…so you can captivate your audience, amplify your brand, and attract your ideal customers with nothing but the words on a page.
If you’re spending time trying to write copy instead of focusing on what you do best, then you’ve probably looked into hiring a copywriter before. But with so many categories, niches, and styles, it’s a challenge to know where to start. To help you pull this crucial marketing lever, we’re breaking down the six types of copywriting so you can save time and make a bigger impact.
It doesn’t take a mind-reader to know you’ve got big plans for your business.
Odds are you’re already using digital marketing, but executing your vision relies on your website or landing page captivating and converting readers. And convincing someone to get in touch or book a consultation is hard… isn’t it?
Maybe your web content doesn’t truly represent who you are. Your messaging might be inconsistent, disjointed and suffering a severe identity crisis. You might even have spent months building the perfect website or sales funnel but the leads aren’t coming through on autopilot as you hoped.
Unfortunately, the solution isn’t as simple as choosing the top-ranked agency on Google, or whoever offers the best value for your hard-earned cash. And it’s certainly not as simple as writing it yourself (or hiring your friend’s nephew who you’re pretty sure is studying a marketing degree).
The more you look for a marketing copywriter, the more you’ll see just how challenging it is to find the right one for you. But there’s good news – we’re making the process easy. Read on to learn about the types of copywriting in advertising, and which is right for you.
Need a crash course on the basics? Check out our ‘What is Copywriting’ guide here (go from beginner to expert in 7 minutes)
#1 – Direct Response Copywriting
If you sell products or services and you want your prospects to take immediate action – we’re talking ‘drop what they’re doing and pick up the phone right now’ type action – direct response copywriting is how you do it.
This immediate action could be:
- Booking a consultation
- Making a purchase
- Downloading a lead magnet
- Signing up for a newsletter
To drive any of these actions you can’t just talk about yourself or your products. You need to tug at your reader’s desires and emotions.
For example, let’s say you’ve got a career coaching webinar. To drive sign-ups you can’t focus on price or length alone – because those aren’t the core emotional drivers of your target audience.
Check out two copywriting styles approaching the same product – a $99 Career Coaching Webinar – and how they appeal to a potential attendee.
|Regular, boring, average copy||Direct Response Copy|
|Sign up to my new online coaching webinar for just $99.||It’s Monday. 9am. And the knot in your stomach is back already.|
|Get access to six modules to help take any career to the next step no matter what industry you work in. This course is delivered online so my lessons can be taken at a pace that suits.||Attend this exclusive online event and discover the 6 x simple strategies all successful (and highly satisfied) employees use to wake up to a career that’s filled with meaning and purpose.|
|I’m excited to help share my career coaching knowledge and help people find satisfaction in their careers, so book now and let me share my secrets with you.||Was: $298
|Get in touch to learn more or pay using the form below.||“Please Reserve My Seat!”
*Strictly limited to 50 webinar attendees
|Click here to sign up to my coaching webinar.||BONUS: Book your place to receive a FREE ‘Crush Your Career Goals’ eBook.|
*The example above is just a taste of what we do at Savvy Copy. For in-depth examples of direct response in action, check out our case studies.
You might be wondering, “isn’t ALL copy meant to lead to a sale?”.
And the answer is NO.
Some copy is designed to keep your brand top of mind because your target audience might not be ready to whip out their wallet and throw cash at you, but you still want to stay on their mind as they weigh up their options. Other copy (the direct response copywriting type) lives as close to the point of sale as possible and is used to get the cash register ringing.
Let’s look at Apple for example. A billboard ad for Apple isn’t trying to make you run to the nearest Apple Store and buy a new Macbook within the next 5 minutes. These ads keep Apple top of mind so you’ll think of them when you’re next considering a new laptop purchase. Jump across to the copy on Apple’s website and you’ll find sales writing designed to make you pull the trigger and upgrade to a new iPhone or Macbook.
Direct response copywriting is used in landing pages, sales emails, magazine ads, and online ads – pretty much any material that prompts a reader to take action on the spot requires direct response copy.
