One of the fallacies that businesses and their marketing teams were prone to believing was that content creation was right at the bottom of the activities pyramid. What’s more, many of them thought, “Hey! What’s the big deal! Anyone can create content.” They did not realize it then, but this was the start of their problems with their content marketing strategy.
This led to a peculiar problem wherein quite a number of businesses weren’t able to build a successful content creation team and till date, many of them outsource their content creation requirements:
Overtime, marketers realized the importance of content in the digital marketing scheme of things and the stellar role it plays in inbound marketing. However, there is still an elephant in the room that not many are willing to pay attention to or discuss. That is the differentiation between copywriting and content writing. Many marketers put both forms of writing in the same bucket.
But that’s a problem because both are addressing two different issues. Yes, a content copywriter can also be a content writer, but the two are doing very different things.
The purpose behind this guide is to shed more light on copywriting and how you can get it right. So, let’s get started:
The purpose of copywriting is to finely craft content that persuades the target audience to make a buying decision. It is used by marketers to drive sales and push conversions. A copywriter takes pains to understand the pulse of the buyer to create copy that is immediately attention-grabbing.
The above examples capture your attention with amazingly written headlines. But great copywriting isn’t just about headlines. It is about writing great content that is extremely sales oriented and which immediately resonates with the audience, enough to help them make a buying decision. There is no beating around the bush. The core focus of copywriting is showcasing the USP of the product, convey product differentiation, the benefits and in many cases, cost efficiency and resultant tangible returns.
There might be an effort to push out some information, but that’s not the core objective.
Content writing offers subtle hints of selling, but the purpose is to offer informational and valuable content that educates the reader. The whole idea behind content writing is to create a variety of content assets that come together to build brand authority (in a specific domain), which then serves to build brand reputation and ensure brand recall. Also, such content helps brands build a strong backlink profile that has tremendous SEO value.
Successful content writing attracts potential customers towards a brand, and copywriting kicks into action after that. A content writer creates content pieces that help people understand a brand better and also the kind of products and services it is selling. A content copywriter on the other hand, sells that product/service.
Customer Focused Always
Great copy is all about understanding the customer’s challenges and projecting a product/service as the definitive answer to those set of challenges. This requires a comprehensive knowledge of not just the target customers’ needs but also their preference for specific solutions for their needs. This will allow you to identify the benefits they are looking for, and create copy that aligns perfectly with their expectations.
Our blog on writing content based on each stage of the buyer’s journey is an apt example of this and can be applied to copywriting as well.
Here are some more tips that you will find useful:
Zero in On a Critical Selling Point/s
One of the biggest challenges of copywriting is garbled messaging. When you are writing copy, you need to be able to identify specific benefits that make up your sales proposition. You don’t want to be identifying tons of benefits that will make a message extremely confusing. This will mean that the potential customer won’t know why they need to buy your product/service. There are just a lot of messages that you are throwing at them; there is a lot to think about, which results in confusion.
Fixate on a specific benefit and go to town with it.
Quality and Impact Triumphs Over Quantity
Those words right next to the beer tin are just three words and ‘to’ is just the preposition. But they say everything, don’t they? The focus is on creating impact with the least possible words. Of course, this isn’t possible every single time.
It differs from a case to case basis:
The very nature of Salesforce demands more copy to explain why it is the best CRM solution on the market.
But copywriting isn’t just about banners and therefore cutting the word count short. It is also about leveraging the power of language and creativity to make your point and that too succinctly
That’s the Home Page of the Hemingway App. The content very crisply and clearly conveys how the app will benefit you. It doesn’t try too hard, doesn’t try to act smart, but is very simple to understand, and therefore very impactful.
These days, it is very natural to answer the question ‘what is copywriting’, by giving an answer that is a coming together of copy and content writing. That’s not wrong, per se.
29% of marketers say their primary goal for producing content is boosting sales or converting customers – this is ‘copywriting’. However, there is a large percentage of marketers who are saying, they want to leverage content to increase brand awareness, build customer relationships and increase credibility – this is content writing.
However, if you think about it, things are not as cut and dried as they seem. There can be an overlap E.g. you can create content that can serve both purposes.
Say you are a digital marketing company. You come up with a blog that says – ‘How We Helped a Company Grow Their Conversion By 100% with Great Content’
Where do you slot this content? This will offer tons of information from a strategy perspective, but it is talking about your company. Such content is an interesting mix of copywriting and content writing.
It’s all about your objective behind the content, and how you go about crafting that content.
Don’t think too much about copywriting vs content writing and enter an infinite loop of confusion. If your objectives are clear, you can create purpose-driven content that will meet the requirements of either of these writing styles. If you overthink, you might end up in a ‘neither-here nor there’ kind of scenario.
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