The Main Difference between Copywriting and Content Marketing
When we face a task to promote and market something on the Net – be it a product, a service, or information as such – we are willing to dig deeper into the topic.
We always need a complete understanding of all the processes involved.
Only this way can we know what exactly we are doing and what results we can expect.
However, as any marketer knows, this is not an exact science with clear definitions. The terminology can often be confusing with the same terms sometimes conditionally interchangeable, and sometimes meaning completely different things.
A good example of such a phenomenon is the difference between copywriting and content marketing.
In theory, these are two different processes, two different kinds of jobs. Yet, in practice, they always go hand in hand. They do not exist one without the other. This is what makes it hard to tell them apart.
Marketers are busy people who value their time. And this is why we are always primarily interested in the practical aspects.
We seldom find the time to dig deeper into the theory to get a full understanding of the processes, beyond their practical value.
Acknowledging this fact, today we would like to give the laconic and meaningful theoretical overview of both processes with an immediate focus on the practical sides.
The goal of this article is to illustrate the difference between the two processes, as well as to demonstrate how they meet, and how it can be used for the benefit of your marketing mission.
Who is a COPYWRITER?
We are starting off with this one because this job has a bigger history. Copywriters were originally responsible for generating the content that would be well received by the search engines, to drive the users to the desired (by the marketer) places on the Web.
It seems like a no brainer. And it was, up to some point, where the search engines got smarter, the search algorithms got more sophisticated and began to value-rich and interesting content over plain keyword density.
This tendency was actually what gave rise to the profession of content marketers, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The point is that while truly valuable content is becoming more and more of a thing. The search engines still take keyword density into account when calculating the relevance of a piece of content to the search term that the user input.
Keywords still matter when it comes to what the users will see on tops of their search results.
This is why a copywriter still has a job to make the content keyword-rich. Even though, now this content also has to be more valuable, thus shifting the copywriter’s focus in the direction of content marketing.
To sum it up, a copywriter’s job today is to generate meaningful content with a focus on relevant keyword density.
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However, there are a few more things that a copywriter is in charge of:
- Copywriters are the ones who come up with catchy headlines and sub-headlines that would both benefit the SEO purposes and keep the readers hooked and wanting more;
- Copywriters take care that the metadata (title, description, H1-H3 headings, image descriptions, etc.) that is not only informative but just keyword-rich enough to make the content relevant to certain search terms;
- a copywriter makes sure that the text is not only informative but also include a specific call to action so that the reader knew what s/he is expected to do next, even if only to click the next link.
What is CONTENT MARKETING for?
As we have mentioned, the search engine has evolved with time. As a matter of fact, it has been quite some time now, since it is no longer enough to write just any text with just enough density to make your link more relevant to a certain search term that that of your competitors.
Search engines are smarter now, and they can quite accurately tell valuable content from lazy fillers.
We are far from Skynet dystopia, but still, the search engines are growing more and more human-like and less machine-like.
They begin to “appreciate” a good story and informational value over plain correspondence with mathematical requirements.
Hence, if we want our content to reach our readership, we need to make it reader-oriented, i.e. to market it to our reader.
What constitutes the jobs of content marketers and content writers could be a topic for an entire e-book, but – roughly speaking – a solid market-oriented piece of content should have some good storytelling, often with narrative topics, and, of course, informative value.
This is the kind of assignment that a good content marketer will give and a good content writer will accomplish.
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Difference between Copywriting and Content Marketing
The key difference between the content written by copywriters and that written by content writers is that…
The copywriter’s focus is the keyword density, while the content writers have primarily the human reader in mind.
From the business perspective, it means that a copywriter’s text will be shorter and more short-lived (because of the popularity of search terms, and thus, keywords, always change). Meanwhile, the content writer’s work will be closer to the more general understanding of creative writing and more “evergreen.”
Today, however, this difference only exists in theory.
If a writer has only copywriting goals in mind, the text will disappoint the reader. And if the writer has only content value in mind, it will get hard for the content to even reach the reader.
In practice, any piece of content still needs to be both well-written and keyword-rich. This means that ultimately any text needs to combine the work of a content writer and a copywriter before it is ready for publishing.
There are various writing factors you should consider while writing reach content.
However, it is seldom done by two different people.
The job of a content writer gets a lot easier (and faster!) when s/he keeps in mind both marketing and SEO goals in mind while writing the content.
This is why the tendency that we have talked about takes place: the tendency where the two jobs begin to merge.
How does COPYWRITING and CONTENT MARKETING INTERACT?
Even though the two types of work seldom ever exist without one another, we need to see where their differences lie, if we want to have a more firm understanding of how this whole thing works.
The most effective way to illustrate their differences is to try and imagine what will happen if we try one without the other.
Here are a few examples:
1. Content marketing without a copywriting
– The headlines are ineffective.
A copywriter knows how to make a headline effective both for hooking the reader and well-performing with the search engines. A content writer, on the other hand, is more focused on the headlines reflecting the content of the article or a section.
Hence, the heading and subheadings do not hook the audience well enough, and neither are they deemed relevant by the search engine. So, such a piece of content loss to those of the competitors.
Mind that this is not to say that one aspect is more important than the other. As we have mentioned on multiple occasions, a combined effort is necessary for the effective performance of the content.
– There is no call to any action.
Suppose the reader has read your article and even found it useful and entertaining. What’s next?
The Internet is a very rich and competitive environment. Your reader simply will move on instead of stopping for a second to answer this question.
A copywriter will know how to effectively call the reader for action. Even if it so much as simply like and share.
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2. Copywriting without a content marketing
– The content is simply not valuable to the reader.
When we talk about marketable web content, we always keep in mind that this content will simply go out there. That is, for free.
And who likes to give out some valuable information for free?
Well, you do, if you want your readers to appreciate you.
Good content is more than an intelligible keyword-rich piece of text. Put some more effort into it and behold the amazing payback!
– We forget the initial goal.
When thinking too much about the search engines, we put ourselves at the risk of discarding our audience – the people for whom our content is.
Sure, your SEO specialist does a great job,\. But, we always need to remember that it is the actual living people at the other end of the process.
Being marketing-oriented helps you stay focused on your audience and their interests.
This all about the difference between Copywriting and Content Marketing. Now, what’s your thought? Kindly do write in a comment.