Copywriting has undergone many significant changes since the marketing industry first started gathering steam back in the 1950s. Back then, TV, print and radio advertising budgets were just beginning to skyrocket and they continued to prevail throughout the rest of the 20th century. In the early 2000s, some of that money started shifting toward digital marketing – but at the start of the millennium, agencies only spent an average of about three percent of their total marketing budget on digital. These days, companies are spending more like 30 percent of their budgets on digital and that rate is only expected to keep growing. Search engine marketing is expected to account for the largest portion of spending with online display ads coming in a close second.
How Is Copywriting Different Than 20 Years Ago?
The changing nature of the copywriting game means that today’s job looks quite a bit different than it did 20 years ago. Take a look at just a few of the ways it has changed and taken on new meaning over the past few decades.
Well, for one, we’re having to hone in on niche marketing. That means not just knowing your audience and being able to advertise to a mass of people at once, but also understanding individual people and their spending habits and desires.
Copywriters have also been expected to become experts in a field in order to provide more valuable, industry-specific content that is relevant and appealing to their customers. The writer is expected to craft detailed, specific content and to aim it directly at a particular market. Not only do they have to fit this content to a certain audience, but it also has to be tailored to fit a specific type of media.
The shift from traditional to digital media means that copywriting has had to change to connect with readers and keep up with changing online algorithms. Writers aren’t just writing to connect with customers anymore – they are also writing to “connect” with online systems that are ranking their content, such as Google’s search engines.
What Lies Ahead?
Now that we have fully embraced the digital marketing era, it’s important to look to the future and try to stay ahead of the curve. Marketing has been revolutionized by the Internet due to search engine optimization, social networks, mobile and more, and copywriters are going to have to be savvy and nimble when it comes to embracing the new changes that are on the horizon. Let’s take a look at some of the ways technology is going to change the world of copywriting and how writers will need to adapt to keep up with it.
Purging Content of Spelling Mistakes and Poor Writing
The future of copywriting won’t have any room for spelling mistakes and poor writing. Not that these were ever forgivable, but in the past, it was possible to get away with a few misspellings or grammatical errors and still get noticed on the web. Software is getting more and more sophisticated when it comes to weeding out grammatical errors and poor syntax – so online copy is going to be lot more polished and, hopefully, more interesting than ever. Copyediting services are popping up everywhere too.
High-Level A/B Testing
Technology will increasingly make it easier to test every element of online copy and then apply the results to tailor the copy exactly to the highest standards. It will also begin to offer predictive suggestions to help copywriters create only the most appealing and relevant copy and increase conversions. Software already exists that helps writers autogenerate headlines that will hit the mark (check out CoSchedule’s headline analyzer to rank your potential headlines). This means that writing is going to turn from an art to more of a science as we learn to manipulate text to be more attention-grabbing based on algorithms and formulas.
Refreshing Old Content for SEO
Copywriters and copyeditors will be able to breathe new life into old copy by refreshing it for SEO purposes. An existing blog might not be seeing much traffic, but if you optimize the text for the keywords that are performing well in your industry, you’re likely to see it start to attract more readers. So writers won’t just be tasked with coming up with brand new copy, they’ll also be revamping the old stuff.
New Ideation Techniques
There is also some cool new software coming out that helps writers generate content ideas based on keywords that are trending and topics that appeal to specific audiences (check out Oz Content’s idea sourcing tool). This is going to help streamline the writing process and make it easier for writers to hit the ground running with a stream of fresh ideas that are likely to perform better than randomly coming up with ideas on your own.
These are just a few of the ways that we’re bound to see technology have a huge impact on the future of copywriting. Despite all of the changes that will inevitably occur, one thing is always certain – the more copywriters are ready and willing to adapt to change and remain forward-thinking, the better positioned they will be to succeed and continue to create awesome, compelling content.