Copywriters are seriously misunderstood.
Public perception of professional content marketers can range from air-headed creatives, to hard-driving advertising executives. I’m here to inform you that not everything you saw on Mad Men rings true. Not even a little bit.
Content marketing is now a $118 billion industry, and it’s growing each year. As marketing budgets shift away from television, print, and radio to inbound marketing methodologies, an entirely new breed of copywriters is emerging. They’re sharp, multi-fauceted professionals with the potential to revolutionize your businesses’ revenue. Join me as I debunk some of the most common myths about professional content creators:
1. Copywriters Just Write
The absolute most common rumor about copywriters is that they’re basically one-trick ponies. Many people mistakenly believe that our talents and abilities are limited to spinning pretty and grammatically-correct words. In fact, today’s most effective content professionals use an average of 15 different tactics, and the least effective use 10 different competencies. Aside from writing, a talented copywriter’s skill set can include:
- SEO optimization
- Analytics review and data-driven decision making
- Graphic design and custom image creation
- Video editing and other forms of multimedia content creation
- Organization, strategy, and planning
- Public relations and reputation management
- Social media for networking and content promotion
- Market research and content targeting
- Application of new research and best practices.
And that’s just a small segment of what it takes to succeed at content marketing! There’s no question that today’s talented copywriters are far, far more than “just writers!”
2. Copywriters Hate Feedback
While copywriting is a creative profession, few content marketers would actively consider themselves artists. First and foremost, we’re a group of dedicated, hard-working professionals. We know what to expect when working with clients, and understand that feedback is part of what we’ve signed up for.
If you’ve encountered a copywriter in the past who was defensive when given constructive criticism, I’m sorry. You definitely hired a bad apple. The vast majority of us appreciate strong direction and recommendations when taking on assignments. We’re happy to integrate criticism to best help your organization meet it’s goals.
3. Copywriters Are Old-School Advertisers
While some copywriters may dream of a lifestyle where they can brainstorm brand slogans all day long, it’s just not much of a reality for most of us. In case you hadn’t heard, the advertising industry is in serious decline. More and more brands are embracing digital marketing, so there’s a lot fewer traditional ad campaigns being designed.
Some copywriters have a background in traditional media. Others come from public relations, journalism, English literature, or pretty much anything else you can imagine. Today’s copywriters are certainly creative and enjoy the concept of branding their organization. However, they’re also prepared to expand and excel in many formats beyond traditional slogans, like blogs, eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, and much more.
4. Copywriters Aren’t Technical
I’ll be completely honest here. Not every copywriter came from a background as a Java developer. However, that’s not to say they’re especially non-technical people. Digital marketing is a pretty technical game. If a copywriter is scared to death of things like Photoshop, numbers, data, and statistics, their career won’t even get off the ground. Here is just a small sampling of technical tasks a copywriter may accomplish on any given day:
- Creation of charts and graphs for research-driven content
- Review of website analytics for content planning
- Social media data mining for trending topic discovery.
As with any profession, levels of technical prowess may vary. That said, it’s safe to assume your copywriter isn’t scared of technology and all it entails.
5. Copywriting Is Easy
“How hard can it be to be a successful copywriter? After all, almost everyone can write. All it takes is a little free time, and the job is done.”
Ouch. Copywriting is actually one of the most competitive professions. As I’m sure you’re aware, only the best can succeed in scenarios where supply exceeds demand. It’s certainly true that almost everyone can put a pen to paper. But being able to string together words in a way that helps businesses generate serious traffic, leads, and new customers? That’s certainly not easy, and that’s why exceptional copywriters never stop improving.
What are your favorite (or least favorite) myths about content marketers? Share in the comments!
“Multi-fauceted?” Just how many faucets do you have? HA HA HA HA HA.
There is a huge difference between content writers and copywriters. I’ve been a copywriter for 25 years. I am not a content writer. I have done SEO, but most copywriters would not even consider it. A copywriter is an advertising writer who does write “slogans,” although we’d never call them slogans. They are taglines, headlines, positioning statements. Content writers are writing content for websites. Sorry, but that is not a copywriter. They are very very different jobs.
So by your definition, I’m not a copywriter, since I don’t do graphic design or website coding, video editing, etc. Are you kidding? The last company I worked for- where I got my start writing copy- had a great graphics guy, who also shot and edited videos. Together, he and I created a great series of tech videos, with me writing the script (and doing the narration) and him shooting/animating the video. Neither of us could have done the other’s part.
Look at it how you want, but like many, I’d guess, I consider myself a copyWRITER for a reason.
There are script writers, screen writers, content writers, journalists, reporters––all kinds of writers. However a copywriter is a very specific term, related to writing ad copy. They are paired up with art directors at advertising agencies as a team to come up with campaigns for clients. Copywriters do not write coding, absolutely not, nor edit video or do graphic design ordinarily. They write advertising copy at an ad agency or in-house ad agency. Period.