IrvineMedia

2024 predictions for the copywriting industry

It’s a new year, so it’s time for IrvineMedia’s 2024 predictions for the copywriting industry. Our 2023 predictions were mainly on point – you can read all about them here. There will undoubtedly be continued trends, new opportunities, and challenges for writers worldwide. Our educated guesses will at least keep you aware of what to look out for.

Here’s what we think will happen across the next twelve months…

AI copywriting laws will become stricter

As this Bloomberg Law report paints out perfectly, the current AI copyright laws are chaotic. Authors and institutions are actively fighting against the scraping of their works used to create answers or content through the likes of ChatGPT. UK-based news outlet The Guardian put a block on OpenAI using its information. A move that other publications such as the New York Times and Washington Post have followed.

While these are very specific to the publishing world, these actions will have a knock-on effect on copywriting in general. Global legislation is needed to decide what is fair use and what isn’t. And once this comes into play, it will shine a light on every other industry that uses it. The thing that will link them all will be the ethics and whether brands and companies will be forced to flag AI-generated content upfront. Press releases, social media posts, company blogs, and anything else with the written word could fall into this category. One thing is sure: the software detecting AI content will become way more sophisticated and commonplace in 2024.

AI editor roles will become the norm

There was an increase in “AI editor” roles advertised on LinkedIn and Indeed in 2023. It seems like companies are adding an extra step where there doesn’t need to be one. Why not hire a writer to develop and type the concept rather than employ an editor to wade through nonsensical text and bang it into shape? It is what it is.

On the plus side, it will create bespoke roles for copywriters. They can use their natural editing skills like they would if mentoring a junior writer or intern. Our advice? Brush up on your knowledge of ChatGPT, Bard and Jasper, stick it on your CV and apply.

Demand for human writers will increase

As businesses become more accustomed to what AI is actually capable of – passable yet drier than the desert sands copy – they will return to the human touch. Yes, these LLMs (Large Language Models) are becoming more sophisticated, but they lack personality. As a result, it’s relatively easy to spot copy that AI has churned out. Repetitive, cold messaging is an instant turn-off. In this lightning-fast-paced society, keeping the attention of a consumer, business, or client is tricky, so maintaining strong and distinctive language is a must.

AI certainly has its uses and isn’t going away anytime soon, but skilled human writers will always have the edge in injecting personality into brand messaging.

The competition for copywriting roles will increase significantly

It has been going on for a few years now, and it will only get worse. Led by the modern snake-oil salespeople known as AI gurus, there’s a movement amongst the workforce using ChatGPT to create basic copy. There’s a worrying amount of YouTube videos and website articles barking things like “How to become a successful copywriter in a week”. They almost always advise viewers to use AI for everything – from creating polished LinkedIn profiles, interview test copy and even the answers for online applications.

To the naked eye, no one would know the difference. Only when you start scrutinising the work experience, education, and cover letters might the alarm bells start ringing for a recruiter. AI is the perfect “fake it until you make it” tool, and sadly, it’s made everyone think they’re David Ogilvy. Copywriters take note: You’ll have to pull out the stops when applying for roles in 2024 because you’ll be up against far more fakers.

Need help with your copywriting in 2024? Please fill out the form below or drop us a message at info@irvinemedia.ae.

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Revisiting our 2023 copywriting industry predictions

At the beginning of 2023, we predicted how the copywriting industry would change. We thought we’d take a look back at what we forecast and see how close or wide of the mark we were. Keep an eye on the blog later in the week for our 2024 predictions.

Prediction #1 – More journalists will enter the copywriting field

From a personal standpoint, we’ve seen an increase in this. It’s nothing too dramatic, but it’s an uptick, nonetheless. Former colleagues and peers have left editorial roles and moved away from newspapers, magazines, and websites to take up roles in copywriting. Budget cuts focusing on cheaper labour and free writers such as ChatGPT drive salaries down. On the flip side, the potential earnings for expert copywriting are still climbing.

