What is Copy?

What is Copy?

The words on the page you are about to read are copy.

Simply put, copy is any and all written text. But, like with anything, it is not that simple to define. Reason being, it typically makes us think about advertisements. That is if you are already familiar with the concept and term “copy”.

Copy has many forms and many types. Each with their own nuances and best practices. Here, we will look at it in detail to try and understand the term and concept better.

What is Copy?

Copy, in the context of writing, is written text. This includes digital and print text. It is most commonly used in the world of marketing and advertising. But, it is also used in the traditional publishing world to refer to the text within a book.

It includes many forms. It can include advertising text, web content, social media posts, email text, books, magazines, and newspapers. All of these have variations, which is ultimately just the written text for each of these mediums.

Copy and copywriting are a key component of the promotion component of the marketing mix. It is an essential element of an effective marketing strategy.

Below, we will look at an overview of copywriting and the different variations.

Components of Copy

What is Copywriting?

Copywriting is the act of writing and composing copy. This is typically practiced by professional copywriters who know how to craft words that cause prospects and customers to act.

Copywriting is a general writing and editing practice. It is typically focused on marketing and promotional text, but can include book, blog, newspaper, and magazine text.

The act of copywriting is done by a copywriter. Which, a copywriter can specialize in particular forms of copywriting. Like, one of the types of copy we discuss below.

What is Advertising Copy?

The most common reference is the words in advertising. Or simply, ad copy. This is all the written text within an advertisement.

Advertising copy includes the advertising headlines, sub-headlines, body, call-to-action text, and any other text within an advertisement. The point of advertising copy is to cause a prospect to act after seeing your advertisement. This action can be a click if we are considering online advertising. It can be a response in direct mail. Or, it could be a store visit in the context of retail.

An example of this would be the following online advert:

Plated Advertisement

Effective advertising copy is a key component to an effective marketing mix strategy.

What is Web Content?

Web content is all the content and words that reside on website pages. This can include a landing page, a homepage, a general website page, and blog article. Often, web content and web copy can be used interchangeably.

Web content is another area of marketing communication, where copy is one of the biggest focal points. It plays a critical role in informing the world about your products. It has the ability to drive prospects to act, customers to work with you, rank in search engines for SEO, and provide useful industry information.

Below is an example of effective website content.

Buffer Website Content Example
Salesify Website Content Example

The content on your website can be the first interaction a potential customer has with your company or product. Thus, it is advisable to have effective copy in order to effectively capture that prospect attention.

What is Email Copy?

Email copy is all the text within an email. This can be a marketing email or a sales email. It can be a long email, a short email, or a beautifully designed HTML email.

The words in an email is the foundation for a successful email marketing campaign and strategy. It can, and should, be A/B tested to find the right combination to drive the specific goal of the email.

Email copy can take common practices from direct mail campaigns and can be written in such a way to drive specific actions. Whether this is to click, reply, book meetings, or purchase a product. It should be written to have a direct goal.

To better understand email copy, here are a few examples. There is an example of a text-based marketing email example, an HTML based email example, and a sales email example.

HTML Marketing Email Example

HTML Email Copy

Text Marketing Email Example

Text Marketing Email Copy

Sales Email Example

Sales Email Copy

Email is an important sales and marketing medium. Email copy is the foundation of the effectiveness of this medium.

Social Media Posts and Updates

Social media is an increasingly important marketing channel. Copywriting is a key component of effectively using social media in a marketing capacity. Copy is used in social media posts and social media updates.

When using a social media marketing strategy, using the principles of effective copywriting can create the engagement and results you are looking for in your social media marketing. These are the ability to create copy that drives clicks, comments, shares, and ultimately conversions. It is using posts and updates as another communication medium to drive prospect and customer actions.

To understand a bit better some of the components of social media posts and updates, here are a few examples of effective social media posts.

Twitter Example

Oakland Athletics Twitter Copy

LinkedIn Example

YourSales LinkedIn Copy

Facebook Example

Vice Facebook Copy

Copy is an important area of social media marketing. It is important to apply the same copywriting principles to social media as we do for other forms.

What is Print Copy?

Print copy is another common refer use case. It is one of the most traditional mediums. Print includes everything from book text, magazines, newspapers, direct mail, and company catalogues.

Print may not be nearly as focused at driving an action from the reader as some of the other forms. Mainly in reference to books, newspapers, and magazines. But, when looking at direct mail, this is a form of print that is looking for a direct action from its readers.

Print is a broad and includes many facets. Though, it can be an important area to master.

Copy is the foundation for marketing communications and the promotion component of our marketing mix strategy. There are principles to writing effectively. It is a general reference to written text. Paying particular attention to our copy can be a rewarding component to our marketing strategy.