Copywriting is an essential component of any kind of marketing, from traditional print ads to digital marketing. That’s even true of content marketing. But wait, you might think, writing content and writing copy are two very different things, which is mostly true. So how does good copywriting play a key part in a successful content marketing campaign? Find out more in this week’s blog post.
What Does a Copywriter Do?
Copywriters, very simply, write copy. Copy is not just content, which can be informative or entertaining or optimized for keywords. Copywriting is all about getting the reader to take an action, usually buying a product or service.
Copywriting has been around since advertising became big business. That’s because it’s not enough to just tell your potential customers about your product or your company. You need to convince them how your company will improve their lives. For example, how it will alleviate a fear, bring a benefit, or help them fulfill a goal or dream.
It might sound rather challenging, but good copywriters make it look easy. Copy is often short – think the tag lines in commercials or a call-to-action button on a web page. But it can be longer too, from a text-heavy website to a blog post.
With the increasing ease of creating written content for your business – from web pages to sales emails to your social media captions – having high-quality writing that drives to a goal is more important than ever. (We talk about this extensively in our SEO series: click here for more about leads and content marketing.)
Think about how many pieces of writing you’ve come across in the last 24 hours. It’s probably a huge amount! Now think about how many lines you actually remember – that’s a much smaller number. Good copywriting is the difference between content you promptly forget and the content that you remember. And this distinction makes a difference when you’re making a purchase decision.
Principles of Good Copywriting
Great copywriting can look like it’s easy to create, because it looks natural and flows easily. But cutting through all the noise of other marketers in these competitive times is no easy feat.
Here are a few guiding principles to keep in mind if you’re interested in writing copy yourself.
Look at what you’re selling from a different angle
Don’t just describe the benefits of your product – shift your perspective to look at it from a different side. Maybe it’s an underappreciated use for your product, or an unconventional benefit, or a benefit your competitors aren’t talking about.
Keep the content customer-centric
Have you ever stumbled upon a website where all the content is about how wonderful and impressive the company is? It’s not just boring, it’s also bad copywriting. Get into the view of your customer – what does your product or service offer that others don’t?
Build momentum in your content
Great copywriting is all about getting the reader to keep reading – from the headline that draws them in, to the body content, to the call-to-action at the end. Tell a story, maybe in an unusual way, to get your audience to stay engaged.
Speak in human terms
Effective content speaks directly to the reader. Avoid using jargon or industry terms that your audience doesn’t understand – it doesn’t make you look authoritative, just out-of-touch. Good copywriting should sound like one person talking to another.
Copywriting and Content Marketing
Content marketing is all about drawing prospects in to your website via well-written, informative content and search engine optimization. (You can learn all about it in last week’s blog post on how content marketing can help your business.)
Writing short, pithy copy with the goal to make a sale seems like it would not relate to content marketing, where longer content is key. But good copywriting can make your content marketing more effective – and more compelling to read.
Here are some ways copywriting and content writing work together:
1. Telling a compelling story
Successful content marketing isn’t just about publishing lots of content using many keywords. Truly excellent content tells a story that the reader can’t help but read all the way to the end, whatever the topic. This means you need content that’s more than just informative and educational, which any industry expert can write.
Creating compelling copy means telling a story that draws viewers in until the very end. If readers know they will get a well-written and interesting read as well as valuable information on your website, they will be eager to return and to share your content with their networks. As a result, you get the maximum return on investment for your content.
2. Driving to a desired action
Content marketing is not just about getting lots of views on your content or visitors to your website. It’s ultimately about convincing your prospects to make a decision to purchase. Since this is the goal of copywriting, you can use either a professional copywriter or your own copywriting skills to increase those conversions to a sale.
3. Making a lasting impression
Creating strong brand awareness can help you build your business – using a specific brand voice or look, and keeping that consistent across all your digital marketing platforms. With so much content on the web, readers can easily forget your blog posts or other content if it’s written poorly or blandly.
But with a freelance copywriter or in-house talent creating your content, your blog posts or social media content can ensure your marketing messages make an impact. Writing stories that your readers remember and share makes your brand stronger. And creating a specific and memorable brand voice can be a way to stand out in a crowded and competitive market.
How to Know if You Need a Copywriter for Your Content
Not every business that does content marketing needs to hire a copy writer to do it. Many small businesses turn to content marketing because it’s possible to do with a very small budget – or even do it yourself as a business owner. If you’re knowledgeable about your industry (and as a business owner, you certainly are) and can write adequately, it’s doable on your own or as a part-time commitment from an existing team member.
If your marketing budget allows for some outside help, you can consider hiring a copywriter to contribute to your content marketing efforts. Finding freelance copywriters is a good option if you only need occasional content written. You can also make use of the same freelancers who write your email campaigns so they become familiar with your business and your voice.
But if you’re really looking to level up your marketing efforts, you can consider hiring a digital agency. Having a full-service, dedicated partner to coordinate and direct your content marketing, or even all of your digital marketing, can yield big results for a reasonable investment.
To truly grow and scale your business, you may need to bring in other professionals to get you to the next level. Content marketing is no exception – you won’t see serious growth over the long term without compelling copy.
Get Great Content and Copywriting
Looking for an agency that gets you real, measurable results with attractive functional websites, great writing and a strong digital marketing strategy? We can help with both content and copywriting.
Schedule a free business review here to find out how we help businesses grow. You can use these insights for inspiration, and let us do the marketing for you.