Prediction #2 – AI-generated copy will become more commonplace

Using AI to write articles has become a dirty little secret for companies and brands. Sports Illustrated is a prime example of the shame behind it. It used AI-generated copy with A-generated author names and AI-generated portraits of these fictitious writers. SI tried to blame a third party for the omnishambles, but the damage was done. They’re not alone in trying it, either. The number of press releases, LinkedIn posts, and social captions we’ve seen obviously churned out with AI has increased massively.

Prediction #3 – Entry-level copywriting roles will be reduced

It’s hard to nail down the figures but bear with us. Continuing a slightly annoying trend, we found that many advertising junior roles across LinkedIn jobs and Indeed required years of experience. We also responded to some RFPs that wanted senior expertise for entry-level fees. This way of thinking isn’t limited to copywriting, mind. But with an increasing number of companies using free AI-generated content for basic tasks, a fledgling copywriter is now being asked to do way more just to get a foot in the door.

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You can book one of our expert writers to handle your copywriting needs in 2024. Simply fill in the form below, and we’ll reply ASAP.

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Press release on fire.

Don’t write a press release like this

Here’s a timely reminder of why clear and concise communication matters: Silicon Valley Bank’s disastrous press release.

This press release, which you can see through the link above, is impenetrable to the layman. It’s a rambling cacophony of jargon. By the time you arrive at the first full stop around the 70-word mark, you’ll be exhausted.

Not only is this a lesson in how not to write a press release it’s also a prime example of why a company’s crisis comms must always be on point. Rather than extinguish the fires of doubts and fear to prevent disaster, the press release poured petrol on the situation by being unclear and essentially shouting the bit it was supposed to whisper – “We’ve lost $1.8bn”.

IrvineMedia has received thousands of press releases throughout their careers in journalism, and we now draft effective ones for clients. So here are three quick tips for making sure yours hit the mark:

🍰 Summarise the release
A tl;dr (too long, didn’t read) summary allows the receiver to digest the essence of press releases in a bite-sized fashion.

🎯 Get to the point
What’s the news? Angle? Or simply put, the one thing, if nothing else, you want people to know about? Get all this information up top.

📧 Don’t forget the Call To Action.
Tell the reader what happens next and how they can find additional info. We’re always surprised when we receive press releases without contact info or what happens next. Do it like this…

“For more information on how IrvineMedia can create more impact for your press releases and communication material, fill out the form below.” See, it’s simple.

This article was originally published in March 2023. The information has been edited slightly here to apply more context to the Silicon Valley Bank situation.

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Branded podcasts

Podcasts: Why your brand needs one and how we can help

According to Statista’s 2023 report, there are 464.7 million people who listen to podcasts. That’s a lot of ears… and many untapped potential customers and clients for your business or brand.

The beauty of podcasting is that there’s no entry fee. If you want a bare-bones show, you and your colleagues could huddle around a smartphone, use a free voice recording app and then post it to all the relevant channels in seconds.

It might not have the same production values as shows like Steven Bartlett’s Diary of a CEO or Serial, but it can be done. And so long as you have something interesting to share, you’ll find your listeners.

If you’ve ever wondered how to start a podcast, message us, and we’ll help you get started. We have two decades of experience launching and maintaining shows across many industries.

IrvineMedia can cover everything you need, such as:

💡Concept

We can help you come up with show and episode ideas. How long they should be, when to post, what topics to discuss, and the like.

🎙 Equipment recommendations for all budgets

From intimate setups to vast studio-style ones that cover audio and visual shows, which can then be uploaded to YouTube or social media channels.

📒 Agenda and scriptwriting

You carry on growing your business, and let us develop the episode scripts and running order for you.

🔊 Audio editing

Professional sound editing that slices out “umms” and “ahhs” like a ninja and makes your messages or stories crystal clear.

