Written by Copycat Copywriters
July 14th, 2020
Written by Copycat Copywriters
Copywriting is made up of various types of written content, each with their specific requirements, standards, and “personalities” that capture attention and captivate audiences…
…a bit like the iconically clichéd characters of high school movies from the '80s and '90s.
As the Molly Ringwalds and Matthew Brodericks of the copywriting world, every piece of written content appeals to a different audience and aims for a unique goal—be it to engage a potential client, advertise a product, or establish authority.
Inspired by the classic archetypes of The Breakfast Club and beyond, here are the main types of content writing, as if they were characters from a late 20th-century high school flick.
Because… why not?
The camera pans to our shy, misunderstood protagonist. The world of the film doesn’t seem to register that she’s played by an attractive actress, so she’ll only be pretty in the last fifteen minutes when she finally removes her glasses, as per high school movie logic.
For now, she’s here to draw the target audience into her narrative, and convince us—and her love interest, Heartthrob—of her tremendous value. Conveniently, she has her chance when she’s asked to tutor Heartthrob after school. Similarly, primers are the lovable tutors of the copywriting world, tasked with the following:
Just like our Protagonist sees through Heartthrob’s tough exterior, primers peel back the complexity of a topic to highlight pain points and reveal a solution—the client’s product or service.
The goal is to get the reader (Heartthrob) to take action (kiss the girl!) in response to their writing style and content strategy (Look how pretty she is without her glasses!). And if you’ve seen any classic high school movie, you’ll know that in the end, the girl always gets the guy.
Jock isn’t just a person—he’s an attitude. His charisma and magnetism infiltrate all layers of the unforgiving halls of high school. He just seeps coolness. SEO is more than a writing form—it’s a digital marketing strategy. Like Jock, SEO is all about stats, discipline, and ranking #1. They’re all about appeasing both humans and the powers that be—college recruiters and search engine spiders, respectively.
Effective on-page SEO copywriting serves a few functions:
Just like Jock’s coolness rubs off on the people around him, SEO makes every piece of copywriting web content more likely to be clicked, read, and actionably responded to, like the following:
While his gorgeous, unpimpled, 26-year-old face and body is what fills the bleachers, it’s his ability to captivate the crowd with his perfect spiral and warrior spirit that gets him that big football scholarship. Good SEO copy not only draws readers in but keeps them reading by connecting with them on a human level.
That’s why the right writer goes far beyond dull, formulaic, keyword-heavy copy. Instead, they craft authentic, readable, and helpful pieces of writing website content that captivate after the first click.
Class Clown is Jock’s best friend. With such disparate personalities, they’re actually extremely compatible. Jock boosts Class Clown’s ranking in the school popularity charts, while Class Clown loosens him up through humor and storytelling.
The same goes for blogging as a digital content form. Narrative-focused, lighthearted, and made visible through SEO, blogs are the informative articles you forget you’re learning from because they’re just that engaging.
Effective blogging accomplishes a few crucial things:
While many blogs include brand plugs or a call to action, their main intent is to close the gap between a brand and its potential customers. Both short- and long-form blogs content provides clients with informative, quality content that is helpful, authentic, and, ultimately, human.
Enter the Protagonist’s Best Friend. She’s spunky, self-possessed, and dripping with personality. She’s constantly hyping up her BFF so that people recognize her value. The same goes for web copy—the best friends of the Internet, constantly highlighting and reemphasizing a brand’s value props, so they get the attention they deserve.
Web copy includes:
Web copy is the perfect wing-woman—it's a web visitor’s first impression, aimed to convert leads into customers through on-brand, approachable, and concise copy.
Gimme a P! Gimme an R! What’s that spell?
Nothing, it’s an acronym. But it stands for Press Release.
Cheerleaders are at every game commemorating each touchdown and field goal through high-energy, catchy chants. The same goes for press releases, which announce a brand’s important victories, milestones, and updates, through captivating, credible, and concise copy.
Popular and precious, Prom Queen needs few words to draw attention and gain admiration. Social media copy should have the same effect: capturing immediate attention, using as few words as possible.
Like the hallways of high school, social media is crowded and noisy. Effective social copy must be a (social) butterfly, navigating each clique with precision and grace—adaptable, likable, and appealing to multiple audiences. After all, the title of Prom Queen is won by a popular vote.
It takes a lot to climb the social ladder of both high school and the algorithmically-driven mystery that is the Internet. That’s why brand-infused, punchy copy with precise language and writing style is a must.
A true Prom Queen knows how to stand out.
This content type includes:
Effective social copy uses SEO strategy to get even farther ahead—Prom Queen, meet Jock, a match made in monarchical, adolescent heaven.
No one knows how to spread information like The Gossips. One is the editor of the school newspaper, the other, the president of the yearbook club, and, together, they know how to make things go viral.
Listicles are The Gossips of the Internet—they’re charismatic, skimmable, and engaging posts that rank and list items based on topics that appeal to a large readership. They spotlight a popular topic, answer it quickly and effectively, and highlight a solution—the client’s product or service.
Just like a true Gossip, a listicle knows how to capture attention, spread the word, and bump up a brand to the top of the high school, ahem, Internet hierarchy.
Advertorials are like that one theatre kid with big Broadway dreams—they love a good spotlight, and they know how to steal the show.
Advertorials are classic triple threats—simultaneously an editorial (1st-person story), an advertisement, and SEO-driven copy. Like Theatre Kid, who’s always selling her personal brand, advertorials use brand voice and value props liberally while being informative and entertaining.
Nerd might not be the most popular, but he’s definitely going somewhere. He writes research papers for fun and lugs around a calculus textbook for leisurely reading at lunch. He’s data-driven, a bit formal, and highly-technical—but still a character you root for in the end.
White papers are the endearing nerds of copywriting, delivering important knowledge and technical insights to an audience while remaining approachable, digestible, and engaging. Their goal is to inform on complex topics, while ultimately presenting a brand’s product or service as the solution to a problem.
White papers can include:
Like Nerd will one day be a hot-shot CEO, whitepapers aim to be authoritative documents that establish a brand as a thought leader within their industry.
Like Valedictorian, this content style has major connections. Over-achieving, goal-oriented, and charismatic, Valedictorian knows how to impress the right people—she’s class president, volunteers on the weekends, and had three internships by the time she was 16.
Similarly, this copy is well-connected and effective. It’s published on a trusted external hub and has to follow industry standards while remaining digestible and compelling.
In every 80’s high school movie, the ending is deliciously predictable and satisfyingly feel-good. The same should go for copywriting. Through knowing your audience, staying on-brand, and writing for readability, effective copywriting will convert leads and boost a brand’s positioning on the Internet.
Just like these classic films are nothing without their eclectic cast of characters, a brand’s digital marketing strategy is made even more magical through the combination of these various content writing types. Pairing compelling web copy with engaging blogs, and optimizing them for search engines is far more powerful than each content type on its own. After all, it takes at least five distinct kids to dance iconically during detention in the library.
With Copycat Copywriters, the magic of writing comes first. Being an expert content writing service, we provide clients with an entire John-Hughes-movie’s worth of talented great content writers, each hand-picked for your in-house writing team. If you have yet to see what our storytellers have to offer, request a free piece of copy today and fall in love with us (with or without our glasses).