So …. You’re sitting at your desk at the ad agency you’re working for and your mind begins to wonder… What am I? Am I writing copy or creating content? Am I copywriter or a content manager? Am I doing both? And if so, am I doing both well? Or am I only doing one or the other.
Well, you’re not alone in finding it all a bit confusing. The lines have become quite blurred but there is indeed a difference. And it’s not to say you are one or the other. You’ll see that certain channels or types of marketing will require either a copywriter or a content manager … and the objective they aim to deliver are different too.
To get back to basics:
Content Marketing is the creation and sharing of valuable free content with the intention of attracting prospective customers to your website and ultimately converting them into repeat buyers.
Copywriting, on the other hand, is more distinctive in the sense that the objective is to get a reader to take an exact action. So getting a customer to buy something, call you, come to your shop, sign up to a newsletter list, join a competition or ‘’like’’ a page.
Content Marketing is used for the creation of blogs, podcasts, opinion articles and email responses.
Whereas copywriting would be your more traditional channels such as leaflets, sales catalogues, direct mail, mailers, press adverts, online display banners and so much more!
However – the golden rule is this…
Content Marketing is NOT effective if the copywriting is poor. In order to produce great content, you need to be an excellent copywriter. Similarly, copywriting without great content is equally poor.
So how do we achieve this?
Well, if you’re writing content:
- Spice up your headlines! When your headlines are boring, they don’t give people any reason to click through to the rest of your writing… so you lose them instantly.
- Make sure you know WHY you’re writing this content. Who’s it going to help? What’s the benefit to someone reading it? Unless the content is instantly rewarding, your reader will drop immediately.
- Built trust in your content. It needs to be honest, truthful, and insightful and something you can easily back up. Your readers will return to your website, or actively look for your content if they know it’s a source they can trust. Plus it must be enjoyable and interesting to read.
- Try to build up a big social following as quickly as you can. This will be testament to your quality of content. If you have a big following, new readers will instantly recognise this.
- Ensure your content has a clear, specific call to action. A call to action lets people know what you want them to do next.
And if you’re copywriting:
- You MUST write a strong enough call to action that you convince your reader to take a specific action.
- You must be writing to the right people. Identify who your target audience and ensure your messages are tailored to each of the relevant customer groups.
- You must be able to write for all forms of copy… not just short-form, as it was traditionally expected.
- Write creatively. Add beauty to the message.
As we can see… these days, it’s crucial to be well-versed in both forms of writing. They complement one another and having both skill sets is an unrivaled skill which is becoming more and more in demand as we start to see the transition of copywriters to web writers.