🎧 Distribution

We put your podcasts up on all the major networks so listeners can easily find your show.

In short, we help you get a branded podcast off the ground. Just fill out the contact form below, and we’ll get back to you soon. Remember, you could be speaking to 464.7m potential customers and clients.

Originally posted on October 3, 2023 on LinkedIn.

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Google Bard demo on smartphones.

Google Bard will change SEO forever

Google Bard is set to move the digital goalposts for SEO copywriters. The AI chatbot will compete with OpenAI’s phenom, ChatGPT,  and shake up Google’s search results.

The tech giant’s early, and disastrous, demo shows just how much of the “Above the Fold” real estate Bard results will take up. And, well, it’s a lot.  On mobile, there’s a chance that you won’t even see the second option. See…


That sound you hear is the collective sigh of every SEO professional who’s watched the above demo.

All change

Although it’s only being tested by a handful of people right now, the early signs suggest Google Bard will torpedo current SEO tactics. Doomsayers predict it will be the death of SEO without having used it. One thing is for sure – traditional methods of gaming the system are about to be shot to pieces.

However, where there are challenges, there are opportunities. As we mentioned about ChatGPT taking up entry-level copywriting jobs, fully grasping what Google Bard is capable of is the best way to avoid becoming obsolete. Denying its existence is pointless. And at some point, your clients will hear about it, and you’ll need to address their concerns and prove your worth.

We doubt Google Bard will be an immediate kill switch for the SEO industry, but it will change it forever. Packing keywords into a piece of content might not be the way to increase your chances of ranking higher anymore. Ironically, the best practice for visibility might see us writing copy for humans and not robots again.

You can read about Google Bard’s announcement by clicking here.

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ChatGPT reimagined as the T-800 from the move Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

ChatGPT is a threat that copywriters need to embrace

ChatGPT is the talk of the town. And rightly so. The sophisticated chatbot from OpenAI can answer internet queries in a way we’ve never seen before.

It can mimic basic human responses to questions in a detail rather than simply throwing up a URL link to your search. It’s so revolutionary, that Microsoft is plunging $10bn worth of investment into OpenAI and forging a long-term partnership. It has the potential to shake up a number of industries – from education to marketing and beyond.

There have been plenty of hot takes spread across the mainstream media since ChatGPT launched in November 2022. The common theme is that writing gigs are doomed. And while there’s a slither of truth in this, it’s not for the reasons you might think.

ChatGPT isn’t going to steal writing jobs by itself. It’s not actively applying for the same roles it finds on LinkedIn or Indeed. But there’s a growing perception that ChatGPT and the like can simply replace employees.

 

The invaders have landed

Take the entertainment site Buzzfeed for example. The once all-mighty, yet often dubious, business model of fast and engaging content was a license to print money in the early-to-mid 2000s. But back in December ‘22, it was forced to close newsrooms and cut 12 per cent of its employees as traffic and profits began to dwindle. It has since been revealed that Buzzfeed will use ChatGPT to work on part of its content creation – a move that doubled the stock price and no doubt made those at the top of the pile very happy.

Regardless of the moral implications this may have on the wider world, Buzzfeed’s move is savvy. It’s a cost-effective way to generate content and fill the internet one quiz at a time. It’s a decision that is entirely based on making profits and one that will be mimicked en masse. ChatGPT isn’t going away anytime soon.

However, ChatGPT is limited. Its research and factual content are getting better, but it’s sketchy at best. Where a human will double- or triple-check details before pushing something live, ChatGPT will spit out its best guess and the person receiving it is then tasked with the job. And this human touch is what AI can’t replicate.

Technology site CNET is using AI to churn out SEO-friendly content but has recently found that more than half of the articles that made it online were riddled with errors. Again, this is what happens without the due diligence of an experienced writer or editor. Creative copywriters and content creators know this, but convincing those upstairs that a human employee – or employees – are more valuable an asset is an unwinnable battle, especially if the cash is rolling in regardless. So what should we do?

