The readers of this blog, as well as those of you who know me personally are well aware of how passionate I am about advertising copy. Which is why, a while ago I posted two articles in which I presented the coolest examples of creative texts used in prints and ads. If you’re curious to learn more, you can find them here and here.
Whether you’re part of the industry or, like me, a fellow writing enthusiast, in all of its shapes and forms, you’ve probably wondered at least once what is the difference between the copywriting created in advertising agencies and online copywriting or if there even is one.
Is there any difference between creative texts found on websites or banners and televised ads or outdoor publicity? Is the principle the same, only with a different execution? Let’s discover together....
Online copywriting - from demand to supply
According to a research conducted by contentmarketinginstitute.com, online content distribution has become a defining part of any digital experience, with over 27 million types of content being shared on the internet on the daily.
Why is this statistic important? Well, think about the fact that a large part of that percentage is text. Who creates and shares it? A content writer or a copywriter, most frequently.
Therefore, we can clearly see that the market created a new demand. Text is no longer relevant just for televised ads or outdoor billboards, it has become relevant especially for the users of digital sales and communication means (social media, presentation web sites, online stores).
Given the current online landscape, it becomes obvious that the need for talented copywriters increases exponentially. Our need as an audience is to enjoy a particular type of content depending on our interests – whether we’re talking niche content (sports, arts, fashion, lifestyle etc.) or free time content (entertainment, funny texts/memes).
However, this whole deal with online copywriting and content writing cannot be boiled down to just our need to scroll aimlessly on Facebook or read various articles.
There is an increasingly high demand for online copywriting coming from big and small businesses alike who either already sell products and create campaigns or seek to launch themselves on the market. Moreover, even independent individuals are starting to realize the importance of well-structured and well-targeted texts for personal branding.
It is precisely why it is no coincidence that more and more brands seek to employ online copywriting specialists to better promote themselves, position their business or attract diverse segments of the audience and that the most significant investments are presently channeled towards the online world – websites, organic and paid advertising, persuasive texts and descriptions for various products etc.
Online copywriting vs. advertising copy - similarities and differences
So, what are the commonalities between the persuasive texts we see in televised ads and prints (advertising copy) and the persuasive texts found on online banners, social media or in personal/product descriptions (online copywriting)?
Well, we can say that the purpose is the same. In other words, fundamentally, we’re talking about the same thing.
Whether someone delivers a short text on the radio meant to draw our attention, whether we read a funny text on a banner that makes us click it, both online copywriting and advertising copy seek to stimulate conversions, to make us take a certain action.
The main objective of both types of copywriting is, of course, sales.
However, online copywriting also has some differentiating characteristics and specifics dictated by the dynamism of the environment on which its shared, ergo – the internet. As we’re all aware, the internet is ever-changing and evolving, which is why online interaction and communication impose some restrictions for the copywriter:
- In online copywriting, you have to be clear and concise because you most frequently only have a few minutes or even seconds to convey a message. If an outdoor print or billboard stays there for hours on end in a day and there are high chances for someone to see it, read it and fully interpret it, in the online world, most readers don’t even follow a text from start to finish, instead they „skim the content.” That is precisely why it’s harder to generate conversions
- The online copywriter or web copywriter must draw the reader’s attention in a manner that isn’t invasive. In order for advertising messages on the internet to have a high retention rate, the language used must attract the target audience, to encourage interaction and create engagement
- Online copywriting is essentially a text that’s quick and easy to digest, valuable information served in the target audience’s language
- Readability is most definitely a very important aspect of online copywriting. If you only have a few moments to draw the reader’s attention and your content is not organized/structured, you’ll lose him. That is why, in the online space, a proper text structure is so much more important than in a classic advertising print where you can experiment with crazy fonts and texts. For an online copywriting done right, lists, dashes, call-to-action buttons are absolutely essential
So...is all copywriting moving online?
What you need to gather from this article is that, although there is an increasingly higher tendency to move promotion to the internet exclusively and invest a large part of the marketing budget in online copywriting (website texts, product descriptions, campaign headlines, banner texts), advertising copy shouldn’t be neglected, either.
When you’re building a strategy for your product or service, it is possible that you’ll find both options helpful.
Don’t forget to define your target audience very clearly, to understand how that public thinks and what channels you can use to reach it (if it spends more time browsing the internet or, on the contrary, if it prefers to watch TV). The answer should come pretty easily.
If not, you can always ask a professional writer for help in choosing the right tactic and he’ll definitely be eager to offer assistance.
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