Copywriting and content marketing are the same thing right? Potato, potahto?
You’ll hear the terms used interchangeably, but they’re actually quite different:
Content Marketing – Creating valuable content with a marketing intent. This can be anything from blog posts and infographics, to eBooks and online videos.
Copywriting – Think of this more as a sales type of writing; it’s designed to make readers take a specific action. That might mean buying a product, signing up for a newsletter list, or calling a phone number for more information.
In the past these two terms were kept in separate corners, but online marketers found if you combine these forces, they’re much more effective.
Get in on the action. Check out these 6 tips and learn to play with a mix of content marketing and copywriting:
1. When someone says “content marketing” you may say “blog post.” While it’s true that is one vehicle, there are many other options. Consider infographics, online videos, podcasts, eBooks, webinars, and more. Take a tip from your high school public speaking class: know your audience. In your industry, how do you reach your readers? If they aren’t the blog-reading crowd, a blog post won’t be the most effective way to reach them.
2. The old advice “less is more” definitely applies here. Don’t write extra content just to fill up a page, it’s not going to score you any extra points. Readers appreciate short, sweet, and focused. Work smarter, not harder when it comes to content marketing – as in, write clearer, not more.
3. Use content marketing to educate your customers on what you offer, to create brand awareness and loyalty, and to engage your customers. You may even find new employees who want to come work for you.
4. As a business, you’ll still need copywriting and a marketing strategy to get your customers to interact with the content you’ve published. Combining copywriting techniques with content marketing gets readers to take actions, opt-in, and share your website with other people.
5. Think about the content that stirs up ideas for you – what is it about that infographic or blog post that you read that made you feel motivated? Tap into that feeling when you’re creating your content so you don’t get lost in the shuffle.
6. Make your call-to-action FIT. Here’s where content marketing comes full circle: you need a call-to-action but only when it feels appropriate. Don’t come out of left field and say, “Hey, buy my service!” Basically, cut the in-your-face sales tactics and be more about helping out. For example, if you’re producing an infographic about your new book, it only makes sense to include a way to buy that new book. Make sense? Click here for additional tips on crafting a compelling call-to-action (CTA).
Need help getting started?
Content is the beating heart of communication with your customers and prospects—but sometimes the process can feel like a maze to navigate. If you’re not comfortable handling content marketing and copywriting in-house, consider hiring a team of professionals to handle your marketing strategy and/or content creation.
Here’s what to look for, at minimum: A copywriter who understands both SEO and marketing techniques. It’s their job to dive into your industry, get to know your audience, and learn how to use online tools to attract them. Your new copywriter should also have a strong understanding of content marketing – that way you’ll get the perfect mix of copywriting and content marketing. You’ll boost your marketing strategy and boost your business, too.
Want to learn more content marketing techniques and tips, plus how to best integrate content marketing into your marketing strategy at every stage in the buy cycle?
Download our FREE content marketing eBook Side Door Thinking.
Don't get stuck with an "Oh FUDGE" marketing situation. Avoid these three marketing mistakes.
The holidays are around the corner and my family has been watching weekly Christmas movies to get into the spirit of the season. The classic holiday movie A Christmas Story is chock-full of life-cycle marketing themes. You can catch this fun flick during the annual 24-hour TBS marathon Christmas Eve through Christmas Day.
Follow these three simple Christmas Story marketing lessons to avoid dropping the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the “F-dash-dash-dash” word in the New Year.
MARKETING MISTAKE #1: IGNORING THE POWER OF EXCLUSIVITY
Ralphie is obsessed with the Little Orphan Annie radio show. In the 1940s, radio shows were sponsored by advertisers, so product advertising was often woven right into the storyline. Every day Ralphie insistently checks his mailbox for his decoder ring. He is literally glowing with pride in the scene above as he reads his official Secret Circle letter.
“Be it known to all in summary that Ralph Parker is hereby appointed a member of the Little Orphan Annie Secret Circle and is entitled to all the honors and benefits occurring thereto.”
The Big Lesson: Identify top clients, prospects and influencers and invite them into your inner circle.
Reserving special deals for your favored customers is a powerful incentive to do business with you again and again. Nurture your relationships and turn your current customers into brand advocates.
MARKETING MISTAKE #2: PROVIDING ZERO VALUE DUE TO “SELL, SELL, SELL” TACTICS
After waiting what seemed like FOREVER for his secret decoder ring, Ralphie frantically decodes the secret message in the family bathroom, while his little brother bangs on the door. His face falls as he reads the exclusive message:
“A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch…”
The Big Lesson: The radio show’s major marketing mistake? Inviting their super-fans into the club, but then failing to deliver as promised. Had Ovaltine delivered on the hype created, they might have earned a customer for life.
Don’t make the same mistake by hammering your biggest fans with a never-ending sales pitch. Instead, offer them value for their attention with information, entertainment, personal attention and brand-appropriate swag.
Leading customers on with empty promises is never a good marketing strategy. The best marketing campaigns tap into customer passions and build brand engagement. If your marketing team nourishes engagement throughout the life cycle marketing process, you can avoid these marketing mistakes—and ensure your Ralphies are happy campers.
MARKETING MISTAKE #3: GIVING UP AFTER AN UNSUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN
Ralphie has his heart set on “an official Red Ryder carbine action, two-hundred shot, range model air rifle”—and he’s not giving up until he gets one. He expresses his desire no less than 23 times during the movie, even though his mother, his teacher, and even Santa Claus warn him…
“You’ll shoot your eye out.”
Of course, persistence pays off when Ralphie’s dad unexpectedly comes through.
The Big Lesson: That same kind of persistence can pay off in your marketing, especially when you work multiple marketing channels. In today’s world of marketing you need to measure, analyze, and calibrate your strategies based on real-time data. If your marketing campaign didn’t work as well as you’d hoped, reevaluate your target markets, shift your message and/or attempt a different method of delivery.
What is your favorite Christmas Story scene? Let’s chat in the comments.
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