Content Writing

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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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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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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