How do Copywriting, Content Marketing, Content Strategy Differ?

Author avatar wrote on 07/11/2018

How do Copywriting, Content Marketing, Content Strategy Differ?

“Copy” is the written product of copywriters who create it on behalf of a brand, usually to promote that brand’s promise and value propositions. “Content marketing” can encompass text, imagery, audio, video, social media, and more. Its purpose is to provide information audiences are seeking and, ultimately, encourage them to act and move through the sales funnel.

Content marketing uses blogs, podcasts, video, and social media sites as a vehicle.

Copywriters write magnetic headlines, persuasive landing pages, and conversion-driven emails.

Copy and content marketing both communicate a brand’s purpose, its core values, its message to intended audiences. A strategy is a common thread weaved through content and copy — it dictates usage and determines which solution is appropriate for which situation.

In any smart online marketing strategy, they work together.

Content marketing is being used by 86% of businesses today. But effective content marketing? Not so easy to find.

Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers — and customers into repeat buyers.

Copywriting gets a reader to take a specific action. Sometimes that’s making a purchase, but it can also mean subscribing to your email list, signing up for your content library, or calling you for more information.

Content without copywriting is a waste of good content

There are blogs out there with a good content — and only a few readers.

If you’re writing great articles that people would love to read, but you’re not getting the traffic you want, the problem may be ineffective copywriting:

  • Your headlines might be too dull. When your headlines are boring, they don’t give people any reason to click through to the rest of your writing.
  • Your headlines might be too cute and clever. If this is the case, you’re showing how smart you are forgetting to communicate reader benefits. If your headlines are too dull or too clever, learn how to write magnetic headlines.
  • You haven’t explicitly thought about how your content benefits readers. Just like a product has to have a benefit to the buyer, your content has to be inherently rewarding to readers or they won’t come back to your website.
  • Your content isn’t building any rapport or trust. You can always get social media attention by being a brat, a pest, or a train wreck, but attention doesn’t translate into subscribers or customers.
  • You have leveraged none of the social proof. It’s tricky to show readers your blog is a cool place to hang out when you don’t have lots of readers yet.
  • You don’t have a clear, specific call to action. A call to action lets people know what you want them to do next.

Remember, copywriting is the art of convincing your reader to take a specific action. And yes, it’s still copywriting if it takes place in a podcast or video… if you’re doing it well.

The thoughtful use of copywriting techniques on your blog will get readers to subscribe to your content, or into your email list, and share your great articles with other readers. That’s how you build a large, loyal audience.

Copywriting without content is a waste of good copy

So, is copywriting everything? Will the effective use of copywriting techniques propel you automatically into the ranks of the world’s most popular blogs?

We feel sad to destroy your expectations, but… no.

Smart marketers still need to keep these principles of great content marketing in mind:

  • Be generous. Generosity is attractive. When your free content is so valuable that it makes you a little uncomfortable, you know you’ve got it right.
  • Produce enjoyable content. Only ad men like advertising. If your content looks like an ad, it will just get the status “overlooked” or thrown away. Make your “advertising” too valuable to throw away by wrapping it in wonderfully beneficial, readable content.
  • Attract the right people. Content marketing helps your SEO efforts, but don’t make the mistake of writing for search engines. Always write for people first and then make your content search-engine friendly so new readers can find you.

And always remember the first rule of Copy blogger.

Superb content is unsurpassed at building rapport, delivering a sales message without feeling “salesy,” and getting potential customers to stick around.

What is Content Strategy?

Content strategy is the planning, publication, promotion, and management of your content-related assets. It’s the structure around which you build your content; it is the foundation and framing that holds together your content house. Your content strategy outlines what content you’ll create, who will create it, how often you need to create it, and how you should promote it after publication.

If copywriting and content marketing are about what to create, a content strategy is about how to use content to meet your business goals.

Too many marketing professionals who have learned that the “content is king” mantra, fail to see the importance of beginning with a solid strategy. That path leads to unfocused content that still needs optimization for performance and, ultimately destined for failure. Your ability to understand how strategy paves the way for copy execution can be the difference between mediocre and great content.

Content strategy deliverables may include:

  • Content audit
  • Competitor research
  • Persona development
  • Buyer journey map
  • Workflow development
  • Promotion schedule

Why is Content Important Necessary?

In an increasingly digital world, we don’t always get the human interaction we crave, but that’s where content can help. Credible, trustworthy content connects with consumers and provides information relevant to them. If it’s done well, content can provide a personalized experience between a brand and its consumers.

That’s why investing in creating great content is not only important but vital to your marketing strategy. To thrive in your industry, great content needs to exist on your website, social channels, and print collateral. Your messaging has to resonate with consumers, or your brand will soon be obsolete. Now’s the time to put copy, content, and strategy to work to share your brand’s story.


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