Perry Robin

Writing marketing copy is a unique, specialized task.

It shouldn’t be confused with newswriting, sending an email to a colleague,  RFP copy or the many other types of writing a business may need to use.

Although marketing copy draws on elements from all of the above (and much, much more), it’s a distinct, powerful and unique entity that has a specific purpose and set of goals.

How can you and your organization write marketing copy that’s effective, targeted, relevant and influential? Read on.

What is marketing copywriting?

Before you sharpen your skills and learn how to write great marketing copy, understand exactly what marketing copywriting is.

Traditionally, content marketing focused on attracting and retaining customers, while copywriting involved convincing customers to take a specific action, from scheduling an appointment to making a purchase.

In the era before widespread use of computers and mobile devices, this distinction was important for managing different parts of the customer lifecycle. Now, there’s so much blending of the two that it’s mostly no longer the case.

The growth of the digital economy blurred this traditional separation and combined the two disciplines into one. On a practical level, marketing copywriting is all of the written assets your business uses to develop customer awareness, increase brand loyalty, encourage action and keep clients coming back for more.

Common formats marketers employ are:

  • Blogs.
  • White papers.
  • eBooks.
  • Social posts.
  • Web copy (landing pages).
  • Video scripting/storytelling.
  • Paid ad copy.
  • CTA copy.
  • Email.
  • Case studies.
  • Infographics.
  • Webinars.

Marketing copy that stands out: The basics

A single statement will make your marketing copy education far easier as time goes on: There’s no one single strategy or style of writing that’s a perfect fit for all types of copy.

Factors ranging from character limits to the purpose of the copy itself mean each type of content must be approached differently.

The purpose of a product description and a case study, for example, are far different in nearly every category. From intent and formatting to length and the presentation of the final product, they have very little in common. Although both are forms of marketing copy and fulfill a general need to engage customers, that’s one of the few similarities they share.

On a basic level, you must take the following into account to write impressive marketing copy:

  • Recognize the specific type of content to be written.
  • Work within the established framework for that format, recognizing character limits, SEO best practices and other relevant needs.
  • Have a clear goal in mind.
  • Build a connection with your reader.
  • Start and end on high notes: A unique, engaging or perspective-changing opening and a clear, simple call to action at the end make marketing copy memorable and useful.
  • Use the right tool for the job. Everything from customer stories to technical specifications can attract and drive customers, depending on the specific context. Choose the best fit for the piece of content you’re currently developing.

A single statement will make your marketing copy education far easier as time goes on: There’s no one single strategy or style of writing that’s a perfect fit for all types of copy.

These pieces of guidance won’t immediately unlock your ability to produce competitive, high-ranking and motivating content. However, they will help you start building more effective strategies and a strong foundation for writing powerful marketing copy.

The skills you need to be a strong marketing copywriter

Marketing copywriters have to wear many hats to successfully create effective, targeted content that speaks to audiences and taps into searcher intent.

They also have to deploy these skills in a variety of different scenarios, readily shifting between many different content types. They must meld their own abilities and style, your brand’s voice, the demands of the specific type of content written, the desires of the audience and the technical SEO requirements needed for search engine algorithms. All of this must be done simultaneously and with relative ease.

Yeah, it’s not as easy as it sounds, right?

A great marketing copywriter creates a final product that’s more than a repetition of keywords and simplistic calls to action. They engage the audience, rank on search engine results pages and encourage action, all in a way that’s relevant and applicable to your brand, no matter the specifics of the current project.

A closer look at: Case studies

To further illustrate just how dissimilar each line of copy is (within its respective format), let’s take a closer look at one of the two very different types of marketing copy already discussed above, case studies.

A case study demonstrates how your business helped one of your customers address a major issue or make a significant improvement. Its ultimate goal is for prospective and current clients to read the piece and identify with the customer and problem detailed in the text.

Ideally, readers reach a point of understanding where they identify with the problem the company in the study overcame and think to themselves, “This issue is pretty similar to one we’re facing right now. If they helped this company fix it and move forward, I bet they can help us, too.”

