Copywriting, to many of us, may seem to be something that emerged in the last decade or two, with the rise of the internet…
But in reality, it’s been around for thousands of years. In fact, researchers have found promotional pamphlets in the ancient city of Pompeii – promoting the city’s latest brothel, at that!
Copywriting is the art of putting words onto paper, in an attempt to elicit a reaction from the reader. However, did you know there are many different types of copywriting?
Do you know what type of copywriting you need for your brand? Are you putting out promotional materials with the right copy? On this page, we’re going to be looking at some of the different types of copywriting.
SEO copywriting is all about optimizing text – copy – using specific keywords and phrases designed to be picked up by the search engines. The goal of SEO copywriting is to get text ranked at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), and this means your brand, product, or service can be seen as widely as possible.
For example, imagine a plumber from London. With thousands of plumbers serving the London area, it’s hard for him to stand out from the competition. Now, imagine that plumber realizes the power of SEO copywriting. He decides to write a few blog posts, with keywords like “plumber in London”, and “best plumber in London.”
He knows how to use keywords properly within his posts, so Google (and other search engines) like what they see. Soon, our plumber’s website starts to appear when people in London search the phrases he’s targeted – as well as many others that have ranked incidentally.
There are several different components to writing SEO copy. Firstly, you need to identify the keywords you’re going to use. This is an incredibly important step. Without the right keywords, you won’t be ranking for worthwhile phrases. Thankfully, there are several great tools, such as WordStream, that give you an idea of which keywords to use.
Once you know the keywords to use, it’s time to start structuring the outline of your page. For example, you need to create strong, keyword-rich headers and subheaders. These are very important factors for getting your content picked up by the search engines. Use a tool like SurferSEO to get an idea of which headers and subheaders to use. Some paid tools also have state-of-the-art analytics software, which can prompt you on which sections to include.
Once you have your outline and keywords ready, it’s time to start writing! Or you can hire a professional – like us here at Lime Copywriting. Because, while getting your keywords and outline together is one thing, if you want your SEO copy to be successful, there are a lot of other factors to consider.
Ok, so that’s SEO copywriting out the way. Now, let’s look at some of the other types of copywriting.
Direct Response Copywriting
Direct response copywriting is perhaps the most well-known form of copy. It’s a type of sales writing designed to compel the reader into taking a certain action. In other words, direct response copywriting encourages a recipient to buy, sign-up, or complete any other action desired by the copywriter.
You’ll find direct response copywriting in several different verticals. For example, sales pages. Sales pages are those long (or, sometimes, short) pages you land on when browsing for products. For example, imagine a fitness coach is trying to sell a training program online.
They need a way to tell potential customers about all the benefits, features, and perks of joining their coaching program… and that’s where a sales page comes in. On a sales page, you can write compelling sales copy to convince a reader to take the plunge and sign up to the program.
Direct response copywriting can also be in the form of native ads. When you do a web search on Google and see adverts in the search results… Those are paid ads, called native ads. They are designed to take readers into an entire sales funnel – which is built from page after page of… direct response sales copy!
Social Media Copywriting
Social media copywriting is one of the common types of copywriting you’ll see on the internet. Why? Almost everyone uses some form of social media – and with social marketing more powerful than ever, it’s no surprise that so many brands are turning their attention to strategic social marketing campaigns.
Today, there are more social platforms available than ever before. If your business or brand wants to attract steady streams of new clients, social media marketing strategies are vital. However, it’s important to use social media the correct way. To do so, you need to research where your customers are spending most of their time.
You need to understand their needs, their wants, and their desires. You need to understand your market inside out. Doing so will allow you to tailor your voice and the tone of your social media copywriting to speak to your audience effectively.
So, what exactly is social media copywriting? It’s simply the copy that you push out on your social media channels. It could be Facebook posts, Tweets, TikToks… Anything that you write on social media designed to sell, promote, or advertise your product can be considered social media copywriting.
There are a number of differences between regular copy and social media copy. First, social media copy tends to use emojis. These would seldom be used in ‘normal’ copy – but on social media, they can be a very powerful way to resonate with your readers.
Social media copywriting is also usually more informal. After all, you want your readers to look at your posts as native, natural content. If a user knows he or she is being sold to, they are a lot less likely to engage positively with your message.
Social media copy is also almost always paired with visual components. These can include images, short videos, or memes. Again, this would be a big no-no in the conventional world of copywriting – but on social media, it works incredibly well.
When you’re selling something on social media, your ad will almost always redirect to your website’s landing page. This means everything needs to be as efficient as possible.
There are a number of goals when it comes to writing social media copy. You want your copy to get seen – and shared – by as many people as possible. Knowing, and understanding your market is crucial. Once you know how to talk with them and capture their attention, it becomes a LOT easier to start creating effective social media copy.
Marketing copywriting is another relatively well-known type of copywriting. Most people are at least familiar with marketing copywriting – and anything you see or hear that’s promotional in nature is, likely, some type of marketing copy.
Marketing copy can display itself in a few different verticals. These include online display adverts, direct mail, branded stickers, billboards, flyers, TV commercials, radio commercials – even YouTube videos.
It can also come in several different forms. For example, marketing copywriting can come in the form of paid advertisements as well as traditional marketing assets. Generally speaking, marketing copy is a sales-driven piece of content that has an obvious goal of trying to sell. However, it differs from direct-response copy, for several reasons.
