Copywriting is sales-driven; content writing is engagement-driven. While both are written for marketing purposes, copywriting has a clearer sales objective, whereas content writing is for branding. Is all writing essentially the same? Copywriting is content, but the content isn’t necessarily copywriting. Content writers drive organic traffic, copywriters turn that traffic into leads. There can be an overlap, but it’s rarely, if ever, 100%. Copywriting is advertorial in nature as its intent is to pitch customers to use a brand’s products and/or services. A copywriter is a professional who writes marketing copy; a content writer can be anyone producing content. By encouraging brand loyalty and building a relationship of trust between customer and brand, content writing makes a reader more likely to later convert.
A content writer is focused on answering a question. They are focused on ranking well in the search engines, and providing the reader with the answer they are searching for. People don’t want to read sales copy unless they are ready to buy. But they love to be informed and entertained by someone they trust. If you do that right, you’ll be the first person they think of when they’re ready to buy.
Copywriters are salespeople at heart. They use words to motivate. They create excitement. They use power words and learn techniques to drive readers to the next stage of buying.
If your company is spending a lot of time educating your prospects and customers, especially before the sale, websites, and blogs filled with content is the perfect strategy for you.
If your company is setting up a web presence to motivate people to click on a button and buy, what you need is a good copywriter. You need someone who can learn all about your product or service, understand what someone needs to make an informed decision, and then write copy in breadcrumb fashion to lead them from first contact, to the click, and ultimately to the sale.
Before you actually start selling anything, you’ll need to establish trust. Customers need to know that your number one priority isn’t to sell them, but rather to help them. They weren’t selling products, but ideas and emotions that were tied to products.
- sells your target audience on your brand
- the main goal is to persuade. Copywriters want people to take immediate action (to download something, signup for a newsletter, or buy a product). They not only answer the reader’s question of ‘why this?’, but also ‘why this now?’”
- style of copy is usually short-form. Copywriting is about using words and language to convince readers to take an action, whether it’s buying a product, downloading a report, or engaging with a company. You could call it sales writing, because it’s mainly used in advertisements, sales copy, emails, print ads, digital ads, brochures, and landing pages.
- writes copy for ads, email campaigns, press releases, catchy social media posts, slogans and taglines, landing page content, also perform follow-up to drive engagement and build connections with customers.
- a good copywriter understands SEO
- effectiveness can usually be measured in the short-term. A copywriter writes an awesome ad. Metrics like click-through rates and open rates are a good indication of that.
The best copywriters can write engaging content in a friendly tone to create a personal connection between the company and potential customers.
- informs, educates, entertains, or instructs readers
- the main goal is to inform and pave the way for an eventual purchase. Content writers want to build an engaged audience. They want to establish trust and position the brand as a reliable source of information.
- style of content is usually long-form
- writes articles, blogs, social media, email newsletters, white-papers, reports, e-books
- a good content writer has advanced to expert knowledge of SEO. Content writers are usually hired to drive inbound traffic. They’ll help you choose topics based on search terms that align with your business goals. Before hiring the best SEO content writers, take a look at focus keywords in their writing samples in the past. the main search term a page is optimized for. This keyword should be included in the page title, the first header (H1) and throughout the body copy. It should also be distributed throughout subheadings.
- usually contributes to a longer-term strategy
A good content writer will produce authoritative works that contain a great deal of detail and are journalistic in nature. Content writers are adept at researching and backing up claims using hard evidence.
The best content writers are so stealth at storytelling that they can write dozens of posts for your blog without even mentioning your brand and still manage to attract and convert prospects. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers have actually found blogging to be more time- and cost-effective than traditional lead generation methods.
With a blog or other content, you are not trying to make a sale right away. It’s a long play.
After reading a piece of content, readers should leave feeling informed about the topic and convinced by its thesis or argument.
No one wants to read sales content. What I will do is sell the idea that the reader needs the type of product or service I’m talking about. Content writing is about convincing a reader that they need your product, then getting them to click that button, now. A copywriter’s job is to propel a reader towards a decision.
The best copywriters will:
- Understand the needs of the target audience and use language to inspire confidence in the brand.
- Use the appropriate brand “voice” to connect with readers.
- Research a business and understand its marketing goals.
- Write copy that is plain-speaking, free of jargon, and never boring.
- Explain complicated ideas clearly.
- Know how to use storytelling to stir emotions in the reader.
- Understand SEO.
- Know how to craft short-form copy that is highly persuasive.
- Stick to the brief and deadlines outlined by the client.
- Work with the client until they’re happy with the copy.
A Blending Trend
Content writers today often produce pieces that are largely educational but may include some advertising or marketing in the piece.
SEO Content Writing vs. SEO Copywriting
Business owners would love to get the content that’s made to attract organic traffic and get a high conversion rate. They often try to optimize their sales copy with their target keywords. If your primary goal is to convert traffic, do not do this. It can significantly hinder conversions, as those keywords can interrupt the natural flow of the sales copy. Your audience may be using those terms to search, but it doesn’t mean those words will trigger them to buy.
The reality is that SEO content is best at driving traffic and sales copy is best at selling. There can be an overlap, but it’s rarely, if ever, 100%. But copywriters conduct keyword research to see what potential consumers are searching for. They then create high-quality copy that will help the company rank higher in search engine results so that consumers can find the products and services they need.
SEO content is built to drive traffic. SEO writers use Google’s keywords. Sales copywriters tend to get their “keywords”, phrases, and topics directly from the buyer’s and target audience’s mouths to build a list of “buying triggers” to use in the copy. We then plug these buying triggers into different formulas that are built specifically to convert the audience into a subscriber or a buyer.
- the basics of conversion copywriting
- a sales copy pro like a professional copywriter would be
- Ask if they can provide traffic or keyword ranking stats, or even conversion stats if available.