This type of copywriting often weaves in aspects of other types of copywriting, like SEO and branding, so you get the best of multiple skill sets to achieve your ultimate goal – an increase in traffic and an increase in conversions.
Quick side note, if you’re starting to think sales copy would tick your boxes then you’re in the right place. At Savvy Copy, we create epic direct response copy every day (sometimes we take Sundays off), and direct response copy is a good fit for you if…
- You’re a coach, consultant, or service professional who wants to impact more lives and get paid what you deserve
- You’re a digital course or membership site creator who wants to reach a bigger audience and grow more sales
- You’re a speaker, expert, or author who wants to elevate your influence and sell more books, tickets, or products
- You’re an eCommerce business owner who wants to boost your conversion rate and sell more products
Interested in overhauling your copy? Book a risk-free strategy session with the Savvy Copy team today
#2 – Brand Copywriting
‘Just Do It’.
Without seeing a logo or reading another line of copy, you know *exactly* what brand that copy comes from and what it represents.
Nike is instantly recognisable through its branded copywriting. When you hear their slogan you think of fitness gear, elite athletes, and an active lifestyle. These feelings that come from reading Nike’s tagline come from a branded copywriter whose job is to connect brands and strong feelings.
This feeling comes in many forms and could be relaxed and chilled (Netflix), relatable and familiar (McDonald’s), or exclusive and luxurious (Louis Vuitton).
Brand copywriting can come in the form of:
- Creative ad campaigns
- Slogans and taglines
- Video Scripts
- Brand identity guidelines
- Mission/Vision statements
Unlike direct response copy, brand copywriting isn’t about driving an audience to sign up or buy now. There’s no urgency around an offer at stake. Instead, branded copy is used to build long-term brand awareness and familiarity.
#3 – SEO Copywriting
Whether you’re looking for directions, reviews, or product recommendations, there’s a good chance you use Google to help you. In fact, 93% of online experiences start with a blank search engine, so if you worship at the altar of Google, you’re in good company.
But have you ever wondered why some websites appear on the first page of search engine results and others are buried tens of pages deep where – let’s be honest – no one goes looking?
The answer is SEO copywriting.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and describes the process of writing in a way that gets your website ranking on search engines like Google. This is known as ‘optimising’. Back in the internet’s dark days, it was possible to write for SEO by stuffing keywords in every sentence, but Google’s algorithm updates have destroyed this outdated copywriting technique.
Content ranking in 2022 needs to be well-written, genuinely valuable, use relevant keywords naturally, and contain related keywords and topics so Google knows what the page is about.
For example, if you wanted to rank a page about copywriting (like this one), you’d have to explain the different types of copywriting, provide tips for business owners looking to improve their copy, and create genuinely helpful content (again, like this one 😉).
SEO copywriting is a highly technical skill, but the best copywriters can seamlessly combine SEO and direct response copy (*cough* like us *cough*) so you can generate organic traffic AND convince people to take action.
Winner winner chicken dinner.
#4 – Technical Copywriting
Are you educating your audience on a product or service that isn’t easily understood?
You’ll need a technical writer.
Technical copywriting requires an in-depth knowledge of a subject with extensive research required. This is commonly seen in the form of:
- White papers
- In-depth industry guides
- User manuals
For example, if you were promoting software as a service, you wouldn’t want a 500-word puff piece. A customer in the SaaS market needs more information than you can provide in a short blog post. That’s where an in-depth guide written by a technical copywriting pro can help.
Remember when we told you that direct response copywriters write to sell? Well, technical copywriters are an extension of that goal, with the added responsibility of explaining a complex topic.
Technical copywriters are used by many companies in specialist industries like health, finance, science, environment, politics, and government. This type of copy is crucial to simplify complex topics, generate clear product descriptions and create a clear, easy-to-digest resource for the end-user.