One of the key differences is that marketing copywriting tends to be much shorter. While it’s not uncommon for a direct-response copy to be thousands of words long, marketing copy is often just a sentence or two. For example, the text above a Facebook ad – that counts as marketing copywriting.
Throughout the last decade, marketing copy has been proven to be one of the most effective ways of communicating with potential customers – and showing off your product or service. Today, it’s easier than ever to start running paid marketing copy campaigns – and using tools like targeted paid ads, it’s possible for your brand to reach tens of thousands of potential customers, for relatively little money.
Another benefit of marketing copy is that you can write it yourself. However, if you want to maximize conversions and make your copy as effective as possible, it’s worth working with a professional. Here at Lime Copywriting, we have extensive experience writing all types of copy – but we specialize in marketing. Feel free to contact us to have a quick chat about your business and needs to see if we’re a good match!
Technical copywriting is designed to sell complex, technical products, often in a B2B environment. Essentially, the job of a technical copywriter is to explain to readers how it works, what it does, and most importantly, why a person or business should click the button and buy. Typical industries requiring technical copywriting include construction, tech, and IT.
Not only do you have to explain to your readers what your product or service is – you also must sell them, at the same time. This means technical copywriting comes with some unique challenges.
For example, tech companies like IBM and Dell frequently use technical copywriting to sell their products and services. Their product pages are often built with long FAQ sections, and video demonstrations are often used. Furthermore, technical copywriting is also often paired with free trials. This allows the customer to go in and look at the product themselves.
One of the things technical copy often does – very well – is explain to a reader how the product or service in question will address the reader’s needs. Increases in profitability and a reduction in labour are two common talking points you’ll see in technical copy.
Public Relations Copywriting
Public relations copywriting is designed to inform media sources and the general public about a business, product, or service. This type of copy is so specialized that there are often PR-specific companies that focus only on writing this copy. A PR specialist is also beneficial as they often have connections in the industry which can help promote the piece.
Once a PR specialist is told what to write about, they will create a compelling, news-worthy piece talking about the event or product. Once they’ve written it, they will push the copy out – essentially, they will share it with as many media outlets as they can. The goal is to get the story picked up by major news organizations.
One of the best examples of a website where you’ll see lots of PR copywriting is PR Newswire. Here, you will see many stories talking about events. A lot of the copy you’ll see is also shared concurrently on radio stations and, sometimes, even TV channels. The goal is for a story to go viral – resulting in it being picked up around the world.
However, PR copywriting isn’t all about good connections. It’s important to be able to form a relationship with the general public – along with other news organizations. You may be wondering when PR copywriting would be used – and there are, generally, three main audiences. The first is simply a journalist looking for leads. If a journalist sees compelling PR copy, they may be more inclined to run a story about what they see.
Entrepreneurs and businesses looking to invest are also often found to consume PR copy. After all, they want to see proof – and “hype” – that the product or service they’re thinking of investing in is popular. While press releases and other forms of PR copy are usually consumed by consumers, they are often written for a B2B market.
Brand copywriting is one of the best-paid types of copywriting – but it’s also the hardest. And there are good reasons for that; brand copy can, for the big companies, have a colossal impact on profitability. It’s a major part of gaining the trust of your customers – and connecting with potential customers. This is achieved by writing brand copy using a specific image of your brand in mind.
Brand copy can be delivered in several ways – it’s not always just text. For example, big companies can spend millions of pounds developing their logo, which will often have no more than a few words, or sometimes none at all.
To work, brand copy needs to be quickly absorbed by your customers. It needs to stay in their mind. Think about major companies like McDonald’s and Nike. Both have very distinctive logos, and almost everyone in the Western world can quickly recite their catchphrases or mottos. For Nike, of course, “Just Do It” has become synonymous with the brand. “I’m Lovin’ It” is, of course, McDonald’s tagline, which is played in their adverts and media copy all over the world.
To write effective brand copy, the best thing you can do is have a super-detailed avatar of your customer built up. You need to know everything about them – including their likes and dislikes. However, smaller companies without unlimited marketing budgets can also use several techniques to gather this information.
These include audience surveys, focus groups, blind testing, and A/B testing. Depending on the size of a company, brand copywriting can cost from a few hundred dollars to millions. It all depends on the scope of the campaign and the size of the company.
Email copywriting is another common and popular type of copy. It’s also something virtually every human on the planet (with an email account) will be familiar with – even if not directly. That’s because almost everyone who has an email account will receive promotional emails – and inside those promo emails is… email copywriting!
Writing strong, emotive email copy is one of the most effective ways of generating new customers – especially when you already have an email list. While there are several different techniques for writing email copy, there are a few core things to get right.
First, a powerful subject line is crucial. Research shows that the subject line alone can be responsible for how many people open your email – and therefore many email copywriters spend more time on the subject line than they do the body text!
Another important aspect of emailing copywriting is the CTA – the call to action. This is usually placed at the end of the email, and it’s designed to get readers to take positive action. For example, you may want to direct them to a sales page, or you might want them to head over to your YouTube channel to watch a video you’ve put together.
Any action you want your readers to complete requires a CTA – and it’s another part of the email that some copywriters will spend a significant amount of time on. Getting it right can make a huge difference in the profitability of your email marketing campaigns.