8 Types of Copywriting Every Business Must Know

Every business needs to write well to survive. Whether it’s crafting contracts, brochures, or internal reports, it’s very necessary. But there’s a particular form of writing that’s MOST important, and that’s “writing to persuade”.

Like it or not, sales is the most important part of running your own business. Trust me, we know! It generates the money that pays employees, keeps the business alive, funds research and facilitates growth.  

That’s why you need to master copywriting, so you can persuade someone to buy (both now and in the future) and keep that money coming in.

It’s actually a form of mind control.

It can take the form of adverts, social media posts, website copy, blogs, and much more. And before you ask, “YES”, you do need to tailor the content to the channel. 

You also need to tailor the content to meet your goals and customer needs too.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about the two main approaches to copywriting, and the 8 types of copywriting that if mastered, will stimulate both your short-term and long-term growth.

Two Main Approaches

One copywriting approach is to focus your efforts on short-term sales, targeting a very small fraction of the market. Who are they? People ready to buy now.

The other copywriting approach is to focus on long-term brand growth, targeting the mass market. They’re not ready to buy now, so you need to get their attention and then stick around in the back of their minds.

Most copywriting advice out there covers short-term sales, but most of the opportunity is in long-term brand growth. 

We’ve covered both here to equip you with all the tools you need.

Short-Term Sales

If you are writing for short-term sales then you are targeting people actively shopping for your category. 

They are looking to make a short-term buying decision, but they are also rational, and will invest the time into reading your copy.

That’s why longer copy wins! People will take the time to read through. It needs to be good though.

What are these people looking for? 

They want to eliminate buying decisions as quickly as possible, so you need to list out all of the benefits and features that counter each of their objections. 

A money-back guarantee also has a major influence on their buying decision.

Long-Term Brand Growth

Now this is a whole different ball game. You are targeting the mass market. This means you are competing with everyone else fighting to get their attention. 

Mass market is much less interested in what you have to say, so you have to stand out. But how?

  • Win their attention
  • Make damn sure they remember you

It’s as simple as that. We can also dig a little bit deeper.

How do you get people to remember you:

  • Exciting stories
  • Repetition (consistent branding across different ads)
  • Humour
  • Positive associations

The major advantage of choosing long-term brand growth as your approach is you can target a much larger cohort of people, so if you do this well, you’re likely to influence a lot more people.

What you have to remember is people aren't buying now, so your aim is to stick around in the back of their minds. More specifically, when the need for your solution is triggered by their pain. 

E.g. If you’re a mechanic or divorce lawyer, people will only hire you when the timing is right, or not right, depending on who’s perspective you take. That’s why you need to make your copy memorable!

8 Types of Copywriting

1. Direct Response

Direct response focuses on persuading the buyer to act as soon as they’ve finished reading. This falls under the short term sales approach.

You are trying to get them to complete an action like:

  • Make a purchase
  • Sign up to a newsletter
  • Download a lead magnet (freebie in exchange for an email)
  • Follow you on social media

To do this effectively, you need to write copy that tugs at your reader’s emotions, addressing their pains and fears, explaining how YOU can solve their problem.

2. B2C Copywriting

B2C (Business to Consumer) copywriting is all about businesses selling directly to consumers. Examples include: purchasing a new phone, clothes, or eating out at a restaurant. The messaging is tailored to the consumer.

For some brands, decision making is made by individuals, whereas for others, it can be made by a family or group of people. B2C copywriting is about knowing your consumer and writing directly to them (one-to-one).

Humans are emotional creatures, so you want to make them laugh, tug on their heartstrings, make them feel passionate or inspired. Visual content does particularly well in B2C.

You want to make B2C content shareable on social media too, gearing the messaging towards relationships and bringing communities together. When you get this right, people will sell FOR you.

B2C Copywriting

Studies show that copy aimed at 8-9-year-olds results in a 36% increase in responses compared to copy at a higher reading level. Keep it simple, so everyone can understand.

3. B2B Copywriting

B2B (Business to Business) copywriting is all about businesses selling directly to other businesses, like an equipment wholesaler who sells machines and parts to a manufacturing company.

B2B copy does involve some emotion, but certainly not as much as B2C.

Business customers are generally engaged in the sales cycle much longer than consumers, basing their primary buying decisions on:

  • Cost
  • Impact on productivity
  • Impact on profit

Like B2C, B2B businesses target their customers through search, social media and blog posts, but also engage in advertising, networking events and other channels too.

B2B Copywriting

4. Website

According to a study featured in Forbes, website users spend an average of 5.59 seconds looking at written content on a site. That’s why your website copy needs to capture attention IMMEDIATELY.

3 Steps for Effective Website Copy:

  • Get Attention: The first section on your website needs to clearly state: what you do, why you’re unique, who you serve (audience) and how they’ll benefit. Once you’ve captured attention, users are more likely to scroll down the page to find out more.
  • Engaging the User: Your website copy needs to stir emotions, influence behaviours, read smoothly, and guide the user to take action.
  • Call to Action: You’ve got their attention, sparked their intrigue, and now they want to go one step further. Guide the user to “Book a free consultation” or “Sign up to a 30-day trial”.

This is where website analytics comes in. There are 101 different KPIs and metrics you could look at, but in terms of grading your website copy, you want to look at conversion rates. If your conversion rate is lower than industry average, then copy improvement is needed.

5. SEO Copywriting

SEO copywriting is exactly what we’re doing here. We’ve picked the keyword “types of copywriting” which has around 110 google searches per month in the UK. People searching for this will likely include: copywriters, students and businesses. While our customers are generally business owners or people looking to start a business, we also want to make high-quality information accessible to all, especially in the UK. If we use SEO to climb-up the search rankings, we become more visible to these people. If we do a great job of crafting our headline and description, some of these people will likely click on this blog post. If the content is great, people may even share it. 

So SEO copywriting is all about writing content that is keyword-optimised, that can climb the google search rankings, become visible to your target audience, and grow your organic traffic.

Using the right keywords is the first step, using tools like Google Keyword Planner, Semrush, Ahrefs and Ubersuggest for data and guidance.

6. Product Copywriting

All copywriting is promotional, but product copywriting focusses specifically on the product. 

You’ll need to centre your copy around product pages, feature announcements and product descriptions.

You may have heard the saying “talk about benefits, not features”, which is absolutely true when you’re focussed on attention-grabbing copy, but if someone has navigated to a particular product on your website, they’re already interested.

So make sure to include both benefits and features e.g. for tech products, people want to know about compatibility, charging times, battery life, etc.

Don’t give them a reason to rule you out!

7. Ad Copywriting

As we’re in the digital marketing business, we’ll leave billboards out of the conversation for now. 

Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and other Ad platforms are all about capturing attention, speaking to your audience and conveying value quickly and concisely.

Headlines, visual content, speaking to your customer directly and the benefit to their life (B2C) or their business (B2B) is your primary focus here. 

Combining these elements into a powerful combination that gets clicks is the difference between sales and no sales.

8. Social Media Copywriting

This is slightly tricker to define, but commenting on a picture of your nephew does not count as social media copywriting. 

On the other hand, posting about your company or sharing content that engages with your audience, absolutely does. Remember though, it needs to be more about providing value than just promote, promote, promote. Build goodwill and engage your audience and the benefits will come.

Takeaways

  • So now you understand the two main copywriting approaches i.e. short-term sales and long-term brand growth.
  • You also know the 8 types of copywriting, so you can tailor your messaging accordingly and get the most out of your audience.

If you’re looking for a company that builds great websites, drives organic growth, writes copy that converts, and multiplies sales, then contact us for a FREE consultation.