This month I wanted to share with you something that is new to me and has definitely been a steep learning curve - content and copywriting! While marketing is something that I studied quite a bit at University, and put the skills I learnt into practice through assignments, writing is a skill that I’ve never had to hone.
I wrote my assignments, but academic writing is very different to writing a blog or article as content. While both seek to inform the readers, a blog or article must also generate awareness for the brand in a compelling manner and catch the attention of the reader to hopefully start their journey to the bottom of the funnel. Furthermore, a common misconception is that content writing and copywriting are similar. However, this is not the case. The goal of copywriting is to write content that sells. However, I am getting ahead of myself so let me break it down!
The Purpose and Importance of Content Writing and Marketing
As a marketer, writing content can be one of the most effective ways to not just target your key audiences, but familiarise them with your brand and make it sound more human. Furthermore, content marketing can be very cost-effective due to its longevity and reach - almost 3 times as much as outbound marketing according to Gavin Jordan from The Drum who I had the pleasure of listening to in the Technology for Marketing Event!
Furthermore, writing high-quality content will generate interest, however, we need to ensure that this is being done consistently in a voice that befits your brand. Building that familiarity with your readers and becoming the source that they seek out to get their questions answered helps build trust with your audiences, move them through the customer value journey and thus build better quality leads.
Not to forget, writing content that makes use of keywords that you have found after researching and studying an industry helps tremendously with Search Engine Optimisation and boosting rankings on Google. What may eventually end up happening is that when you write good content, other marketers may link to your website in their content, this can help boost your content in search rankings!
The Key Difference between Content Writing and Copywriting
It is important to be aware of the differences between writing copy and writing content since very often people use these terms interchangeably or may even get them mixed up! As mentioned earlier, when we write a copy we do so with the express purpose of writing material that we hope will make our offering look desirable and thereby sell them to the customer. Our purpose might also be to convince the viewer, reader, or listener to change their opinions and adopt a different viewpoint.
This is in stark contrast to content writing and marketing where our goal is to build a relationship with our readers and educate them on topics they are interested in. Gavin further emphasised the fact that content should be a gift that you are giving to your audience without wanting anything back, a content writer should always strive to remember the difference between information and persuasion.
Some Tips to get your Content Read by the Right Audience
Understanding the Purpose
So now that you know the difference between writing copy and writing content, the next hurdle to overcome is, how do we ensure the right people read what we are writing. After all, 38% of final decision-makers say that the market is oversaturated with content, and furthermore, 71% of them say that they find most content valueless and pointless. This is why I reiterate, as someone who is writing content, you need to understand its value and purpose. This is to provide readers with the information or advice that they are seeking out which is relevant to their needs and wants.
However, we can’t just write relevant content for our audience without understanding who they are, the industry they operate in, and, most importantly, their pain points. This begins with researching the terms and questions that they are searching for (you can use handy tools like Answer the Public for this purpose) and then see if any content has been written for it. If yes, it is better to not saturate the market further (unless your take is very different), and if not, well there is a gap that you have identified where your piece of content just slots in! It is also important to remember that this helps out with SEO and Google ranking since you will be writing content that people are already looking for, just be sure to incorporate the appropriate keywords and phrases into your content.
Another to make content more relevant to your target audience is to identify key industry dates, and either write content around those events or time your content around dates when people will be searching for this sort of content more frequently.
Call to Action
Content marketing should be about generating brand awareness and exposure. The goal here is to build a rapport with your target audiences and you don't want to inundate them with hard call to actions plastered all over your writing. Instead, having one soft call to action in your whole piece is a subtle and friendly gesture to your readers - look out for mine later in this blog.
There is also no reason why the content you write cannot exist in other formats! In fact, it’s considered best practice to convert the blogs or articles you write into short-form snappy videos to drive people to your website or platform of choice. But do remember, you want to space your content out so wait a couple of weeks after your blog is out to remind people using a video or image. Spreading them out as much as you can allows you to keep your brand in the minds of your audiences.
Originality is paramount, I can't stress this enough and the reason why I am choosing to close with it, only write if you are bringing something new to the fold or something to a new audience. Something else to keep in mind is that readers like provocative information. They like to have their ideas and thoughts challenged so never be afraid to do that.
What I will say to any aspiring marketer, is to practice writing as much as possible as it is one of the handiest skills one can pick up and will only help you (and me!) progress in your careers. And while you’re here why don't you check out our blog on ‘helpful content’ and Google’s latest algorithm changes. If you still have questions after, our team at Webstars will be more than happy to help, so feel free to get in touch with us.