If you have an online business, chances are you need content to fuel your marketing strategy.
Content is king, at least according to Bill Gates. And it often DOES feel like it rules our business-y lives…
That’s because knowing what kind of content to create, for what mediums, at the right time can often feel like an impossible feat.
What is content writing? What is copywriting? And when should you use these different content strategies in your marketing?
If the first image that comes to mind when you think ‘copywriter’ is Don Draper from Mad Men, you’re not alone. When I first launched my online business in 2019, I didn’t really know what to call myself. I was a marketing writer who wanted to write website copy that was audience- and conversion-focused…but I didn’t know what that was called or how to describe my skills to clients and prospects.
And the sleek agency ad copy writer didn’t really fit.
But while copywriting DID originate in print advertising in the early 20th century, today those who specialize in the art and science of persuasion write for a whole range of mediums.
They write and specialize in a whole range of copy to achieve your goal, like:
They often DON’T concern themselves with “top of the funnel” marketing efforts:
Copywriters focus on your audience and your brand to write persuasively and drive sales. That means we connect the dots between what your customer wants and your offer.
You’ll want copywriting help when your sales or leads are lagging, or when your conversions are anemic. A skilled copywriter will take a holistic look at your marketing strategy and then layer in persuasive acumen to deliver results.
They should also be able to assess or fine-tune existing copy so that it’s better optimized for conversions, clicks, and sales.
And when you consider that even a 1% conversion improvement on a sales page can lead to an additional 4- to 5-figure boost in sales each month, it’s easy to see why the right copywriter is worth her weight in gold.
While copywriters—like any professional—have a range of skill sets and focuses, any experienced professional should be concerned with assessing (at the least):
Look for copywriters that ask you questions about your conversion and sales goals, your marketing strategy, your sales strategy, your customers, and your audience.
If copywriting is the art of persuasion and sales, content writing is all about connecting with and expanding your audience. A well-rounded content strategy drives brand awareness, establishes your voice in the marketplace, and connects with a new, relevant audience.
The content you put out should tell a story, make a connection, and be the voice of your brand.
They produce content that’s valuable, shareable, and builds connection for your brand:
They’re less concerned with immediate conversion, and instead look to build rapport with your audience—both new and existing.
I’d argue that every business needs some kind of content marketing strategy to keep your brand relevant and active online. It’s probably why 70% of marketers invest in content marketing.
Content writing can help with a range of marketing and sales challenges like:
There’s a range of content writers out there, and unfortunately, a range of experience as well. Look for a professional who can achieve your specific goal:
Finally, remember that content writing is often a long-term marketing strategy. It’s hugely important, but will require consistent and strategic action to yield results. Skip the “budget friendly” help for hire and look for a strategic partner that can deliver on your goals.
SEO plays a role in almost all content being produced online today. Any content that lives on your website needs to be optimized for SEO, regardless of the page or goal. That means that both copywriters and content writers need to contend with SEO when it comes to producing content for your website.
It’s important to understand that search intent and keyword strategy matter for every page of your website, and ensure that whoever you hire to contribute content to your site has a firm grasp on the overarching content strategy.
Some copywriters partner with an SEO strategist to achieve this, while others (like me) sub-specialize in SEO and conversion copywriting. A content writer, especially someone creating long form content for your website, should have a firm grasp of SEO site optimization.
When you’re assessing your marketing efforts and looking for the right outside hire to tackle your biggest content goals, use this tip sheet to decide if you need a copywriter or a content writer.
|Primary job||Persuade prospects to act||Inform and attract|
|Writes||Short form: landing & sales pages, ads, homepages, email||Long form: white papers, blog posts, case studies|
|Strategic role||Conversion strategy & lead generation||Content strategy & keyword assessment|
|Audience focus||Mid and bottom of funnel prospects (Solution or product aware)||Top of funnel, organic visitors (Unaware or problem aware)|
|SEO Focus||Secondary focus for website copywriting & other landing experiences (as needed)||Primary focus for attracting new organic leads into your pipeline|
|Hire when…||Your traffic isn’t converting to leads or sales||You want to grow your organic reach or attract more site traffic|
|Assess by…||Conversion rate, Leads to sales, dwell time,||Blog traffic, keyword growth, SERP wins (and losses), dwell time, exit/bounce rate|
|Cost (DOE)||Premium price for conversion & customer journey strategy + execution||Premium price for content strategy and SEO auditing + assessment|
What does your business need most right now? Copywriting or content writing?
Get bi-weekly copywriting tips & SEO how-to's that power your website