You’re gathered around a table with your steadfast Thursday-night crew—the Orc Barbarian, the Tiefling Bard, the Dragonborn Paladin, and the Aasimar Cleric. You’re all on your way to Cragmaw Castle with a singular goal in mind, but a goal that requires specific roles, skills, and above all else, creativity, to achieve.
If you’ve never played Dungeons and Dragons, you’re probably super confused right now. But if you have played this classic fantasy roleplaying game, you know that it’s all about creativity.
From crafting a compelling background for your character to making decisions that can completely change the course of the game, Dungeons and Dragons has drawn creatives for nearly 50 years by encouraging them to push the boundaries of their imaginations and create wild, one-of-a-kind adventures.
Why is this blog about copywriting nerding out so hard about Dungeons and Dragons?
Believe it or not, D&D and copywriting have something in common: They’re both narrative forms of storytelling that benefit from creativity. If you’re a creative with an active imagination, a knack for storytelling, and a desire to make a career out of your writing, follow along as we explore copywriting for creatives.
The Copy: The Narrative of the Quest
If you’re unfamiliar with copywriting, you may be surprised to learn that it’s literally all around you. And no invisibility spells have been cast here. Copywriting is essentially the text that’s used to market or advertise a product or service.
You can see copywriting in action in the text of:
Those quippy Instagram captions on your favorite brand’s profile have an ulterior motive—increasing sales. What’s more, if these bits of text are written creatively, they’re likely succeeding.
Copywriting by its very nature begs for creativity. It is, after all, writing. Like any other type of writing, copywriting strings words together to create an idea that wasn’t there before or elicit an emotion so strong that the reader actually stops what they’re doing to accept the copy’s call to action.
One of the most effective ways to imbue copy with creativity is to create a compelling story around it. Don’t just use words to describe a product or a service. Instead, build a narrative. Place the product or service in the context of the reader’s real life. After all, at its core, copywriting is its own form of storytelling, just like Dungeons and Dragons.
Think of it like this:
- The copy text – This is the narrative of your D&D quest—the journey you take your reader on. As a copywriter, you get to use your creativity to craft a quest that’s worth taking.
- Information about the product or service – By giving the reader this information, you’re giving them the experience they need to take action.
- The call to action – In D&D, a call to action may be casting a spell or making an attack. In copywriting, the call to action will ask the reader to make a purchase, click a link, or set up an appointment.
The Copywriter: The Role You Play
Before you begin a D&D campaign, you choose the role you’re going to play, whether it’s that of an Elf, a Gnome, a Bugbear—you get the idea. As a copywriter, you do the same thing before you craft your copy (although with slightly different options).
I know what you might be thinking: Isn’t my role the role of a copywriter?
Sure… if you don’t want to be creative about it. But if you want to write creative and effective copy, you should put yourself in the role that best:
- Captures the brand
- Guides the reader on their quest
For instance, you may take the role of:
- The best friend who knows all the current trends – This often comes into play with social media and email copy. The copy typically reads more casual and isn’t afraid to throw in a few clever jokes and emojis.
- The expert who can answer all your questions – In an SEO blog, the reader is looking for the most accurate, digestible information possible. This means you want to take on the role of the expert in the product or service’s related field.
- The self-help guru – Somewhat of a combination of the best friend and the expert, this role understands what the reader’s problem is and can assure them that this product or service is the solution.
Once you know your character, you’ll have a better idea of what specific characteristics you can give to them (and your copy).
Syntax & Ideas: Your Unique Character Traits
The creativity within copywriting doesn’t stop after you choose your character. The tools you use as a writer also depend on creativity. Within copywriting, these tools are:
In the realm of D&D, these tools can be thought of as your character’s unique traits.
- Your syntax is like your class – It determines the unique voice you use within your copy (or the specific skills you use on your quest).
- Your ideas are like your actions – The innovative ideas you put into your copy help create the larger narrative, just as your actions within the game do.
The brand you’re writing for and the type of copy you’re writing (web copy, email copy, social copy, or SEO blogs) will help you determine the creative syntax and ideas you should wield.
How Creativity Benefits the Larger Goal
Your imaginative ideas and your willingness to take risks can earn you points in D&D and benefit the entire party.
The same is true for copywriting.
When you write copy that’s creative and pushes the envelope of what’s excepted, you’re more likely to draw a reader’s attention and, more importantly, maintain it.
This, in turn, means that your copy will be more effective in accomplishing its ultimate goal—increasing sales. With creative perspective, syntax, and ideas, your copy can:
- Entice readers to learn more about the brand and all they have to offer
- Establish a unique brand voice and reputation
- Persuade readers to buy a certain product or service
- Increase visibility and amass a loyal customer base
How to Write Creative Copy: The Journey Begins
So, if you’re a creative looking to transfer your talents into the field of copywriting, you may be wondering how exactly you would put these ideas into play in a real-life scenario.
Let’s go on a quest of our own, using the example of a fictional client to explore the process of creative copywriting together. And don’t worry—we’ll take it one step at a time. After all, no party member gets left behind.
Step 1: Consider Your Client
In this extremely lengthy metaphor, the client is like your Dungeon Master. They determine what your quest will be about (i.e. the marketing of their specific product or service) and provide you with a general outline of what they want so that you can fill in the details.
As an example, let’s say your client is an up-and-coming board game rental service that wants to appeal to a wide audience, but still come across as trendy.
Step 2: Choose Your Role
Next, you would use your creativity and imagination to get into the mind of your client’s brand and choose the character you know can lead a successful quest.
In this case, you’ll likely want to take on the role of the trendy, board-gaming loving best friend. They’re social, they’re outgoing, and they know there’s nothing quite as fun as hosting a board game night with close friends or family.
Step 3: Build Your Narrative
Now comes your opportunity to use creative syntax and imaginative ideas to draw the reader into the narrative behind the service. Consider describing the thrilling game-night scene that awaits them, complete with brand-specific syntax and details (see what we did there?).
You might also take your reader on an adventure through:
- The mental benefits of playing board games with friends and family
- The perks to renting board games over owning them
- The possibilities for future themed game nights, parties, contests, and more
By the end of your copy, your reader should feel as though they’ve successfully completed a quest and leveled up. Now, they’re equipped with the solution to the problem that’s been holding them back.
Copycat: The Leader in Creative Copywriting
Within the field of copywriting, the potential for creativity is endless. You may not be trying to convince a dragon queen to purchase a magical amulet, but you are marketing a treasure just as unique—a product or service with its own story to tell. It’s up to you to decide how to use your creativity to do so in a compelling and effective way.
At Copycat, we use our creativity to forge new quests every single day. In doing so, we ensure our Dungeon Masters—er, we mean, our clients—establish their own unique brand voice and reputation, connect with their customers on a deeper level, and ultimately, increase their visibility and sales. If you’re interested in writing creative copy with us or benefiting from the creative copy we write, contact us today.