When you are a freelance copywriter, the process of learning never really ends. You always need to be growing, challenging yourself and learning new skills in order to get ahead in the business. The copywriting and content marketing world changes at a very quick pace, so it is important to stay up to date on the newest developments – including recent trends.
So what are the hottest copywriting and content marketing trends for 2014? Here are some of the major trends to look out for this year:
Knowing Your Audience
In 2014, there has been a lot of focus in copywriting circles about knowing your audience and tailoring your copywriting to their tastes. This is very important so that you can produce content that is more likely to be engaging for your readers.
Knowing your audience involves understanding which issues are relevant to your readers, learning about their wants and needs and anticipating their expectations and questions. Also, it includes thinking about how the particular product or service that you are writing about is relevant to your audience. You will need to really get inside the head of your audience, so that you can understand what they are looking for.
An interesting trend for content writing in 2014 is “Brand Storytelling”, which is about creating a personality for your brand and making it relatable for your customers. Engaging storytelling will ensure that your company is not just a corporate entity, but a very human and relatable force that customers will engage with.
The power behind brand storytelling is that people engage with other people – not with brands. Your customers will trust you more if they feel like they are doing business with a person (or group of people) who share the same values and attitudes as them.
Another popular trend in the online copywriting world in 2014 is toward specialisation. Vague, general content is not that exciting anymore and it is just like everything else that is out there on the web. If you really want to stand out and get your writing noticed, you need to offer more specific advice that is helpful and based on in depth knowledge or experience. This type of writing might have a more narrow audience, but you can be sure that this audience will be more involved and passionate about the content.
For example, there is a big difference in a vague travel article about “Five Things to Do in Vietnam” or an in-depth guide to visiting a specific off-the-beaten-track village in Vietnam and learning about the local culture. The first article has been rewritten hundreds of times on the web, but the second one will appeal to passionate travellers and will be more inspiring and effective on the website of an alternative travel company.
Attention Grabbing Headlines
A major trend in modern copywriting in 2014 is toward attention grabbing headlines that really encourage readers to click. This is because one of the main challenges that direct traffic to websites is social media – such as websites like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. When an article is shared on one of these websites the title is often the only thing that readers see. A great title that creates some mystery and intrigue is a very effective way to get readers to click and read the rest of the article. Of course, titles should still accurately reflect what the article is about – as readers will quickly become fed up with teaser titles that attract attention but then lead to a lacklustre article that doesn’t deliver what was promised.
Brands Thinking of Themselves as Publishers
In 2014, many brands are realising that high quality content is incredibly important in gathering followers and improving SEO. Many companies are starting to understand that they need to hire skilled writers as well as marketing staff. Professional copywriters can help brands to develop a content strategy, which can help them to build an online presence and establish credibility with their customers. Also, with the way that good content is shared virally on social media networks, hiring a writer can be a way to increase hits and followers.
These are just a few of the trends for 2014 in copywriting and content marketing. An effective copywriter stays on top of the trends and is always looking to the future to find ways to evolve and improve – as the fast-paced world of online copywriting and content marketing never stops moving even for one second.