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Copywriting in Print Advertising

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What is copywriting in print advertising?

Copywriting is a means of communicating with potential customers through the use of copy. It is an essential part of advertising as it enables the business to communicate the necessary information about a product or service that will eventually lead to a sale. Written copy not only informs the reader but it persuades them to take action as well.

While copywriting is predominantly seen on the internet today, it was first introduced in print publications and is still required in printed materials today. Media such as brochures, leaflets, flyers, and proposals are used to market products and services and will inform readers on the unique selling points of a business.

The key difference between copywriting in print advertising and online copywriting is the audience and their needs. Online audiences tend to be younger and have more urgency, which means that written copy must engage the reader as quickly as possible. In print, there is less competition for the reader’s attention and as such the written style for print can be a little different.

Types of ad copy

An ad copy is specifically designed to appeal to the customer’s desire to make a purchase. As a marketing tool, it is very effective when used correctly. There are four main types of ad copy, these are:

Human interest ad copy

This type of ad copy is more indirect in its execution. Rather than listing the details and importance of a product or service, it explains it in a personal and often emotional way to the reader. It is meant to appeal to the humanity inside people.

Suggestive ad copy

As the name implies, this type of copy suggests a product or service to the reader. This can be done directly or indirectly, but is chiefly seen in the recommendation that is proposed in the copy.

Educational ad copy

This ad copy is aimed at providing the reader with a full and detailed description of the product or service.

Institutional ad copy

This is aimed less at promoting a product or service, and more at promoting an organization. This type of ad copy is commonly used to further the public’s awareness of a brand.

What makes great copywriting for print advertising?

Writing an effective copy, whether in print or online, is not easy. It requires an expert copywriter with some experience in the field, in-depth knowledge on the product or service, and an understanding of the intended audience. However, there are practical guidelines that could guidelines that should be followed.

An attention-grabbing headline: This is important as it is the first thing the reader will see and form an impression on. In most cases, the reader will make the decision to continue reading or not based on the headline alone.

Identify your audience: The particular audience you are trying to reach will determine the structure and the focus of your copy.

Choose the right image: A picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to an ad copy, it might be worth more. The image must be one that conveys a message, matches the tone of the copy, and perks the viewer’s interest.

Emphasize the product’s benefits: The readers must be shown the importance of the product and why they need to purchase it, this is often done by portraying the product as a solution to one of their problems.

Include a call to action: This is included to make the need for the product more urgent to the reader.

Facts about copywriting in print advertising

History of copywriting in print

Advertising copywriting has existed for centuries and can be traced back to the Babylonian times of 1477. Here it was used to promote the sale of a prayer book. It has been more formalized as an occupation within the last century, and was unequivocally began on print. The purpose was always to bring a product to the public’s awareness and sell.

Editing and Proofreading

An important difference that should be noted between online and print based copywriting is the physical nature of the finished product. While a digital copy can be edited and republished at any time, a print copy cannot. This further increases the need for thorough editing and proofreading when it comes to print. An error, in this case, could easily waste a lot of the publisher’s money by rendering the copy ineffective.

Frequently asked Questions

How can I write for print advertising?


  • Start with your headline. It should be catchy and informative. Add a subheading, if required.
  • Choose the image that best showcases the product and grabs the attention of the viewer
  • Write an effective body copy. It should be concise but relevant.
  • Have a call to action
  • Don’t forget to include a means for consumers to find your product

What is a copywriter’s role in advertising?

The copywriter’s primary role is to design and create an effective copy for the product. Depending on the needs of the business, this role might include choosing a proper image, sourcing for the best publication, publishing copy, and other similar marketing requirements.

How do you write a successful ad copy?

  • Effective headline and/or tagline
  • The copy should match the audience
  • Keep it short and clean
  • Images should instill desire
  • Choose an appropriate publication

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