Differences between copywriting & content marketing


Content marketing and Copywriting are often confused. Looking at the two from a marketing point of view makes it easy to distinguish them. Content marketing is creating and putting out free content with the goal of attracting and converting browsers into customers and retaining existing ones. This is done with blogs, email autoresponders and podcasts.

Copywriting, on the other hand, is aimed at getting a reader to take a specific desired action. This may be a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, booking a service or leaving feedback. This is done with ads, marketing email and sales pages.

Separate but only effective together

While content marketing and copywriting are two different things, the two go hand in hand. There are a number of good blogs out there with excellent content but very few readers. If your content is good but you are not seeing traffic, your copywriting may be ineffective.

Avoid these mistakes in your Copy

Possible problems that may arise with your copywriting. Check your copywriting to avoid the following shortcomings:

  1. Dull headlines
  2. A boring headline will not pull a reader to read the content; it will do the opposite and they will swiftly move on.

  3. Clever or cute headlines
  4. A headline that you think is so cute or clever may draw a snort rather than interest. For instance, a headline like ‘5 obvious ways to stop looking so old that you should know’ is disparaging and judgmental more than inviting. ‘5 things you can do today to look younger’ is more likely to draw the attention of someone concerned about aging.

  5. Unbeneficial content
  6. Content can be artistically done, but if it doesn’t benefit a reader, then it’s little more than a showcase. No matter how attractively a product is packaged, a buyer will only go for it, if it serves a purpose. The same applies with content.

  7. Non-relational content
  8. The goal should be to put out content that readers come to trust, rely on and look forward to. They should be able to take away something from what they read from you. Not only will they keep coming back to you but they will spread the word, literally, by sharing your content.

  9. Undefined goal
  10. Your content should have a purpose and the purpose should come through clearly with your call to action (CTA). Copywriting should nudge a reader towards taking a specific action. After making your case in your content, you should have a clear CTA to sign up for a class, subscribe to a newsletter or purchase a product.

Strategize your Content

So you have come up with some great content. That is just the beginning! The next part is getting it out there. Applying the following principles of content marketing will help you achieve this;

  1. Emotional appeal
  2. Action is driven by emotion whether positive or negative. Aim to draw an emotional reaction right from the headlines. For example, if you want to get women to sign up for self-defense classes, a headline like ‘Never feel helpless again; learn karate and get fit to fight’ will make any woman who has ever been threatened or attacked feel a surge of hope and strength, and they will sign up for the classes. You will have hooked, engaged, impacted, motivated and retained a reader.

  3. Be logical and motivational
  4. Be persuasive right from the headline. After the provocative headline, lay out your point logically with your format. Use lists to lead readers from one point to another and subheadings to break down content. Finish with a conclusion that makes sense and nudges a reader towards the action you want them to take. You can also motivate readers by inciting emotion.

    For instance, point out how sad it would be for them to continue the same way when you are offering them a way out or a chance to experience something new and exciting. You can also talk about what they risk or stand to lose if they don’t take action. Positive testimonials work, especially video testimonials or before and after pictures.

  5. Keep it simple
  6. Keep your language simple and easy to understand so that it can be read and understood by people from different academic walks of life. As a general rule, ensure that your writing can be understood by someone at eighth grade level.

  7. Aim to build a relationship with your readers
  8. The social media wave is still going strong. Use it to get your content out there and to connect with your readers. Read their feedback and respond to it and build a connection.

  9. Keep it professional
  10. If you need to, engage a professional content marketer and copywriter. They will improve your writing skills and create a customized content marketing strategy that will get your content out there so that you see traffic, leads and conversions. They will also advise you on SEO strategies as search engines become increasingly vigilant about the content they let through.

All said and done, Copywriting and Content Marketing are two peas that can grow in the same pod. Copywriting is becoming an integral part of Content Marketing, develop your skills with practice and keep up-to-date with trends in content, soon enough you’ll see the difference this amalgamation makes to your quality of content.


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