What lies ahead for copywriting in 2021? 30 December 2020


2020 – what a year! No-one could have predicted even a little of what happened. And it’s probably safe to say that we can’t be sure how things are going to unfold in 2021.

I don’t have a crystal ball…

But what is certain is that, at a time of change, content can create a stronger bond with customers. So it’s important to stay up to date with what might be around the corner for copywriting. Here are some predictions:

Tone of voice remains vital

Copywriting tone of voice underwent an important shift in 2020. A sensitive, informative voice has proven important in helping to reassure people in turbulent times.

My advice? Review your copywriting tone of voice regularly to make sure it’s right for your audience and appropriate to the current circumstances.

Emotional connection stays key

Closely linked to my point about copywriting tone of voice, this Content Marketing Institute article highlights emotion over function as a big likely feature of 2021.

One of their contributors makes the point that content is often better at meeting functional needs rather than emotional ones.

Successful brands are those that speak to our hopes and aims, rather than just trying to sell us something. I know this is always true for great businesses but I see the role of emotion in content as one which is likely to grow in importance in 2021.

In view of this, assess whether your copywriting approach provides a voice and a stance which allows you to connect with your customers. Is your content open and inviting to that kind of relationship or more closed and limited?

Email is a big connector

Not long ago, email was starting to look a little left behind in the content stakes. Not any more. In 2020, email proved to be a critical connector between companies and their locked-down customers, as this article discusses.

With many of us still keeping a careful distance, email is going to remain an important way to reach your customers in 2021.

Now is the time to review your email marketing. Not only for your tone of voice, messaging and overall copywriting strategy but also to ensure that the technical and data-related aspects are fully up to date.

Detail takes centre-stage

Many years ago, a friend enjoyed telling me about one of the cheesiest lines he was taught on a training course: “Retail is detail”. As Stilton-level cheesy as it is, it’s also pretty true.

Selling, whether it’s a product or a service, does come down to detail. And that’s set to be even more the case in the year ahead. This article predicts companies will need to pay greater attention to the quality and level of detail they provide about their products and pricing because people are spending more time online. I think it’s a trend which will extend to all types of businesses.

Audiences are hungry for information and, with going out rather more limited than it used to be, they’re having to find it themselves.

Make it as easy as possible for potential customers to understand what you do and how you can help them. Ensure every piece of content you put online is clear, punchy and designed around what your potential customers might need to know.

Conversation matters even more

Tech is likely to rule in 2021, as an article in The Drum points out.

This will drive and also strengthen the need for companies to have conversations with their customers. It’s a fact which links back to the shift I mentioned earlier towards more emotional rather than just transactional connections.

Ironically, as people have been become distanced from physical shops and premises, they seek a more personal bond with brands.

From a copywriting perspective, what this means is that 2021 is the year where the successful companies will continue to be those with a strong, credible and relatable tone of voice.

Hello, 2021

I wish I could look into my crystal ball and tell you that after 2020, everything is going to become simpler. Not possible, of course. But I can say effective copywriting and content will continue to be key in reaching the right people.

In difficult times, being kept up to date in a sensitive, personal way can make all the difference. Powerful copywriting has always been about that and will continue to be so in 2021 – and beyond.

Camilla Zajac, Green Light Copywriting, December 2020

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