One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a direct marketer is not understanding the difference between copywriting and creative writing.
Not getting what copywriting and creative writing are, as well as why and how to use them can lead you to produce a lot of funny, yet ineffective marketing. Because you might be judging your advertising as a layperson would. And that’s where you make the mistake.
If you give in to one of those “award-winning” advertising agencies with a portfolio full of Super Bowl commercials, you might end up with an ad that feels a lot like the commercials you see for the insurance companies these days. Which, as a television viewer, you can find very funny, original, or interesting.
But as an advertiser with a monetary interest in the success of every investment you make, you will find those types of commercials to be a waste of resources. You’ll never know if they’re generating leads or revenue. And the word of mouth you’ll mostly hear praises from the agency who made the ad, not your product or service.
I am not that creative writing doesn’t have a place in advertising. But you need to understand what sets copywriting and creative writing apart, and how to maximize the use of each. This is what the focus will be on this blog post today.
Drawing from my experience as a direct response copywriter, as well as a radio and TV producer, here’s what you need to know about copywriting and creative writing.
You can categorize any form of business text as copywriting.
Businesses produce copy to achieve a particular goal – whether it’s sales conversion, lead generation, engagement, or content sharing. And it applies to corporate, marketing, employee, or technical communications.
Your copywriter can produce copy for a variety of media.
- Company memos
- Sales letters
- PPC campaigns
- Online video scripts
- Social media posts
- Recruitment slideshows
- And much more
If you’re looking to achieve a business goal, you can go to your copywriter to make the copy needed to communicate the message.
You can call upon a creative writer when you are developing content with the main purpose of entertaining an audience.
Creative writing doesn’t have the traits that copywriting does – it isn’t persuasive, informational, or inspirational. Instead, creative writing is clever, funny, and cute.
A creative writer can produce for you…
- Fictional books
- TV/radio shows
- Entertainment podcasts
- Comedy routines
- Theatrical scripts
- And more
When you want to gain exposure with the masses, creative writers can help in developing content that will put a smile on your audience’s face.
Now, you might be asking “how should I distribute my marketing budget between business and creative content?” … so, let’s address that now.
If you are a micro, small, or medium-sized business, you should forget about creative content. Your focus should (only) be on generating revenue. So, you should have in your staff -or on speed dial – copywriters who can write persuasive and attention-getting brand messages.
Large corporations should apply no more than 30% of their budget to creative marketing and advertising. These types of companies can take a chance at developing creative content due to their huge budgets. Budgets that you can see disappear away at least once a year when the Super Bowl comes around. Do you know how much revenue those million-dollar ads generated? I don’t – and neither does anyone involved in their production.
Creative content marketing can be a nice project to experiment with innovative ideas. But it should never be your business philosophy. At most, a 70/30 approach should satisfy the marketer’s creative needs without compromising the business.
Starting today, you should have a clear idea of what makes copywriting and creative writing different. Copywriting is serious – use it whenever you send a marketing message. Creative writing means entertainment, and you should avoid it unless you have enough money to throw away without affecting the company’s bottom line.
Do you agree with my views on copywriting and creative writing? Leave a comment telling me your side of the story. And if you think this article could be useful to someone you know, feel free to share it with them!