What Does The Advertising Copywriter Do? | Key Roles

An essential person behind any successful ad is the advertising copywriter. They create persuasive and catchy ads that make readers eager to try the advertised product. But what are the responsibilities of this role?

An advertising copywriter is responsible for crafting the text used in digital and print advertisements. They may create brochures, PPC ads, slogans, jingles, and product descriptions. These copywriters work with the client and/or advertising team on specific projects.

If you are considering becoming an advertising copywriter, then you are at the right place. In this post, we will discuss the roles of an advertising copywriter and how to become one. Let’s get started!

What Is An Advertising Copywriter?

An advertising copywriter (also referred to as an ad copywriter) is a skilled specialist who creates copy. This content is often used for boosting brand awareness and promoting products/services through advertising.

These copywriters create ad content for magazines, newspapers, billboards, signage, TV commercials, website content, and much more.

An ad copywriter may handle several ads at a time for multiple clients if they work as freelancers. They may also work on a series of advertisements if they work for large corporations or an advertising agency.

What Do Copywriters Do In Advertising Agencies?

A great advertisement is built on great copy. Copywriters play various roles in an advertising agency to create an appealing and conversion-focused ad.

The key roles of an ad copywriter in an agency are listed below.

Note: This is a generalization that highlights the responsibilities and creative process of an advertising copywriter. Individual agencies and clients may have different requirements for this role.

1. Conducting Research

A copywriter in an advertising agency is expected to research and delve into the client’s brand. They will need to familiarize themselves with the client’s brand and the products or services that are offered.

An ad copywriter also studies the client’s competitors and carefully analyzes their ads. In addition to competitor analysis, the copywriter should research the client’s target audience.

This will help them produce copy that reflects the brand’s image while also meeting the expectations of the target audience.

In addition, studying the audience helps produce an engaging copy that grabs the attention of the target audience.

2. Collaborating With The Rest Of The Team To Generate Ideas

After researching and understanding the client and their audience, the copywriter must develop ideas for a new ad.

The copywriter works closely with the client and other team members like the account director and media expert.

Working together, the advertising copywriter comes up with creative ideas under the supervision of the art director. After the brainstorming sessions, the copywriter should generate a working script.

The script will give the direction and tone for other items to be used in tandem with the copy. Some of these elements may include narratives, music, and videos.

It is crucial for the copywriter and the creative team to consider the client’s mission, reputation, and product nature.

This will help them generate ideas that resonate with the brand image, voice, and mission.

3. Presenting The First Draft To The Client

An ad copywriter will use these ideas to develop the first draft of the ad copy. This can be in the form of text, song, or video. The team will go through the draft and make revisions as needed.

The ad copywriter will then meet with the client and present these drafts. Here, they will explain the concepts and ideas to the client. This helps the client understand why the team picked the ideas they did.

It’s also a chance to review project guidelines and see if the draft matches the client’s expectations. This step may involve a rejection of ideas, the brainstorming of new ones, and revisions.

4. Redeveloping Ideas

It is important to meet the client’s needs, so the advertising copywriter cannot write the final copy without the client’s approval.

After the draft review is complete, the team will meet again to redevelop the ideas. Based on the updates, the copywriter will make a new draft for the ad. Then they will present it to the client again.

The drafting and presentation process is repeated until the client is satisfied with the copy.

5. Following Through To Finalize The Ad Copy

Once the client approves the draft copy, the copywriter begins working on the final ad copy.

At this stage, the copywriter will write the final copy while working with other team members to merge the ad elements together.

This may include casting actors and working together with graphic designers, photographers, and printers. Once it’s all done, it’s the copywriter’s duty to polish the final ad copy.

Polishing the copy will mainly involve proofreading and copyediting. They will check for any grammar and syntax errors. Ensuring the ad is error-free is crucial because mistakes will reflect poorly on the brand.

Next, the copywriter has to meticulously go through the word choice. The choice of words is important since it determines whether the copy is eye-catching and appropriate.

It is at this point that the copywriter chooses words that will persuade the audience to read the ad and make a purchase.

What Do Copywriters Do In Advertising Agencies

What Sort Of Copy Does An Ad Copywriter Handle In An Advertising Agency?

The advertising copywriter may be asked to work on any type of ad copy. However, here are some common forms of copy that ad copywriters handle.

  • Crafting powerful headlines, taglines, and catchy phrases that grab attention and add emphasis to the accompanying images
  • Writing body text in cases of print adverts and leaflets
  • Crafting scripts for radio or television advertisements
  • Creating ads for mobile apps, social media campaigns, and other forms of web content

Basically, the ad copywriter’s work is text-based as opposed to visual-based. The art director handles the visual part of the ads.

Even so, the copywriter has to write text that complements the visuals, so cooperation between departments is critical.

How Is An Advertising Copywriter Different From A Regular Copywriter?

You may wonder if an advertising copywriter is just like other copywriters. Although there is some overlap, each type of copywriter focuses on a specific area.

For example, advertising copywriters focus on writing copy that promotes a product or service.

An ad copywriter creates persuasive copy that keeps the product in the reader’s mind even if they do not see an ad in front of them. For instance, McDonald’s slogan “I am loving it” may pop into a consumer’s mind when they get hungry. That’s an example of hard work from an advertising copywriter paying off!

