You might’ve heard the term “creative copywriter” thrown around and wondered to yourself what creative copywriting is exactly? And what do you have to do in your job to qualify as a creative copywriter?
Since creative copywriting is a bit of an ambiguous and multi-faceted domain, we thought it might be nice to break it down for you. In this article, we’ll be exploring what a creative copywriter does, what his daily activities and duties involve, and what skills can qualify one as a “creative copywriter”.
So without further ado, let’s dive into the ever-fascinating world of creative copywriting!
What is creative copywriting, in layman terms?
The presence of the word “creative” should be a dead giveaway as to what creative copywriting involves, exactly. Quite simply, creative copywriting is the field of work that brings you the right words for marketing campaigns, e-mails, and basically, all other types of written communication between a brand and a potential customer.
Why is creative copywriting important?
So we’ve seen what is creative copywriting, but why should words matter so much? After all, what’s the big deal about arranging a handful of letters in a sentence? Well, the truth is, it’s a little more complicated than that, you see.
A creative copywriter doesn’t just take the necessary keywords and put them in the right order. Creative copywriting isn’t just going, “Hi, we’re X brand, we’d like to sell you Y product”. Creative copywriting sells you Y product without letting you know they’re doing it. It uses creativity to mask a blatantly obvious sales pitch and convince you that, while they don’t necessarily care if you purchase Y product, doing so would be huge to your advantage.
To put it in even simpler terms, creative copywriting is important in business because, as a species, humans think in words. We rely on sentences and language to define our most basic emotions, thoughts, and daily interactions. So in a way, asking why creative copywriting matters is like asking why language matters in the first place. Because it helps us define who we are. And a skilled creative copywriter knows how to tap into that to get us to buy things, subscribe to services, and do all those other things brands want us to do.
Maybe we shouldn’t be asking ourselves what creative copywriting is, but rather what does a creative copywriter do?
First and foremost, a creative copywriter is a marketing expert.
It’s all fine and dandy for a brand to create the next big thing in terms of service, technology, or pretty much anything else out there. But as long as you don’t have a creative copywriter on your side, your amazing product will just sit gathering dust inside a storage room somewhere.
Creative copywriters bridge the gap between manufacturers and buyers. They use their skill with words to explain to the latter group why they want to buy the manufacturer’s product. And they do so more cleverly than manufacturers might. Because see, it’s easy just to list a product’s benefits on a website and wait for the cash to roll in, but the trouble is, your competition is doing the exact same thing. As a buyer, how are you to know which product is the best choice when they list the same benefits? Should you pick blindly? Should you roll a dice?
That’s where creative copywriters come in. It is their job to polish the product’s benefits and assemble them into this neat, shiny package that will prove to the customers your product is better than your competitor’s.
Creative copywriting is a dive into human psychology.
Of course, a skilled creative copywriter isn’t just “good with words”. They also need to possess various other people skills to be the best at their job. So one major aspect that copywriters need to excel in is basic human psychology. What is it that drives people to buy Y product? What need or desire would Y product fulfill, in order to get people to pay good money for it? And what’s more, what do these people need to hear, in order to convince them to buy the product?
So what is creative copywriting? It’s walking a fine line between marketing and psychology. Because every purchase is psychological, in some sense, and it’s the job of the copywriter to figure out how a seemingly banal purchase will play out inside the buyer’s mind so that they can build a campaign around those thoughts and emotions.
A good creative copywriter knows to put themselves in the customer’s place.
Yet another skill of the creative copywriter is their ability to detach themselves from a product or company and think objectively. This is hugely important. More often than not, it’s something the manufacturer himself can’t do, because he’s far too close to the product and is usually biased by his desire (and essentially, by the need) that the buyer chooses his product above others.
What a creative copywriter does in this case is look at things objectively and ask himself a few basic questions that, no doubt, will pop up in the customer’s mind also.
This is a topic where you can not afford to be subjective as a brand. Yes, you know that your product is better. Still, that sort of logic will carry little weight for your customers, so you need an efficient copywriter to look at the question objectively and identify a solid, unbiased reason why your product is better.
It’s often not so much a question of choosing between your brand and that of your competitor. It can just as easily be a debate over the necessity of a product itself in the potential buyer’s life. Once again, the creative copywriter steps in and shows the customer why his life will be much worse if he foregoes this particular purchase.
What is creative copywriting? It’s an editorial ride, that’s for sure!
Being a creative copywriter, of course, is so much more than simply being good with words. It’s also being a merciless editor of your own creations, which, as any author will tell you, is a job in and of itself.
As a creative copywriter, you spend a hefty chunk of time trying to design the perfect catch-phrase, motto, or sales pitch. You struggle to come up with just the right blend of witticism, emotion, and simplicity that will make the customer choose your product above anyone else’s.
And after all that, you have to go in with a red pen and cut through your cherished creation. Much like in writing a novel, you are not allowed to be sentimental or overly-indulgent with your creative offering because that could really make the difference between a sale and getting passed by.
To sum it all up, a creative copywriter is an artist working on a very limited word count!
The Many Names of a Creative Copywriter - What a Creative Copywriter Isn’t
So we’ve seen what creative copywriting is, and we’ve also established what a creative copywriter does, in his job. Now, let’s take a look at the many titles used interchangeably to define a creative copywriter, sometimes wrongly.
A creative copywriter isn’t necessarily good at SEO.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) often takes over copywriters’ lives, and when it does, it’s a real pain. As the name suggests, a creative copywriter is tasked with creating quality, creative content for blog posts, sales pitches, e-newsletters, and so on. In contrast, SEO copywriters are tasked with understanding which meta tags go where and how to rig internal linking to the company’s advantage.
SEO copywriting is, if you will, the more mathematic, strict approach, while creative copywriting is, well, more creative.
A creative copywriter isn’t necessarily a creative writer.
Well, one could argue that all writers are creative, to a certain extent, but that’s not really what we’re questioning here. Sure, a creative copywriter is creative. It’s in the name! But while some creative copywriters also go on to become creative writers, the two terms should not be used interchangeably, as they do not refer to the same job. A creative copywriter is in charge of those newsletters crowding up your inbox. A creative writer is someone like Stephen King.
A creative copywriter isn’t necessarily a PR expert.
See, a common misconception is that a creative copywriter also handles the PR releases of a brand, writes up speeches and presentations, and so on. This notion is so hugely popular that, well, copywriters do handle PR a lot of the time, especially for smaller brands that don’t have a PR expert.
That being said, don’t assume that every creative copywriter is willing or able to do the job of a PR consultant, because they’re not. Just like a creative copywriter knows how to design the perfect Facebook post for your brand, a PR expert knows how to do the ideal press release.
Are you a creative copywriter? How would you define yourself?