Many assumed the digital revolution of our age would result in less use for copywriters, but the opposite has happened. In Philadelphia, we are seeing a resurgence of need for skilled writers across a number of different industries. We have entered into an era where a combination of written and visual media is the best way to captivate and hold an audience. Copywriting has become a facet of the best digital strategy possible. Two of the most common types of copywriting are direct response and brand awareness copywriting. Both serve an important role for your own copywriting, but have wildly different uses. So we set out to explain which type of copywriting is used when and why it is useful for a small business.
What is Direct Response Copywriting?
Direct response copywriting is encouraging your users to do something right away. You’re not building up an overall awareness of your product, you are almost always encouraging them to take immediate action. You should be creating clear, effective content about the product or service you offer. In our line of work much of the direct response copywriting we engage in is targeted for SEO. In fact, you will find that regionally copywriting is very important in the digital age, what works in Pennsylvania copywriting will not work the same way elsewhere. That is why testing is such a large part of direct response copywriting as well. The direct response copywriting world may have started to be used in newsletters and coupons, but it has evolved far beyond just that. Direct response copywriting now serves a very important role in the creation of web pages. The most common place to find this type of writing is on sales pages, which with the help of detailed analytics are now becoming perfected. The ever changing digital world has seized copywriting for its own; of course there are many alternatives when it comes to creating effective written content and brand awareness writing is one of those alternatives..
What is Brand Awareness Copywriting?
As a general, rule brand awareness copywriting is part of a much larger campaign. Brand awareness writing comes in the form of informational or storytelling articles that are designed to teach the consumer; while at the same time familiarizing them with your brand and expertise. A great example of brand awareness copyright is answering media inquiries. They shouldn’t be overly “salesy” and should focus on demonstrative elements instead of heavy handed calls to action. This style is just as essential for larger companies as the direct response counterpart. Brand Awareness is a real long term goal of any company as brand awareness is what drives a mid-sized organization into the big leagues. The power of brand awareness can be seen in industry titans like Amazon and Coca-Cola. These brands are the default product in their respective niches, despite a plethora of competitors, this is solely because they have spent the time and money to build their brand awareness.
The Directness of the Copy
One of the key differences between the two types of copy come in the overall directness of the text. Brand awareness copyrighting will often allude to your brand while conveying other information. Direct response copywriting will be specifically crafted to persuade your potential customer to take an action; CTAs being one of the prime examples of this type of writing. Of course, direct response copywriting has ‘direct’ in the name; so it stands to reason this copy is very direct in its goals. In contrast, brand awareness copy is waiting for the long term, trying to formulate trust, awareness, and authoritativeness. This form of writing can be extremely subtle, informational or generally helpful material is just another form of brand awareness writing. Brand awareness copy is a long term investment in educating and making your potential customers aware of your business. The best way to do this is with informative content that drives new users to your website and it turn paints you as the authority on whatever your niche is. A prime example of a long term brand awareness campaign can be seen in a website like Forbes. They have spent so much time and effort to create high quality content from experts in a number of fields. This allows them a high amount of gravitas in their market.
The Purpose of the Copy
Obviously the purpose of each category of writing is vastly different in intentions. In this age, the rift between the two has actually become a bit muddied because of the way new sales practices have evolved. It is actually not uncommon to have a brand awareness piece then lead into a short section that is a direct response writing; informational and authoritative content without overtly salesy language are actually very strong ways to convert leads that are not coming to a website from a sales related inquiry. Demonstrating expertise through a brand awareness copy and then leading into direct response is a method that has become very common recently.
The Length of the Writing
Length is one of the primary differences between different types of business writing. Your length on sales pages has gradually increased over the years, but the average brand awareness copy will still wildly exceed the length of any direct response counterpart. The difference in the size of writing is reliant on what is hoping to be accomplished by each different type. As we’ve seen before, direct response copywriting heavily utilizes persuasion and calls to action as its cornerstones. This doesn’t always mean that your persuasive sales writing will be short, in fact many of the best sales pages are very long with a huge amount of information for your consumers. Direct information on the value of your product, while long form, is still a type of direct response writing. However, the modern brand awareness standard is at minimum almost 1500 words. The brand awareness copywriting world has become so merged with SEO that informative content needs to have sufficient density to appeal to Google, Bing, and other search engines. Of course, the two types of copywriting will not always be entirely separate, it is reasonable to assume that some brand awareness writing may end up going into direct response sections. Additionally, some direct response copywriting may be used to funnel users from brand awareness writing to a page that is more dedicated to turning them into customers.
Despite the rise of visual media there is still a massive amount of value in properly utilizing written content to grow your customer base. The best strategy now incorporates video with strong, high quality, authoritative content. The winning combination can then be broken down into direct response and brand awareness copywriting, which both have wide reaching uses in the world of online marketing. We exemplify the use of multiple different types of content writing in our own homepage that is geared toward attracting web design customers.The ability to write for your purpose remains one of the most essential skills to driving traffic to a website. Amazing writers will still be valuable for the foreseeable future and we expect the finer points of both copywriting types to be further refined by the use of analytics and artificial intelligence technologies.