What Is an Advertising Copywriter? (With How to Become One)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 26, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A career in advertising copywriting requires understanding the marketing industry, its principles, the different media used to advertise products, and the most effective ways to promote them. A copywriter working in this field can help a company increase its sales and profits by contributing to the marketing department to develop advertising campaigns and increase brand awareness. Learning more about the duties and responsibilities of advertising copywriters can help you evaluate this career path and decide whether it's right for you.

In this article, we discuss what an advertising copywriter is, explain how to become a successful one, and list various skills these professionals might use in their work.

Related: 10 Careers You Can Follow with a Degree in Communications

What is an advertising copywriter?

An advertising copywriter creates written ads for products or services to help a client sell their items and improve their brand image. These professionals are usually part of the company's marketing team and work with creatives and marketers to develop and execute creative marketing strategies. Here are other responsibilities these professionals might perform:

Developing creative advertising materials

These copywriters can create short messages, slogans, descriptions, articles, headlines, posts, business cards, and scripts for radio, television, and social media ads. They typically create these materials based on the product's information and the channel the client wants to use for their campaigns. For instance, they can write a post on a social media channel and include all the product's details, including its price, features, delivery information, a website URL, and links to the company's other social media accounts.

These professionals can also create materials based on the target audience and the product's positioning, which allows the company to reach the right consumer. For example, they can help a client create a catalogue or brochure for beauty products designed for women between the ages of 18 and 24. Here, they can adapt the written content to appeal to this young audience instead of using content for a broader audience.

Related: Different Types of Advertising Methods to Promote a Business

Creating key messages for advertisements

Developing core messages requires identifying the client's needs, the audience, and the purpose of the advertisement. This information can help copywriters choose the terms, verbs, adjectives, and phrases that might appeal to a specific group of people. Written key messages can also help a company differentiate itself from its competitors and better position its products and services. For instance, suppose a company sells detergents and wants to communicate that its products are environmentally friendly.

Here, to communicate to the audience this idea, the ad's key message might highlight the fact that the company uses renewable resources in the production of its detergents. These copywriters usually study the company's values and mission statement to determine the most effective way to create a key message that represents the company's brand.

Related: What Is Advertising Effectiveness? (Plus How to Measure It)

Researching products, services, and markets

To create effective written promotional content for products and services, copywriters research the company's market, competition, products, services, and customers. They do this to determine the audience's demographic information, needs, and preferences. They can also explore the competition and determine the type of messages, words, sentence structure, and tone they're using to engage and motivate customers.

Researching the market includes looking for previous successful campaigns and determining the language they employed to promote a specific item. Sometimes, these professionals can work with statisticians and market researchers to collect data regarding demographics, current trends, and customer behaviour. For instance, they can do this to decide whether to use idioms, jargon, or slang in their promotional content, as their audience might respond positively to these words.

Related: What Is a Competitive Product? (With Tips for Identifying)

Collaborating with graphic designers

When designing a printed book, social media post, website banner, or pop-up advertisement, graphic designers work alongside copywriters to create a cohesive message. Copywriters might provide them with insights about the message's target audience, purpose, and tone, so they can choose the most appropriate colours and style. They can also use this information to choose images and backgrounds that can emphasize the message or make it more appealing to the target audience.

Collaborating with graphic designers also implies providing them with feedback on the font and font size they use to highlight a message. For instance, if they're creating a luxury car advertisement, copywriters might suggest using an executive font that appeals to a certain type of client, such as company executives.

Related: Why Collaboration Is Important in the Workplace (With Tips)

Participating in meetings with other creative professionals

As these copywriters are part of the marketing team, they often take part in meetings with marketers, project managers, graphic designers, creative directors, product managers, and market research experts. They can suggest ideas for advertising campaigns, evaluate marketing strategies, and analyze the effectiveness of new products. They can also work alongside their team members to write content for product packages, websites, blogs, and mobile apps.

For instance, suppose a company is launching a new application to help customer track their health care expenses. Here, the copywriter might assist developers with writing user guides, app menus, and product descriptions. These meetings can also include discussing the creative process and furthering collaboration between participants.

Related: How to Make a Meeting Agenda: Tips, Template, and Example

Proofreading and editing advertisements

This involves revising advertisements, flyers, pamphlets, and web pages to ensure the content is well written. Copywriters can check written material to identify grammatical errors, spelling errors, incorrect sentence structures, missing or misplaced punctuation marks, and syntax errors. They can employ various online tools to check for errors and inconsistencies in language. Usually, the marketing team avoids publishing advertisements without its copywriter's approval, so it's important for these professionals to review this content effectively.

To do this, companies often use content management software that allows team members to collaborate on the same document. These programs also show the changes made to a document and notify developers and marketing professionals when the copywriter has approved the final version.

Related: What Does a Copy Editor Do? (Job Description and Skills)

How to become an advertising copywriter

Here are several steps you can follow to pursue a career in advertising copywriting:

1. Get an undergraduate degree

Although copywriters don't require an undergraduate degree to be successful in the field, employers might prefer someone who has earned a degree in communication, journalism, or English. To do this, you can look for school programs at a university and select one that suits your interests and professional goals. Make sure to pay attention to the curriculum and coursework of the program so you can make an informed decision. Some of these programs might include copywriting and marketing classes.

Related: 17 Rewarding Bachelor's Degree Jobs (With Duties and Salary)

2. Build a portfolio of writing samples

You can start building your professional portfolio while you're taking your classes at university. School programs often require you to prepare different types of promotional materials, which you can later include in your portfolio. You can also take an internship during your course of study or work as a volunteer to build your portfolio. These opportunities can help you collaborate with experienced advertising copywriters who can provide you with feedback on your work.

Related: What Is a Work Portfolio? (How to Guide with Tips)

3. Apply for a position

When applying for a position, it's important to send a link to your portfolio or include it on your resume and cover letter. This information can help employers understand your skills and creative approaches to promoting businesses, products, or services. You can look for a position on online job boards or marketing agencies' websites and social media accounts.


  • How to Write a Copywriter Resume (With Detailed Example)

  • 7 Copywriter Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

Essential skills for advertising copywriters

Here are some essential skills these copywriters might use to create appealing ads for their clients:

  • Writing skills: These abilities allow you to create coherent and clear advertisement messages and convey information and ideas effectively to a target audience. These abilities can also help you convince others by using effective communication and persuasion techniques in your written work.

  • Creativity: Copywriters require creativity to create content for advertisements and make a product interesting to consumers. They can combine concepts, languages, verbs, or adjectives to create an appealing message.

  • Editing skills: These professionals usually revise guides, articles, and ads to align their content to the target audience's interests. They can also edit these materials for clarity, accuracy, and style.

  • Marketing skills: These professionals require an excellent understanding of how an advertising campaign works and how to create a successful marketing strategy. For instance, to write content for a social media campaign, it's necessary for them to understand how to use keywords, search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, and metrics.

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