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The fact that anything is sellable stems from the fact that anything is advertisable. What is mostly overlooked in the field of entrepreneurship is the pivotal role that writing plays within every business venture. Copywriting involves the construction of text intentionally meant to persuade a target market as part of a marketing campaign. The median salary for copywriters in the United States is approximately $48,000. Not only does this suggest that the field is a viable one to make a living within, but it also complements the importance of rhetoric in marketing.

How to Connect with Consumers through Copywriting

Consumer standing outside department store with a sale sign
Consumer standing outside department store with a sale sign

The bottled-water market offers a clear-cut indication of how critical writing is when developing trust with consumers. Poland Spring, Nestle, Aquafina, and Dasani all offer an identical product (or at least relatively inseparable). It is barely believable that consumers are able to genuinely taste a difference between five companies who literally sell water. With this being said, each company has the difficult task of accompanying every bottle they sell with a facade, which will in-turn justify the consumer’s decision to purchase that particular brand of water.

This is precisely where the art of copywriting takes its course. Because lying about the contents of a product is illegal under FDA guidelines, the pressure to outshine competition demands persuasive communication between the seller and the buyer. Whether to create false pretenses or simply amplify truths about the product, copywriting offers a unique opportunity to alter the perceptions of the consumer as they are in the process of making a decision.

Rhetoric

This communication comes in the form of rhetoric. Rhetoric considers not only the execution of words, but the experience on the other end of them. In other words, the rhetoric of copywriting is language accessible to the receiver, for it is the receiver that will be called to action throughout the duration of the copy.

In a passage from Miami University’s Howe Center of Writing Excellence program, business writing is discussed in relation to the seller/buyer interaction aforementioned. In the passage, a triangle is used to illustrate the interrelations of the writer, the audience and the purpose of the communication. This triangle relates fondly to Aristotle’s “rhetorical triangle”, in which he philosophizes the relationships between content, context, and audience. These organizational charts offer insight that justifies why copywriters make an average of $48,000 per year, more than most other careers in the field of writing. Copywriting is writing with the intent to control.

Finding the Equilibrium

Therefore, to use an expansive vocabulary with eloquent sentence structures and long-winded analogies is counterproductive. Although the content of the piece may be valuable, the context does not afford any relatability to the reader, and therefore overwhelms them. At the same time, using dumbed-down language with little to no in-depth reflection on the product or context thereof will either insult the reader or give the impression that the entrepreneurs behind the product are out of touch. Copywriting is the art of finding the balance; the equilibrium of the triangle. It is at this equilibrium where an entrepreneur can expect to find the comprehension of the consumer to meet the presentation of the brand. At this point, the relationship between the buyer and the seller is established.

More than Catchy One-Liners

Sign outside of bar that reads "Free beer, topless chicks, and false advertising"
Sign outside of bar that reads “Free beer, topless chicks, and false advertising”

Copywriting is more than sending out a few wordy emails a month, or printing a catchy one-liner on the packages. It is more than every Instagram caption or product description. It is the art of ensuring that each sentence is perceivable to the target market. It is the art of laying a path and coating that path in gold; a path leading to the metaphorical cash-register that lurks in the shadows of every consumer’s mind. 

To hire an English professor to write a copy for your marketing campaign would be a costly mistake. A two-thousand word manuscript on the postmodern romanticism of bottled-water would leave the reader lost within a few sentences. As opposed to academic writing, it is the responsibility of the writer to ensure that the reader is never lost. Per the same token, hiring someone with no academic experience would likely not be optimal for the success of your campaign. This emphasises the value of copywriting and validates its categorization as a form of art; for it involves a careful amount of rhetoric that appears relatable and honest while also calling the reader to take action. 

Reflect upon the progress that your business has made since its launch, and be mindful of what separates you from competitors. It is likely that the answer is presentation and not content. Brands with far less substance have gone way farther on the basis of quality marketing. Consider this when evaluating whether or not hiring a copywriter is necessary, for it is the only form of writing that cannot be improved with a dictionary.

Have any more tips on copywriting? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.