DC Advertising Agency: Copywriting 101

First, like any well-structured education course, knowing the definition of what you’re reading about is helpful.

Our definition of copywriting is: The strategic construction of motivating sentences or phrases used for advertising, marketing, or media content.

Words paint images in our minds; which is why they can be motivating. Effective copywriting is more than just knowing the five W’s (who, what, when, where, and why).

Successful copywriting from the revered 1960s’ creative revolution to the present day digital era has stuck to three main principles:

Copywriting Principle 1: Research your audience

Understanding people is the foundation any business is built on. Knowing your readers will assist with positioning your copy.

Copywriting Principle 2: An active voice paints a vivid image for your readers

Use active verbs to write clear and concise copy. Passive verbs create wordy sentences.

For example:

The snow can be well driven on by the car (passive voice).

The new car drives well in the snow (active voice).

Copywriting Principle 3: Tell a story

Some of the most memorable copy are the ones that incorporate a story. We know not all copy NEEDS to tell a story, some can just have a call to action such as, “DONATE NOW”. But, a call to action would have more value to it if it had a meaning behind it. Give your readers a reason why they should donate to your cause. Same goes with selling a product or service. Tell a story why your product or service is remarkable.

At TriVision, we have witnessed our copywriters engineer scripts, slogans, articles, and advertising copy with the guidance of these three principles. With locations in downtown Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Baltimore, our copywriters work with a diversified portfolio of clients including corporations, non-profits, educational institutions, startups, and both U.S. and international governments.

The tools used to deliver messages may have changed since the 1960s, creative revolution, but the principles of good copywriting has not.


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