When it comes to digital marketing, two terms are often used interchangeably: copywriting vs content marketing. Though they both involve content creation to promote a product or service, there is actually a big difference between the two.
In short, copywriting is all about persuasion, while content marketing is more about education and providing valuable content. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the key differences between copywriting and content marketing.
What is Copywriting and What Do Professional Copywriters Do?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a copywriter is “someone who writes the words for advertisements.” Copywriting can also be defined as a writing process for marketing that ultimately leads to a “call-to-action” (CTA) for the reader. Usually, copywriting is linked to promoting products or creating a sales pitch.
Copywriters can use either traditional or digital media, or a combination of both. Traditional media includes print ads like billboards and TV or radio commercials. On the other hand, digital media includes online platforms like email, websites, social media posts, and videos, to name a few. With digital marketing, copywriters use these different types of media to capture the attention of a target audience through tactics like social media or web marketing, writing video scripts, curating blog headlines, and more.
A copywriter’s job is complex. Aside from pitching their marketing campaign ideas, they also spend time doing research, brand development, and campaign analyses. Typically, copywriters will monitor the results of their work and revise their campaigns until they get final approval from the stakeholder or business owner they’re partnered with.
Related: Are Facebook Ads Effective?
What is Content Marketing and What Do Content Marketers Do?
The goal of content marketing is to provide quality content that intends to increase interest in a brand’s product or service. The content can take many forms, including blog posts, case studies, white papers, social media posts, podcast episodes, or video series.
The best way to navigate content marketing is not exactly by immediate action, but rather by consistently establishing trust with your specific audience. While creating a relationship with new customers may take some time, this is the long-term goal of content marketing. Of course, every business aims to increases sales, and a good content marketing strategy will not only help do that, but it also helps to retain customers so they buy over and over again.
Usually, content marketers are considered to be excellent content writers when they can provide valuable information while building brand awareness for the company they’re promoting. Plus, the best ones are skilled at creating engaging long-form content in order to generate organic traffic for the brand. This is typically done by publishing content that’s informative, authentic, and presents as authoritative, which makes it more likely to show up on search engines or appear high in search results.
What Are the Necessary Skills for Copywriters or Content Marketers?
Successful copywriters and content marketers tend to embody six skills.
Their skill sets include:
Impeccable Research Skills
Both professions need to deal with facts, so it’s a highly valued skill for them to have very good research prowess. Of course, it would be difficult to sell a product or service without knowing all about it.
Plus, being a thought leader in any space means spending time doing countless hours of research from trustworthy sources to make sure you’re not spreading misinformation. And remember, curiosity is always a good thing when it comes to being accurate!
Staying Up-to-Date and Relevant
Businesses need to stay up-to-date in order for them to keep being seen as relevant by their target market. That’s why an important skill to have with these careers is the ability to stay in the loop with the latest events and current trends.
Thankfully, in today’s world, it’s easy enough to do a quick internet search on virtually any topic that you can think of or to quickly browse the most prominent headlines and hottest trends. However, keep in mind that it still takes real skill to successfully use these trends for marketing purposes.
Adaptable to Change
Typically, copywriters and content marketers will have their own distinct styles or tone. This might all be well and good for consistency, but different clients have different approaches to their businesses that may or may not jive with what you’re used to creating. Adapting to change with ease is a must for anyone in these professions.
Ability to Understand Your Target Audience(s)
One of the most basic marketing goals for every business is to know their audience so they can effectively reach them with their marketing strategies. Of course, this means knowing things like where they spend most of their time online, what their demographics are, and their purchase psychology. With every business plan, getting to know your potential customers is always among the top priorities, and this is especially true for copywriters and content marketers who’s job it is to reach and relate to these people.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Knowledge
Essentially, SEO is the process of getting webpage to rank highly in the results pages of search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. It’s a crucial skill for any marketer to be able to keep up with how search engines behave, as even social media platforms have search engine functions that can generate more traffic for businesses. Copywriters and content marketers must both know how to make great content that’s also optimized to show up on the first page of a search site or the top of search results on social media.
And finally, successful copywriters and marketers both need to be able to use their creativity to capture and keep the audiences’ attention through their ad copy and creatives. Similarly, copywriters often need to use their creativity to engage their customers with their writing. The best ones know how to make an otherwise boring subject interesting to read, as well as how to engage the reader.
Of course, hooking your audience with a catchy headline or bold graphic is just the first step. Persuading them to take a specific action like purchasing a product or service is typically the ultimate goal, and it often takes creativity to achieve this as well.
Conclusion for Copywriting vs Content Marketing
Copywriting and content marketing are both important aspects of a successful digital marketing strategy, but they differ in their focus.
To summarize, copywriting is more narrowly focused on using writing to persuade people to take the desired action, such as clicking on a link or buying a product. On the other hand, content marketing is more about providing engaging or valuable information that will establish brand awareness and keep people coming back for more.
Both copywriting and content marketing are essential elements of any successful online presence, so it’s important to know the difference between them and use them accordingly.
Are you using both copywriting and content marketing in your digital marketing plan? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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