Remote control

Firstly, we need to accept that ChatGPT and the like are here to stay. There’s no point fighting it. Instead, we should embrace this new technology, try to understand it and come up with ways we can use it to our advantage. We’re not advocating for people to just use it to write their copy for them, no, sir. Rather get to know its strengths and weaknesses, and become an expert in handling them.

We can see a future where the preferred skills sections of writing roles will require ChatGPT experience. It’ll sit alongside the likes of proficiency with Microsoft Word or the latest CMS.

Yes, you’re probably more accurate and experienced than ChatGPT. But you’re also unlikely to change the fortunes of a client that’s watching their rivals make bank. Showing a willingness to work with new technology and help them harness its power is how we need to evolve as an industry.


The allure of ChatGPT is tempting, but don’t compromise on quality copy for your business. Fill out the form below or drop an email to info@irvinemedia.ae to find out how we can help you.

 

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Predictions for the copywriting industry in 2023

The short version 

Traditional editorial’s loss will be the copywriting industry’s gain. AI will evolve the quality of output… but not without ushering in some problems. The demand for experts will increase as entry-level copywriting evaporates. Ultimately, the quality of work has the potential to skyrocket. 

The longer version 

2023 is going to see big changes in the copywriting industry that will shape it for the foreseeable future. It will be mostly positive, but it will also include challenges that practitioners and brands must navigate carefully. 

Here are three predictions for where we see the industry heading in 2023.

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This just in... journalists step into far more lucrative careers.

1. More journalists will enter the copywriting field 

Traditional editorial teams and newsrooms continued to shrink in 2022. The last decade has seen many job losses across the print industry as magazines and newspapers restructured or pulled down the shutters entirely. 2022 saw the Washington PostFuture and Ziff Davis continue the trend, and there are many more examples across the world. 

We’ve seen a decline in editorial opportunities with our own eyes. It’s one of the main reasons why IrvineMedia was created. As a result, we’re seeing more connections leave journalism entirely and switch to copywriting. This is a good thing for brands. 

Having someone on board that has been on the receiving end of press releases, media alerts and anything else that’s delivered to pique the media’s attention knows what works and what doesn’t. They can bring fresh ideas to old formulas or create a tone of voice that resonates with your customers or partners.

 

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I. Want. Bzzzt. Your. Job.

2. AI-generated copy will become more commonplace 

Companies have already started to use AI such as Jasper and ChatGPT to write content for them. The technology is very impressive. We’ve played around with a few of these and they’re solid. They’re a budget-friendly way to create copy for brands, but they’re not foolproof – more on this below. Simply put, AI is great for about 200-300 words. Ideal for short blogs, social media posts and newsletter blasts. 

However, they go beyond this and struggle to tie the whole thing together. Where a human writer can take cues on inserting additional information seamlessly, AI – from what we’ve tested – cannot. 

It’s also not very accurate in its research. This is a snippet from ChatGPT when I asked it about Manchester United in 1999 – the club’s most successful season when they won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. 

In the 1998-1999 season, Manchester United finished as runners-up in the Premier League, behind Arsenal, who completed a historic league and FA Cup double. Manchester United also reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, where they were eliminated by Juventus. 

Hmmm. 

Machine-learning software means it will become more sophisticated in the future, but on the flip side, this means it’s “learning” from other people’s work. Heck, it could even churn out the same chunk of identical text for more than one client. Ethically and legally, this is a minefield. Who will take the blame if the copy is found to have been plagiarised – the software creator or the brand that used it? Still, AI will become more common in copywriting, which will lead to… 

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Time is running out for entry-level copywriting gigs.

3. Entry-level copywriting roles will be reduced 

Think of it this way: if AI can do the basic legwork of creating copy, and a seasoned copywriter/editor can smash it into shape, why would a company need a junior writer? They wouldn’t. This isn’t something we’re advocating for but on a cost sheet, the price of a software package is far more appealing than that of a writer. 

