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The State of Digital Copywriting: Top Challenges and Trends

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
July 30, 2013

The majority (60%) of marketers and content creators say one of their biggest digital copywriting challenges is that "people just don't get what good copy is," according to a recent report by Sticky Content, an agency based in the United Kingdom.

Among other challenges to creating good digital copy are the following: too much to do/not enough people (55%), finding skilled writers (51%), meeting SEO requirements (44%), input from stakeholders (40%), lack of writing guidelines (37%), insufficient time to check copy (34%), and no copywriting training (31%).

Below, additional key findings from the report, The State of Digital Copywriting, which was based on a survey of 365 marketers, copywriters, content editors, content strategists, and consultants, the majority of whom are based in the UK.

Copywriting Activity

  • 74% of respondents check and proof copy before it goes live. 
  •  58% use language and style guidelines.
  • Only 32% have a standard content structure format for their writing.
  • Just 19% train all their content creators in Web writing.


  • 52% of respondents write copy on demand, in response to business needs.
  • Just 18% roll out copy according to a content plan, and only 9.8% always use a creative brief.
  • 43% have, on average, 1-2 stakeholders who need to sign off on a key piece of Web copy, and 42% have 3-5 stakeholders.
  • 42% of time is spent creating content, and the rest is spent planning, delivering, and governing it.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Gracious Store Tue Jul 30, 2013 via web

    Sometimes it could be a big challenge finding good copywriters.

  • by writerroxanne Wed Jul 31, 2013 via web

    Sometimes, the problem is that everyone thinks he/she can write, when they can't. Writing is a craft, a skill, a discipline, and a talent. When a piece of copy must go through an incessant filter, becoming a collaborative effort of multiple persons (when only two or three people in an entire organization may be qualified and competent copy editors), then, the work itself will suffer. Define the purpose of the content, then let the copywriter write it, and allow a skilled editor to proof it. 'Nuf said.

  • by James Clouser Sun Aug 11, 2013 via web

    Hey, great insights.

    I was surprised that more marketers are concerned with driving traffic than scoring conversions. Interesting.

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