A case study:

  • Starts with finding a relevant, willing candidate, which is a major task in and of itself, and ends with a relatively substantial document.
  • Is often formatted with graphics as a PDF or other document instead of displayed as simple text on a web page. That means there’s less importance placed on technical SEO considerations, like keywords, because the study itself isn’t indexed by search engines.
  • Is sometimes gated to encourage readers to share their contact info in exchange for access, which requires a landing page or email message that involves its own marketing copy.
  • Doesn’t have strict character limits or similar rules that are central to other content types, like product descriptions, per se.

A closer look at: Product descriptions

Product descriptions and case studies both fall under the same umbrella, and there are effective strategies for writing marketing copy for each. As we’ve already recognized, the two formats are extremely different.

Unlike case studies, product descriptions are:

  • Short in length and duration of development.
  • Created internally without the need for any outside input.
  • Very reliant on search engine optimization to reach all the potential customers who don’t already visit your website.
  • Require plenty of quality and quantity.

Understanding how different content formats can be is essential for writing excellent marketing copy. Many devices – grabbing readers’ attention, appealing to customer desires or pain points, following established SEO best practices – are used to one degree or another, but the specific applications can vary wildly.

Now that we’ve made our broader (and incredibly important) point about great marketing copy in general, let’s look at some specifics of writing outstanding product descriptions:

  • Connect features to customers. Don’t just tell shoppers how something works or what makes it so desirable. Help them understand how it will benefit their lives, solve their problems and provide an exceptionally positive experience.
  • Research and use long-tail keywords, as well as internal links to other relevant products.
  • Always write completely unique descriptions – don’t change a few details and think that’s enough.
  • Use model numbers and brand names in your title tags and H1 headlines.
  • Fill in image alt tags.
  • Use unique title tags for each and every product page.
  • Include reviews, price and product availability information whenever possible.

There are plenty of other areas to explore in terms of writing marketing copy. Another highly specialized realm to consider, one that is different from both case studies and product descriptions, is the use of copy as part of a social media strategy.

Does marketing copy play into a social media strategy?


The need to write marketing copy for social outreach that connects with current and potential customers is a core requirement. Social media brings a host of new considerations into play in terms of marketing copy, and it’s too simplistic to talk about social media as a single, homogenous entity.

Each platform has its own best practices. Using the same text across multiple platforms is an easy way to make a technical error, like including a user account tag that’s only functional on certain networks, or simply fail to appeal to the user demographics and your own unique audience on each service.

There’s nothing wrong with taking the same general message or even using a few select snippets of the same text across multiple platforms – there aren’t direct SEO drawbacks to worry about. However, the content should be suitably different and substantially repurposed based on the social network where it will appear.

Use the strengths of each network, like Facebook’s ability to host longer pieces of text (just don’t go too long, as many readers will lose interest after a few sentences) and the image-heavy nature of Instagram, to your advantage, supplementing the power of marketing copy for the best results.

What about email?

Email is yet another strongly distinct content format that sees the best results when strong marketing copy reaches your audience. Marketing emails are a multipart affair where multiple connections need to be made with readers. From start to finish, an effective marketing email needs:

  • An attractive subject line.
  • Similarly intriguing preview text.
  • A valuable message that has meaning to readers.
  • Text that directly addresses each reader as an individual and builds an emotional connection.
  • A message that communicates relevance to readers and piques their interest.
  • A brief, snappy and engaging call to action that ties into the message shared in the subject line and body.

Email is very different from case studies, social media posts and product descriptions (again, an example of the not-so-subtle theme of this post), but it shares an important similarity: An exceptional marketing copywriter is needed to get the most out of the format.

In conclusion

How do you write exemplary marketing copy, regardless of format?

  1. Start each project with a clean slate.
  2. Understand and follow individual best practices for each type of content.
  3. Stay current to address changes ranging from Google algorithm updates to consumer preferences.
  4. Speak to the audience in an active, engaging voice that also takes the strengths and limitations of the format into account.
  5. Focus on enticing openings and motivating calls to action that help guide readers and shape their opinions toward the content and your business as a whole.
  6. Emphasize core tenets like developing brand awareness, increasing loyalty, encouraging purchases and return visits – but always balance these goals with copy that offers genuine value to customers.

Whether you strive to write your own marketing copy or want to work with seasoned professionals, this guidance steers all effective content creators toward success.