AI never needs a day off either. It doesn’t need a salary increase. And won’t be late for work. Well, unless the server is down. The demand for experienced copywriters who deliver high-quality copy from the off will increase. If AI is already being used at a company to produce content, then these roles will become a hybrid of a writer/sub-editor. Those looking to break into the industry will find it even tougher “thanks” to the use of AI.

IrvineMedia will ensure your copywriting is future-proof. Just fill out this form for a free quote

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Copywriting vs. content writing: what’s the difference?

Copywriting is used to persuade. Content creation is used to inform. Both have their place in digital marketing, but they’re not the same. Yes, there is some crossover. Being clear on what copywriting and content writing are can be the difference between success and failure. 

There’s a reason we’re highlighting this right now. We’re seeing a rapid rise in catch-all job vacancies that bundle both forms of writing together. The following extract is from a LinkedIn post searching for a content writer…

The successful candidate will be adept at producing daily blogs, newsletters, articles, press releases, ad campaign collateral, social media posts/ads.”

Let’s ignore for a second that this is roughly three roles in one. 

Some companies may get lucky and find someone that can do both copy and content writing. They’re out there, but they’re rare. The most likely outcome is an employee who is drained by the demands. And words that don’t quite hit the mark for your business needs.

Copywriting vs. content writing stress

 

Every writer one month into their confusing 2-4-1 role.

Copywriting vs. content writing: The key differences

Dig a little deeper, and the differences between copywriting and content writing are clear.

Copywriting drives awareness and sales by being…

  • Short form
  • Persuasive
  • Impactful
  • Catchy

Content writing informs by being…

  • Longer form
  • Educational
  • Entertaining
  • Accurate

There are exceptions, mind. Newsletters are a good example of this – especially if you have an eCommerce platform to direct people towards. However, knowing the differences can be the key to success for you next marketing plan. 

Each style of writing can supercharge your business when used correctly. But copywriting and content writing aren’t the same thing. Writers specialise in different fields just as athletes do. As great an athlete as Lionel Messi is, you’d likely pick LeBron James over him to win you a game of basketball.

IrvineMedia can handle both copywriting and content writing for your business. So to get a FREE quote, just contact us at info@irvinemedia.ae and let us know what you need.

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We have a blog… and so should you

So what can you except from this new blog section? Well, we think it’s a great way to not only keep up-to-date with what IrvineMedia is working on, but also provide free-of-charge insights, news and more from around the industry and beyond.

It’s apt that blogs seem to be big business again. Tech website The Verge has just relaunched with a very ambitious and gutsy redesign. The look and feel may have split the readership, but beyond the cosmetics, the US-based outlet has outlined its desire to put old-school blogging at the heart of its new direction.

You see, blog posts allow the media juggernaut to remain nimble. In-depth articles will remain, on The Verge, but blogging means it can quickly get an article online and quench its readers’ thirst for new information. 

Kermit the Frog blogging on a typewriter.

 

The blogging process in full flow

Blogs were how we originally gobbled up our news and features at the beginning of the internet age. And blogs is where we’ve circled back to, and we expect more outlets to follow The Verge in this fashion.

There are many reasons why blogs work – not just for the media, but for brands too. They don’t need to be developed by committee. Blogs can be a video, an embedded social media post, podcast, or anything else that’s relevant – not just a wall of text. And most importantly, they’re quick to make and serve a society that has become conditioned to short takes thanks to social media.

A blog is also a great way for a company to control the narrative. If there’s some bad press out there, a heartfelt blog can help to diffuse the situation. It can also allow a brand to voice its expert opinion on a new industry trend or problem.

Blogs are big business again.

Thinking about starting a blog for your business, but don’t know where to start? Contact us via info@irvinemedia.ae or fill out this form for a FREE quote.

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