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19th August 2020

Copywriting vs content marketing – What’s The Difference?

If you’ve delved into the world of writing or marketing, two terms you’re sure to come across are ‘copywriting’ and ‘content marketing’. The distinction between the two can get confusing – they both involve writing to promote business.

It’s time to clear this one up once and for all. By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll not only know the difference but also how to implement them both successfully and create amazing content.

In case you decide you need to include copywriting and content marketing strategies in your company immediately, we’ll give you a heads-up: we’re a copywriting agency and we’d love to help you.

Copywriting and content marketing definitions

There’s nothing like some lovely definitions to illustrate a point. Copywriting is about persuading. If you want to convince potential customers to purchase a product or service or take any kind of action – it could be as simple as downloading a free guide or subscribing to a newsletter – then it’s a copywriter you’re after.

What about content marketing? Although the end goal of content marketing is persuading people to take action, the process is far less direct. First, content focuses on providing value, building authority, and spreading the word. A successful content marketing strategy ensures your brand springs to mind when a lead is considering making a purchase.

What are the fundamental differences between copywriting and content marketing?

Are the definitions not quite doing it for you? That’s OK. Seeing some solid content marketing and copywriting examples should help to clear your doubts.

Since you’re reading this on the internet, you’ve probably consumed thousands of pieces of content marketing in your lifetime. That’s because a huge proportion of free multimedia content on the web is part of someone’s content marketing strategy.

Brand accounts on social media? Blog posts of individuals or companies that sell a product or service? YouTube videos of software companies providing free tutorials? Yup – these are all examples of content marketing. And they do a fantastic job of getting the word out about a brand.

You’ve probably come across plenty of copywriting in your time, too. Product descriptions on your favourite e-commerce sites and newsletters persuading you to sign up for a course both fit the bill.

However, copywriting can also take more subtle forms, like landing pages on websites.

How to create a successful content marketing strategy

By now you should understand what content marketing is. How can you get started?

First, you need to understand who your core demographic is. Creating a buyer persona can help.

Once you know who you’re marketing to, you need to know how to find them and what type of content they’re looking for. Are they professionals hanging out on LinkedIn and looking for the latest industry trends? Or schoolkids watching YouTube videos looking for make-up recommendations?

Don’t worry about people who consume your content but don’t make a purchase. This is all about increasing your authority and brand awareness.

However, you will need to use some metrics to track your success. Google Analytics is one of the most popular platforms, and social media platforms also have their own analytics tools.

This can help you hone your approach along the way.

Using copywriting to improve your content marketing

If you think that copywriting and content marketing seem similar, that’s because they are. It’s impossible to truly separate the two approaches, so here are some copywriting laws you must obey to improve your content.

One of the most basic rules of copywriting is to grab the attention of your prospect before you do anything else. Pay special attention to your headline, or nobody will want to read what you have to say.

A headline analyser like CoSchedule can help this process, but write for humans first.

Always include a call to action. Even if you’re not selling a good or service, you probably want your readers or viewers to subscribe to your newsletter or even just follow you on social media. Don’t let them get away so easily!

Finally, keep your writing simple. Copywriters are famous for being super concise and straight-to-the-point, but everyone should follow this advice. Leave plenty of white space, embrace short sentences, and avoid fluff.

For tailored help and advice, try using a content writing service.

How to create a successful copywriting strategy

You knew this was coming next, didn’t you? Time to turn our attention back to copywriting.

Copywriting always has a specific aim, so make sure you know what message you want to get across and the result you’re trying to achieve.

Once you know this, it’s time to craft the copy. Almost all copy follows a simple structure. The acronym AIDA nails this in:

  • Attention: hook your lead in
  • Interest: keep them engaged by showing them the value you provide
  • Desire: get their emotions involved
  • Action: prompt them to act

It might sound overly formulaic, but you’ll probably find you end up using a similar structure regardless.

As with content marketing, it’s important to take a note of your statistics and try to improve your conversions through tweaks.

Using content marketing principles to improve your copywriting

Guess what: you can also use content marketing to improve your copywriting skills! It’s funny how things come full circle.

The primary purpose of content marketing is to provide value and entertainment; you can’t neglect this completely in your copy. Use storytelling to hook your customers effectively and keep them interested.

A simple way to do this is to provide genuine value and useful information. What could be a more convincing sales pitch than providing a solution to a problem a buyer already has?

The bottom line

Although there are obvious differences between content marketing and copywriting, many of the core values are the same.

Provide value. Be clear and concise. Write well.

Of course, it’s more complex than that. If you need help in accelerating your business through content marketing or a copywriting service, we’ve got your back here at Woo.

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