You’ll rarely go a day without hearing about the importance of content marketing, particularly if your business is based online. But if you look to hire someone to complete your content marketing, your likely to find a whole host of writers offering not only content marketing assistance but copywriting too.

Some business owners assume that copywriting and content marketing are the same, but look a little deeper, and you’ll start to see that the two, although similar, offer different benefits to your business.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is about creating and sharing valuable content, usually free, that attracts and converts people into customers. It should also then turn these customers into repeat buyers. Blogs and podcasts are just two examples of content marketing, but content marketing can encompass videos, infographics and more.

What is Copywriting?

Copywriting persuades a reader to do something specific. It might be making a purchase, subscribing to an email list or newsletter or emailing you for more information. Copywriting is predominantly found in sales pages, web copy, adverts, and direct mail.

From a traditional standpoint, copywriting and content writing are two distinct and separate activities. However, the two intertwine more than you might think.

Brilliant blogging

Case in point: The business blog. There are some great examples of blogs with excellent content. But there is one thing that lets them down – lack of traction. If a brilliant blog has few readers, it means one thing – ineffective copywriting. This could be for some, or all of the reasons below:

Dull Headlines

The main title should give the reader a tantalising glimpse of what is to follow, giving readers a reason to click through and carry on reading.

‘Too cute’ headlines

Of course, you can go too far the other way. We have all seen them, and whether it’s ’50 secrets to becoming a millionaire’ or ‘5 things you should never eat,’ many people, having clicked on more than a couple of these ‘click bait’ titles tend to steer clear of them in the future.

Content is not aimed at the right people

Customers, fans and followers flock to some blogs and not to others simply because the content is what they want to read. They want good, relevant content tailored to *their* needs, not the bloggers.

Content is not trustworthy

This can be a tough one to crack, but your content needs to ooze authority. Anyone can get attention by being controversial and unpleasant but to get genuine followers, it takes a little more effort.

A call to action is missing

A call to action tells people what you want them to do next. What is it you want them to do? Do you want them to email you today, or do you want them to sign up to your newsletter now? As well as being an instruction, you also want to state a time on the action.

So, everything is copywriting, then?

Sadly, no. It would be much easier for writers if they could simply fashion a few sentences together, finishing with a call to action to magically snag customers and followers. Copywriting is the secret ingredient of content marketing – both work together and both need each other.

Content marketing is about creating your brand. It has a target audience, it has objectives it needs to achieve and is part of a wider promotional plan:

  • Content needs to be structured correctly with a defined purpose and form
  • Content needs to provide a rich experience – it needs to inform, instruct, educate and engage.
  • It needs to be clear and straightforward
  • Above all, it needs to sound genuine
  • Content marketing should immediately connect with an audience.

Copywriting, on the other hand, is about enticing people; it is focused on pitching your brand.

The ultimate aim and objective of copywriting is to sell products or services. Content writing is about seeking to help people, and generate interest in your brand.

Creating content for the right reasons

Many businesses think that their blog is simply another selling vehicle or channel.

It is another branding channel and one that if used well, can create many leads and sales. Content must attract attention for some or all of the following reasons:

  • Generosity – Creating free content can make some businesses feel uncomfortable. But when you get the feeling you’re providing something of value to people, you know you have your content marketing right.
  • Enjoyability – Content needs to be enjoyable. Think of it as the new wave of advertising where giving people information freely without the heavy sales patter is the way of promoting your business.
  • People first – The days of writing for the internet or to satisfy search engines are long gone. If your content marketing and copywriting are aimed in this way, you are going to miss your target audience. Write for people, not search engines.

Copywriting and content marketing can be seen as two distinct activities but in reality, they must dovetail to give your content the credibility and audience it deserves.

If you’d like to find out more about copywriting services or content marketing services, get in touch.

Jenny Catton is a freelance copywriter based in Harrogate North Yorkshire. She writes content for a wide range of clients across the UK.

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