To clarify the difference further, we have some examples of other types of copywriters to help you distinguish them from each other.

1. SEO copywriter

SEO copywriters focus on finding high-ranking keywords and optimizing them to write copy that works well in search engines. This copy aims to appeal to the target audience and satisfy the search engine bots.

The content may be educational or sales-related.

2. Social media copywriter

The goal here is to craft copy that gets noticed in the middle of all the noise on social media. As such, the content is tailored to meet the audience’s needs.

The copy is usually engaging, entertaining, informative, and persuasive. It also must match the format of each social media platform.

3. Email copywriter

These copywriters write content for email campaigns. The goal is to write text that uses appealing and intriguing subject lines. The email body copy revolves around what the subscribers want to hear.

Therefore, an email copywriter must understand their target audience very well. From the three examples above, you can see that a copywriter in advertising differs from any other type of copywriter.

how is an advertising copywriter different from a regular copywriter

What Skills Should An Advertising Copywriter Possess?

1. Ability To Meet Deadlines And Work Under Pressure

Working as a copywriter comes with a unique set of challenges. To deal with this work pressure, you need the ability to think fast and creatively to finish projects on time.

Additionally, you need excellent communication skills so you can keep the clients updated on the progress of the project. Organization and time-management skills are a must for advertising copywriters.

2. Strong Language Skills

You need to possess a robust mastery of the English language to write copy that’s free from grammatical, syntax, and clarity issues.

You should also be able to write in various styles and quickly adapt to different tones/moods. Advertising copywriters should also possess a vast vocabulary.

Copywriting is about choosing the right words at the right moment. Using random words may hinder conversions.

3. Excellent Teamwork

As an ad copywriter, you will usually work with a team. As such, you should possess the ability to work with others. This includes the willingness to receive feedback and improve your work accordingly.

Clients tend to ask for a lot of revisions, so you need patience to keep working with clients and team members.

Ad copywriters also need the ability to form strong working relationships in a short amount of time. This is a fast-paced niche, so you must adapt quickly to have a good work experience.

Other skills necessary include:

  • Excellent research and analytic skills
  • Willingness to learn and adapt to new trends, cultures, and styles
  • Attention to detail, especially when interpreting the client’s brief
  • Ability to combine logic, imagination, and creativity to generate original ideas
  • Ability to proofread and edit copy to perfection

How Can You Become An Advertising Copywriter?

There are multiple channels you can use to become an ad copywriter. First, you may choose to pursue a degree in advertising. Related fields include journalism, marketing, communications, and writing.

A degree will come in handy when you’re looking for work in an agency. The second way to break into the field is by starting out as a general freelance writer.

This gives you a chance to practice your writing skills and gain experience working for real clients.

Over time, you will learn about copywriting as you build a portfolio and testimonials to help you apply for a job. Lastly, you may opt for an online ad copywriting course.

The course will teach you everything you need to know about ad copywriting. This resource will teach you valuable skills and can put you in contact with others in your field.

Ultimately, the route you take to become a copywriter depends on whether you want to work as a freelancer or be employed by an agency or large corporation.

Education Requirements

Good copywriting requires one to have a strong background in the necessary language. If you are trained in journalism, that is a plus.

A college degree is certainly helpful (especially if you want to work for an ad agency), but it is not mandatory if you are a freelancer.

If you want to pursue a degree, one in journalism, marketing, advertising, or communication will come in handy. You may get a higher offer at the entry-level level if you have a degree.

Plus, it gives you a competitive advantage over less-qualified copywriters. Additionally, taking time to study in college equips you with skills that will help you in copywriting.

For instance, you will learn to network, which will help you build strong interpersonal skills. Besides, you will become a professional that’s easy to work with.

Building Your Portfolio

Aside from your skills  and training, a potential employer or client will need proof that you can deliver great copy. Therefore, they will need to see samples of your best work.

An extensive portfolio can help you secure a great job as an advertising copywriter. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can build your portfolio.

For instance, if you undertake an advertising degree, you will work closely with an ad director. They will help you build your portfolio by offering helpful criticism to help improve your work.

They may also help with job placement. If you choose to take an online ad copywriting course, you will still follow the same steps. After your training, begin practicing your skills.

Write ads for an imaginary client and have an art director review them for you. You could also apply for internships to help you learn more and gain further experience.

Besides, there are plenty of ad copywriting jobs you can do as an amateur. Even though they may not pay much, they are an excellent opportunity for you to build your portfolio.

How can you become an advertising copywriter

Closing Thoughts

Advertising copywriters have a lot of responsibilities.

They are responsible for crafting stellar copy, working with various creative teams, refining the end product, and working with different forms of content.

This job requires a firm grasp of language and a deep understanding of customer behavior. Copywriting is the lifeblood of advertising. If they didn’t have excellent copy, most advertisements would tank.

For this reason, ad copywriters are in high demand, so ad copywriting is a lucrative industry to venture into.

If you feel you possess the skills and the requirements we mentioned, then this could be the job for you.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to do BJJ and play with his pet bunny when not taking a plunge into the vast ocean of funnel design, email marketing, copywriting, conversions, and customer retention.

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