Most people within the marketing and advertising industry think of copywriting as a science. A craft studied and worked constantly to understand and produced the most persuasive advertisements possible. But copywriting goes a bit far beyond being a science. I dare say that excellent copywriting is an art form.
While creativity is not the most appealing aspect of the copywriting service, it does play a role in it. Otherwise, you would get the same advertisements over and over – just with the change of brand names. And that would’ve gotten old quick.
Think of Wall Street’s two-billion-dollar letter, the Rolls Royce 60 MPH print ad, and the Chuck Norris Total Gym infomercial. All three were remarkably successful during their run. All were different in their presentation. And they don’t have the feeling of your run-of-the-mill advertisement. You can credit all those attributes to the copywriters in charge of those ads and their creativity.
When most people think of “creative” and “artistic” they usually refer to fluff – pieces that are funny or cute but, carry little to no value. But enjoyable creativity and art are not always that shallow. And that is why I’m about to give you three reasons why excellent copywriting is an art form.
3 Reasons Why Excellent Copywriting Is an Art Form
Before you get the three reasons why copywriting is an art form, check out these two articles I used as resources for this post.
Tom Albrighton wrote the first article for ABC Copywriting. The piece, titled Copywriting is an art, not a science, details how the elements of storytelling and literature play a role in the ability to be a copywriter. And Mr. Albrighton goes over how you can compare copywriting to music and poetry, among others.
DIY Genius supplies the second article, titled The Art of Copywriting: Influence, Social Proof, and Storytelling. This report, written by Sam Brinson, discusses how we are all part of the sales world, target marketing, online copywriting courses, and how – much like in art – practice makes perfect.
Now, drawing from the articles I mentioned above, as well as my experience as a direct response copywriter, I give you three reasons why excellent copywriting is an art form.
The Art of Storytelling
Two people can tell you the same story – one can get you excited about what’s going on, while the other can bore you to death. The one that gets you excited is the one you should look at as an excellent storyteller.
And storytelling is an essential skill to have when it comes to copywriting. Because, as a copywriter, one of your jobs is to keep the audience as interested in your presentation as they can be for the duration of your pitch.
Wall Street’s two-billion-dollar letter wouldn’t have been as successful without the Tale of Two Young Men. That story kept you hooked wanting to know what would happen at the end. And that comes from Martin Conroy’s artistic skill of crafting a captivating story from beginning to end.
Here’s storytelling 101:
- Allow your hero (i.e., your customer) to shine, in the beginning, letting the audience know they are a capable person in whatever role needed.
- Bring the heat to the story in the form of whatever obstacle the hero must overcome. Put as much heat on the problem as you can.
- Allow the hero to make a triumphant comeback by a) using your product or service, or b) getting knowledge or skill related to your product or service.
- Highlight whatever results come from the hero solving the problem.
Anyone can tell a story. But not everyone can tell a compelling story. Storytelling takes practice and grace. Thus, I consider it is an artistic skill.
The Art of Influence
Influence consideration is a marketing campaign goal. And – much like storytelling – not everyone has the ability of being influential.
Leadership and influence go hand-and-hand. Thus, for you to influence a community, you must challenge, inspire, encourage, and change an important aspect of their professional or personal lives. Not only that but must do so in a charismatic way to turn heads and have people pay attention to you.
Take Dwayne Johnson for instance. From his time as a professional wrestler, “The Rock” has managed to become an influential figure in the lives of his followers. Whether he’s laying the smackdown on your candy ass or motivating you to be your best, Dwayne speaks with conviction – oozing charisma and delivering every word with 100% confidence. That’s why people listen.
Some people say you’re born a leader. Others say you learn to be a leader. I tend to fall in the latter group. Therefore, I believe being influential is an art form too.
The Art of Persuasion
Learning how to tell compelling stories and becoming influential within your community earn you a BONUS skill – being persuasive.
Yes… being an excellent salesperson is also an art. Because for you to close a deal – regardless of how good your offering is – you need to be quite persuasive in your pitch.
Let’s place this theory in the field of selling art. Here’s a quote from Donald Trump’s The Art of The Deal:
“I’ve always felt that a lot of modern art is a con, and that the most successful painters are often better salesmen and promoters than they are artists.”
― Donald Trump, Trump: The Art of the Deal
And I tend to agree. Because I have seen people spend exorbitant amounts of money on shallow pieces of art that they don’t even understand. And it wasn’t the painting or sculpture that got the people to buy – it was the charisma of the artist/seller and the story they tell about the piece of art that convinced buyers.
You can do all the research you want. And you can know your prospect from head to toe. But if you cannot convey to them that your product is a must-buy, then you won’t be able to close anything. That’s why persuasion is an art.
Excellent Copywriting Is an Art Form
Starting today, you must understand that copywriting, much like sales, goes beyond the science of research and detective work. Copywriters must tell compelling stories that inspire, change, challenge, or encourage their communities into action. And – much like an artist – a copywriter must spend years developing these skills, becoming an artist (of sorts) of the written word.
Do you agree with my stance on why copywriting is an art form? Leave a comment explaining your side of things. And if you think this article could be useful to someone you know, feel free to share it with them!