Copy Strategy: Why and How to Create One?
Content Marketing

Copy Strategy: Why and How to Create One?


A copy strategy is a one to two-page document that summarizes a marketing strategy. It helps guide the communication actions that a company wants to carry out.

In other words, a copy strategy is a specification that allows an agency to know exactly what it must do to meet the expectations of an advertiser.

In this article, we give you a definition of copy strategy, as well as explaining why and how to create one.

Copy Strategy: Definition

A copy strategy is a roadmap drawn up between an advertiser and a communications agency. In concrete terms, an advertiser will ask an agency to create an advertising campaign. Within this framework, the two parties will agree on a set of specifications.

This book defines the broad outlines of the project that the advertiser entrusts to the agency. It is therefore a reference document, which is established at the launch of any communication campaign.

In short: the copy strategy defines all the elements that a communication action must respect. It accompanies, completes and integrates with your brief by providing your agency with framing elements.

Copy Strategy: Why Create One?

In communication and marketing, a good strategy is essential. A copy strategy meets this requirement.

It is a document that aims to define the strategy that the advertiser’s message should follow. Structuring your promotional campaign, defining the guidelines, developing the techniques that will be used to develop a powerful message: this is what makes up a good communication strategy.

If communication is not your business, you should call upon the services of a specialized agency. It can advise you and implement your copy strategy. This will give the agency all the elements necessary to create your campaign.

Indeed, the copy strategy gives precise advice on the message to broadcast and the tone to have to favor the alignment between your campaign, your objectives, your target, and your brand positioning.

Therefore, the whole point of defining a copy strategy is to summarize the communication action you want to take and to give clear indications to your communication agency.

How to Create a Copy Strategy: 5 Key Elements

The copy strategy is composed of 5 elements that guide the communication and frame the message to be conveyed to an audience.

The Promise

The “promise” of the copy strategy is the reason for the existence of the communication action.

Before being launched, any communication action must answer some fundamental questions:

  • What is its objective?
  • What does it promise to its audience? Who is its target?
  • How can the product or service that is the subject of the communication message meet the customers’ expectations?
  • How do these products and services stand out from the competition?

You need to answer these questions at the beginning of your copy strategy. Take the time to summarize the promise your product makes to your customers. This will allow the agency to understand how to turn your communication campaign.

The Proof

The proof will support the advertiser’s promise and make it credible.

  • How can the advertiser prove that it is indeed the best choice for the consumer?
  • Is it through years of experience?
  • From customer satisfaction?

Copy strategy teams will need to determine the key points and arguments that will make the message credible and trustworthy to its target audiences.

The Benefit

In order to stand out from the competition, it is essential to show the consumer the benefits that he will be able to get from the advertiser’s products or services.

How will they benefit from the promise made? At this stage, the agency in charge of the campaign will have to give an accurate but positive description of the advertiser’s products and services.

The Tone

To determine the tone, it is essential to have defined the audience and the communication channels. We do not address all audiences in the same way!

  • Is the message aimed at a young or older audience?
  • Will the message be broadcast on traditional media or on social networks?
  • Is it to make the audience laugh or to raise awareness?

By defining the advertiser’s target and answering these questions, the tone of the message can be adapted appropriately.

The Residual Message

This is the advertising message that will be remembered by the target audience.

It is a fundamental element. It will determine the audience’s opinion of the communication activities and of the company. This last step of the copy strategy must be used to determine the few fundamental and central elements of the message, those that will be the most impactful and will definitely mark the audience.

Once these 5 aspects have been reviewed and clearly defined, the team in charge of developing the communication action will have a detailed roadmap. It will allow them to get the advertiser’s message across in the best possible way.

Copy Strategy: Example

Let’s take the 5 elements explained above and apply them to Sortlist. This will show you how to use them and should help you see how to create a copy strategy.

A Little Context

To give you some context, Sortlist is a startup founded in 2014 by Thibaut Vanderhofstadt, Nicolas Finet, Michael Valette, and Charles De Groote. Sortlist reinvents agency selection consulting by offering marketing decision-makers a personalized, data-driven service.

Via the platform, they can identify the most relevant agencies to meet their marketing, creative and digital needs. To help them in their choice, decision-makers can count on the support of a team of experts at their disposal.

Sortlist attracts start-ups and SMEs that need support on both operational and strategic issues.

Since 2017, Sortlist’s expertise has also been called upon by major accounts, such as Renault, Pernod Ricard, Société Générale, and Ina, to help them remain innovative and competitive.

Example of a Copy Strategy


Sortlist helps companies find the best digital and marketing service providers to accompany them in their digital strategy. In return, Sortlist helps agencies grow and find clients who seek their expertise.


Every week, more than 200 French companies visit Sortlist to find an agency. These companies can be startups, SMEs, or large accounts such as Renault, Pernod Ricard, Société Générale and Ina.


Sortlist allows advertisers to save time and easily find the best service providers on the market.


Sortlist adopts a serious and neutral tone that is suitable for startups as well as large accounts, including SMEs.

Residual message

Sortlist is the platform to go to when your company needs digital support and needs to find an agency quickly, without having to question the quality of the work that will be provided.

This is a quick example, but it should give you a better idea of how to create a copy strategy for your future communication campaign.

Other Aspects of a Copy Strategy

We have just seen that a copy strategy is based on 5 key elements. But in reality, the more the copy strategy is refined, the more parameters will be involved in the development of a good marketing strategy.

For example, are there any particular obstacles or difficulties to the communication action?

These may be budgetary or legal restrictions. Sometimes current events can affect the reception of certain advertisements.

By questioning the strategy and refining the objectives of the message, the copy strategy developed will enable the teams to implement the most appropriate communication action possible.

Developing Your Copy Strategy

Have you finished writing your copy strategy? Congratulations! Now the teams of the agency of your choice will just have to develop the communication action.

However, you may find that some things won’t work or won’t have the desired effect.

With social networks, communication is no longer a one-way street. The advantage for brands is that they can very easily know what consumers think about them and their products.

It is essential to analyze the reception by the public of your communication activities. Sometimes, advertising messages do not get through and changes are necessary.

In this case, you should not hesitate to revise your copy strategy, change the tone, or insist on other aspects. Another possibility is to look at the brand’s competitors and see what works well with them and then adapt your copy strategy.

Also, remember that copy strategy evolves with the brand. It can be a question of a change in positioning, an evolution of the target, or a change of product/service for example.

So you have to remain flexible and never lose sight of your objective and your audience. We tell you more about understanding your audience in this article dedicated to community building.

In Conclusion

All companies build marketing and advertising strategies. Their goal is to create an identity and to stand out from the competition.

In general, companies start with a visual identity. Very often, their advertising messages use the same codes. Some brands also create a sound identity, using a slogan or sounds that their customers will remember.

This is for example the case of Ixina, whose radio jingle everyone knows.

But beyond the image that brands give themselves, they also define the tone they will adopt:

  • Are they addressing young people, old people or families?
  • Do they adopt a more serious or sarcastic tone?

This tone depends on the image they want to project:

  • Do they want to appear modern and innovative or rather conservative and traditional?
  • What values do they appeal to?

All these aspects are fundamental when it comes to building a communication campaign. Of course, building a campaign doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a real work of reflection to be led with your communication agency.

This is where the copy strategy comes in. Thanks to this document, you will be able to carry out your communication campaign.

If you need an agency, go to our site. We will be able to offer you a selection made to measure, according to your needs and your project.


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