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Copywriting vs Content writing (What should you focus on)

These terms are often confused as being the same thing. I want to talk about how I think of each and, more importantly, how you should. Great copywriting and content writing are insanely powerful and be one of the biggest levers in any successful marketing business. I hope to answer the question, do you need both?

What is copywriting? (Revenue)

The main goal of copywriting is to create action. This type of persuasive writing can be seen in ad copy, sales emails, landing pages, product page descriptions, sales letters, and even a sales page. Effective copywriting should have a clear call to action, outcome, and goals.

Great copywriting can be used to drive revenue quickly, build a sense of urgency increase your conversion rate.

What is content writing? (Brand Awareness)

When I think of content writing I think of blog posts like this, white papers, case studies, and more informative content. The purpose of content writing is content is to provide valuable information for your target audience and rank in search engines. Writing great content is only powerful if your potential clients or customers can find it.

Great content writing can be used to drive revenue over the long term, build trust as an authority and increase your organic traffic from google.

As a business owner, do you need both?

It truly depends on what type of business you operate and what your goals are. Bottom line: Both have their place in most businesses, but what should you focus on first?

I am going to break down a few business models and how I think high-quality content is utilized to hit short-term goals as well as long-term brand building.

Business Type: Ecommerce (Content writing vs. Copywriting)

Monetization Method for your online store:

Physical product sales via your online store (Shopify, Bigcommerce, WordPress, Wix, etc.)

What do you need first Copywriting or Content Writing?

Copywriting: You need persuasive copy to turn online store traffic into revenue and be profitable. Marketing copy is your biggest lever in growth and true scale.

Where to focus your Copywriting:

  • Facebook Ads

  • Google Ads

  • Email Marketing

  • SMS Marketing

  • Product Pages

  • Pop Up

  • Post Purchase Upsells

Product Page Copywriting Example:

Email Copywriting Example:

Paid channels such as Facebook and Google can have tremendous scale if the copywriting is converting into sales. This is the biggest lever to start. Building a back-end email system with great copy that engages your audience will help build a profitable brand,.

How to use Content Writing for an eCommerce brand

Focus on low-target keywords that have commercial intent. The informational content may drive organic traffic but it may not turn into a conversion. SEO is a long-term play and can help reduce my MER (marketing efficiency ratio).

Blog Example:

Content for content's sake isn't valuable, use search engine optimization and be patient. This is a long game!

Business Type: Digital Marketing Agency (Content writing vs. Copywriting)

Monetization Method:

Done for you marketing services that have a specific impact on a business. Facebook ads and Email Marketing an examples.

What do you need first Copywriting or Content Writing?

Copywriting: You need a persuasive copy to turn online potential clients into clients

Where to focus your Copywriting:

  • Cold Email

  • Google Ads

  • Press Releases

  • Website Copy

  • Client Proposals

  • Service Packages

  • Case Studies

Website Example:

Targeting larger potential clients for a higher ticket agency retainer is a far different challenge then selling physical products.

There are far fewer potential customers and you need to be targeted to make advertising profitable. We focus on cold emails and drive them to our website. From here we use a value-based selling approach, but the most important thing is being clear in what we offer.

How to use Content Writing:

Focus on low target keywords that have are informative for your potential clients. This can be a more long term play and we use content to show that we are experts.

Case studies such as the recent product launch can be effective in demonstrating that you are a true expert. Again, content writing and optimizing for google can help you drive inbound leads that are more targeted then general ads, since your target audience is so niche.

Business Type: Blog (Content writing vs. Copywriting)

Monetization Method:

Display ads, sponsored posts, and affiliate offers

What do you need first Copywriting or Content Writing?

Content writing: Running a blog (I am still a rookie), but it is all about the content. The name of the game is writing and hitting publish.

If you are monetizing via ads and sponsored posts, your copy doesn't need to persuade them to buy or become a client. You just need to show up on google.

SEO Optimized Blog Example:

Where to focus your Copywriting:

I am new to blogging, but like any business, I think positioning is the most important thing. I am attempting to use my unique perspective and background to set my brand position. This is important in explaining why someone should read your blog and stick around.

How to use Content Writing:

Organic traffic, as a blogger you need to show up on Google. Writing great posts that provide valuable information is useless if you aren't able to drive organic traffic.

I am currently writing as often as I can using a few SEO tools like RANKIQ, SurferSEO, and Ahrefs in the hopes that I can hit that first page of google ranking.

The ultimate goal is to use your words to build brand loyalty, drive sales and scale your business.

The best way to start is to have clearly defined marketing goals and work backward (Can you answer these questions?)

Questions to ask yourself:

How do you want to use content writing or copywriting to help you hit your unique goals?

Do you want to become a great copywriter? (Do it yourself)

Do you have the budget and want to hire an SEO content writer, content strategist, marketing team, or technical writer to follow your marketing strategy? (Outsource it, must know enough to hire the best content writers)

Do you want to improve your writing skills or hire good content writers?

How would you measure success? (More revenue, more leads - Be as specific as you can)

Do you want to simply charge more for your service?

Land more clients? Sell more products?

There are literally thousands of different ways to use sales copy, SEO copywriting and all the different types of writing to have an impact. Finding the one that will have the biggest impact first takes a unique skill set and expertise in that field.

Let me know in the comments below how you think of copywriting vs content marketing.

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