The Changing Landscape of Copywriting

Welcome back! I hope you had a good week.

We’re going to take a little break from the web copy specifics we’ve been talking about the last few weeks to examine an interesting article that I came across. Laura Spencer, a freelance writer from North Central Texas with over 19 years of professional business writing experience, wrote it.

In the article Ms. Spencer talks about the role of the copywriter evolving in the current marketing environment.

It should come as no surprise to any of us that traditional media as we know it is going through a metamorphosis of sorts. Newspapers and magazines are in trouble due to the high costs of print, competition from free news on the Internet, and consequently, lower subscription numbers. Many have already ceased operations.
Even television and radio ads are no longer as effective as they once were due to the glut of advertising that bombards us every day.

It’s estimated that Americans are exposed to anywhere from about 2000-3500 ads per day. This includes major media ads on TV and radio, print ads in newspapers and magazines, billboards, the Internet, podcasts, graphics, cereal boxes and road signs…well…you get the idea. In many ways we’ve become jaded and thus, the effectiveness of the ads are compromised.

So where does that leave us as copywriters?

As Ms. Spencer points out, one might be tempted to think that copywriters have completely outlived their usefulness.

But as she also points out, that assumption would be dead wrong.

Yes, fellow web writer, words do still count and we do still add value to a marketing campaign.

Here are some ways that Ms. Spencer pointed out that copywriters still help marketing campaigns, even in today’s changed advertising environment:

  • Close the deal — Even while slick videos and graphics may draw your audience in, the words are often what it takes to close the deal.
  • Target the audience — Good copywriters have a lot of experience targeting buyers with purchase intent for a product or service.
  • Add creativity — The best copywriters are creative and can suggest clever angles for an otherwise mundane campaign.
  • Provide the “backbone” for other media campaigns — Copywriters are needed to write video and podcast scripts too!
  • Inform and educate the public — Copywriters can convey product information to help your public make wiser, more informed choices.

I think the key to us continuing to play a vital role in the marketing arena is to think outside traditional roles and educate business owners to exactly what we can do to help them reach their target audience, and then sell that audience on the benefits of their product or service. Because when it all comes down to it, while cool advertisements might be fun to watch, people still base their buying decisions on the classic components of a well constructed sales message: How will the product or service solve their problem, proof that it will do so, a fair offer, and a no-risk guarantee.

Let me know what you think. Until next time, and as always…

Good health and good writing!

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Published: October 21, 2009

1 Response to “The Changing Landscape of Copywriting”

  1. John,

    Thank you for sharing your ideas here.

    Despite the overwhelm, it is great to know that copywriters are still in demand.

    People who want to pursue a career in copywriting still have a shot at it.

    Both traditional and moden formats are still available and out there for newbies and greenhorns, as you have made it clear.

    We appreciate this input.

    It is nice to know there is an alternative to conventional roles/functions.

    Have a good one. Cheers.

    Archan MehtaMay 17, 2011 at 8:35 am


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