Most technical copy is sought by people who have already purchased – or are about to purchase – a technical product. So you won’t see overt sales tactics or marketing-heavy strategies here. But if you’ve got technical knowledge that needs to be simplified and clearly explained, a technical copywriter can help.
#5 – Public Relations Copywriting
If the majority of copywriting types involve you talking about yourself, then public relations copywriting aims to get others talking about you.
Public relations, or PR, is a type of copy written to catch the eye of journalists and news media typically to broadcast a positive initiative or to stem the tide of negative publicity.
Commonly used by larger companies, the aim is to portray your brand in the best light possible and have your content shared organically across reputable and trustworthy websites – which passes on the same trust to you. It’s a trickle-down approach to branding that isn’t convincing one person to do one thing.
This type of marketing copywriting is a form of ‘earned media’, meaning you haven’t paid for it (in most cases). Since you’re not paying for placement, the results are seen as unbiased and can help strengthen public perception of your brand… even though you actually did set out with the intention to have people talking about you!
PR copywriting is commonly seen in the form of:
- Press releases
- Pitches to journalists and influencers
- Sustainability reports and statements
Let’s look at Apple as an example. They nailed their PR copywriting as part of their 2021 Environmental Responsibility Report.
This copy doesn’t have the goal of driving a sale or targeting potential customers. It doesn’t mention a product. And it’s not trying to get the reader to take immediate action.
The sole job is to paint Apple in a positive light and drive news outlets and journalists to spread the good word. And wouldn’t ya know it, their press release was picked up and shared online (a helluva lot) to help strengthen Apple’s position in the minds of their audience.
Apple wins because they get a ton of earned media. Then they win again because their public perception is strengthened. They didn’t set out to sell products, but they’ve helped entrench themselves as a socially conscious company in the minds of people looking for new computers, phones, and tech products – and that’s going to help drive new business in the long run.
Like branded copy, PR copywriting is best used when your brand is well established and building an image goes beyond social media posts or SEO.
#6 – Social Media Copywriting
Did you know 160 million brands use Facebook (and Meta apps) every month?
Social media copywriters specialise in creating content that stands out in these social spaces. We’re talking about the Facebook posts that go viral, Instagram captions that stop you in your scroll, or Tweets that stick in your mind.
Unlike direct response copywriting, writing content for social media typically doesn’t have a commercial intent. People may end up buying your products and services after seeing your awesome social content, but it’s not the primary goal.
Instead, social media copywriting is typically used to build brand awareness and exposure. Remember, people spend time on Facebook and Instagram to unwind, check in on friends and family, and maybe see what their high school crush is up to.
They don’t typically scroll IG or browse their Facebook feed with the intent to shop. That’s why great social media copywriters know how to generate brand awareness without being overly ‘salesy’.
Social media wordsmiths can also be broken down into platform-specific writers. Each platform requires a unique approach, with short and sharp copy needed on Instagram to complement images, and more freedom available on Facebook.
With 90% of consumers following a brand on social media, a social media copywriter can help build your brand beyond likes, comments, retweets, and shares.
Which type of copywriting is best?
“Best” is a subjective term.
What you think is the best pizza might offend someone else’s taste buds (#PineappleBelongsOnAPizza). So, when you’re judging the “best” style of copywriting, it’s easiest to focus on your goals and work backwards.
|Goal||Best Type of Copywriting|
|Awareness||Social Media Copy, Brand Copy, PR Copy, Technical Copy|
|Sales||Direct Response Copy|
|Conversions||Direct Response Copy|
Don’t forget to grab a FREE copywriting review before you go…
Give yourself a pat on the back!
By reading this guide, you just upskilled beyond countless business owners and entrepreneurs who are bogged down by underperforming copy.
The wrong types of copywriting result in a lack of authority, high bounce rates, and attracting the wrong clients. In other words, all the stuff that sends money down the drain, adds unnecessary stress and makes running a business a chore instead of a reward.
If you’re running into these same problems too, we can help.
Our marketing copywriting team wield the single most powerful marketing lever you can pull to drive leads, have a greater impact, and grow your business – direct response copy.