still occasionally be on the menu, but hashing out ideas over a quick coffee is more the order of the day.
SEO Copywriter (or Content Writer)
Digital, mobile, social media, web, all of these shiny new(ish) elements of marketing strategy involve a hefty amount of Search Engine Optimization. SEO has become so relevant and important to the success of online marketing that possessing that skill set has skyrocketed in demand. SEO copywriters have the ability to create content so engaging that people want to share it, promote it and link to it. This has become vital in search engine ranking, driving traffic to websites, and ultimately establishing trust and reputation with potential clients. SEO copywriters are the new whiz kids and there is an element of what they do permeating every form of copywriting. You may recognize them sitting in a dark corner of a coffee shop muttering about “keyword density”, “adwords”, “indexing”, “linkbuilding”, or "social engagement".
Content Strategist
Strangely enough, this type of copywriter doesn't necessarily do that much writing. While many content strategists do produce their own copy, the main facet of a content strategist position is that of strategist. Surprise! They come up with the action plan for the copy being produced for a project. They do keyword searches, set key phrases and linking, and may then hand that over to a copywriter to do the actual writing. Often they come from a copywriting background and have a track record of expertise in crafting compelling, shareable content packed with well-researched keywords. These experts are in demand.
The Need for Words
Just like the advertising/marketing world itself, the role of copywriters is ever evolving. The value of strategic, creative, well-written copy will never be lost in obscurity. It will continue to be relevant as long as the written word is a key form of human communication. But the position of a copywriter will morph and adapt to the new media as they come. Today’s copywriters have the ability and the necessity to be more hands on with the strategy, using analytic research more than ever and applying the principles of good SEO. Fear not! Copywriters will continue to be an integral part of marketing world for many, many years to come.

2 comments :

Copywriting skills continue to be in high demand and copywriting jobs are some of the highest paid projects for writers.

Thanks Luke. I think marketers have realized the value in good content and are now paying copywriters closer to what they're worth. We're still relevant! For now.

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