So, what’s the difference between Copywriting and Content Marketing?
Even though it may just seem like semantics, Content and Copy are two different beasts.
Whilst the main purpose of Copy is to persuade someone to take a specific action and is built for conversion; Content exists to create trust, familiarity, a voice for your company and potentially a warm feeling for your audience.
The important thing to remember is that a lot of people can write lovely words, but deploying them in a strategic way is a different ball game. In this series of articles, we explore how to make use of both Content and Copywriting to generate new customers, and keep your existing ones for the long haul.
Effective Content Marketing
The key thing to remember here is that content is a net, not a harpoon. Examples of Content can include Press Releases, Blog articles, Viral video, Social Media posts.
You can capture your audience gently by creating a high level of trust, educating and subtly priming your audience about the benefits of doing business with you. Good content can attract attention for you as a strong voice in the marketplace, and get potential customers to find you.
Ever heard the old “just put more content on your website, that will do the trick” line? As tempting as it may be to free up a few hours, don’t use an auto-blogging tool: plug-ins won’t generate unique content, but will rather trawl through a predetermined collection of RSS feeds to grab the words and post them on your blog or site. Sometimes articles will link back to the source, but sometimes they wont. This is content theft and, crucially, Google will devalue and even ban it outright.
Use ‘Dessert’ Content – reward the reader for taking the time to consume your words. This may not relate directly to your business, it might just be a little something which makes life better – be it inspiring, funny or heart-warming. Above all, it will be digestible and provide instant gratification, for example “10 Ways to Make Money this Week”, or “5 Steps to Instant Happiness.”
Through building a quality content platform, you might be holding a prospect on for months or years before they buy, but it’s about sticking with you and staying tuned in to your message – and turning them into a loyal client.
How to Craft Compelling Copy
Direct response Copywriting is used to trigger very specific responses from audiences. There are a lot of blogs with very high quality content, but very few readers: if you are writing content that people like to read, but you are not generating enough traffic, the problem may lie in ineffective Copywriting – which can include sales pages, product descriptions, advertising banners and direct mail.
Copywriting is largely about the headline – killer ones can be found in tabloids which grab people by the throat, and you can channel this method of capturing peoples’ attention to mould your own Copy. They will invariably be short, sharp, sometimes witty and will often be a question that a reader cannot answer themselves, but they will always give your audience a reason to click through, or read on. What they wont need to do is sell anything or deliver the biggest promise. That’s for what comes next.
Next comes the Subheader, the second level of intrigue, followed by the persuasive body of text which will prime your reader to buy your product, or call for a quote. There are numerous ways to do this, but you will need to explicitly think about how your work benefits readers directly, and juggle a few elements to create that all-important conversion.
Answer questions and counter objections before they have been asked or made
Build trust and rapport
Describe benefits and ignite desire, then add bonuses
Make it easy or appealing for someone to relate to your offering, and see themselves as a customer
Deliver a clear, compelling call to action.
Can you identify some overlap here? The trick is to meld the two.
Advertising will not make you look like a hero to your prospects or get them to warmly thank you; nor will a blog post about life improvement necessarily turn a reader directly into a customer.
A smart marketing strategy will use Content Marketing and Copywriting together, working in tandem: together, direct response copywriting and social media style content are much more powerful than either one used independently, and Marketers should not choose one over the other.