What is copy in copywriting?

Copywrite image

Copywriting is 70% marketing skill and 30% art

The trouble with copywriting is its very nature—it is rather unfixed. Even though there is the standard copy book that for most bit has been the industry standard blue print, a large portion of the pre -copywriting process has not been given the attention it deserves.
By the pre-copywriting process we mean, a certain exercise that lets you know the product, know its differentiating factor and translate it into a benefit; feature alone is not enough to make a convincing sell, a complete understanding of the product or service, merits and demerits is a must. Also, knowing who you are writing for matters immensely, when it comes to the final shaping of the communication. To demonstrate the relevance of this approach I shall use two car brands as illustrations.

If there were two cars in the same league, offering say equal number of features: both offer power steering, and both offer power windows as well. Now one of them, say Maruti, manages to include an extra benefit, an increase leg room for the same price. Then, what we have is real benefit that can tilt things in Maruti’s favour. But if only Maruti can clearly communicate that differentiating USP.

If the copy were to be something like this:

All the benefits of a hatch back plus GREATER LEGROOM for a comfortable ride–the all new Maruti zen!

A reader will surmise from the above copy that for a certain price not only is he or she getting both the promised features, but now also can stand to gain from the increased leg room. Now to be able to do that the copywriter should know all the features and be able to figure out a differentiating USP. How he or she uses the words is a craft in itself: the tone used, number of words used, the literary conceits etc—however what has to be communicated has to come first before the writing begins. And that ability of a seasoned copywriter to pick the right thing to sell through well written copy is a certain salesmanship and it precedes the copywriting.

70% of the effort goes in at this stage into so many other things that has nothing to do with English writing or language at all, for that matter. This is the creative process that should be followed as a template before approaching any task, and it is rare today.

There are a set of questions which will help you frame a blueprint on writing your copy. There are things that you must know and understand first. We have mentioned those very important questions and these will help you big time –

What is your product
Why would you, yourself buy it or ask your girlfriend/wife/husband to buy it
What is your objective
Who is your target audience
What is it you want them to see

As Maria Veloso, one of the renowned copywriter, as rightly stated in her book “Learn everything you can about your product or service. Uncover the benefits of owning your product or using your service. Only after you identify your objective, familiarize yourself with your target audience, and know your product or service throughly is it time to start writing”.

Having troubles writing a killer copy for your brand campaign?
We, Crazy Hippos, have a team of nerds, bookworms or geeks (whatever you wish to call them) who can turn your company into a distinguished brand just through the right word play. Reach us and let’s explore the world magical words together!

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6 thoughts on “What is copy in copywriting?

  1. I really appreciate this post. I’ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thx again!

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