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.

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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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