Content writing and copywriting seem to be two apples falling from the same tree; however, although they are both forms of writing, they do have two entirely different definitions. Copywriting is often described as writing that’s designed to sell or to get people to take action, while content writing is writing that serves a useful purpose. This is where content marketing copywriters come into play.
Some argue that a content writer and a copywriter are two distinct species that will never be the same. Others argue that copywriting has a place in content marketing, and that copywriting is part of the larger whole of content marketing.
Content marketing, including any written content produced for it, isn’t the same as traditional advertising or marketing. The focus of content marketing is on putting valuable information out there, with the aim of helping an audience solve a problem.
But that’s just part of it. The other half of content marketing is, as the Content Marketing Institute puts it, to “drive profitable customer action.” This is when content marketing copywriters become useful.
What Do Content Marketing Copywriters Do?
A content marketing copywriter blends the best of both worlds — they know what it takes to create stellar, stand-out content, and they know what goes into producing excellent, convincing copy.
There’s a sea of content out in the world today. According to IFL Science!, more than 600 page edits get posted on Wikipedia, 3.6 million searches are conducted on Google, and more than 74,000 posts are published on Tumblr per minute.
A content marketing copywriter takes the time to write content that rises to the top of those 3.6 million search posts and 74K Tumblr posts. The content created by a copywriter has features of content marketing and copywriting, such as:
- Attention-grabbing headlines (copy)
- Useful information (content)
- Facts and data to back up what’s being written (content)
- Clear message and concise wording (copy)
- Call to action (copy and content)
5 Skills Content Marketing Copywriters Should Have.
If your brand is looking to hire a copywriter for content marketing, there are a few skills to keep an eye out for. Those include:
A content marketing copywriter needs to have a mastery of the language they write in, and the ability to write well. That doesn’t only mean understanding how grammar works and when to use punctuation. It also means having the ability to connect thoughts together seamlessly so that the content flows nicely. It means knowing which words to use when, and why using certain words is better than others.
Subject matter knowledge.
Although an excellent copywriter will also have research skills (more on that later), it’s important that they have knowledge of what they’re writing about. You can almost always tell when a writer is handed an assignment to write about something they aren’t familiar with. The words don’t flow as well and the piece ends up feeling distant and uninterested.
Understanding of user experience.
A content marketing copywriter should have a grasp on how the person reading the content will experience it. For example, many people look at blogs and other online content on mobile devices these days. A copywriter needs to understand what that means when it comes to sentence length, paragraph structure and overall layout of the copy.
Even if a copywriter thinks they know everything there is to know about a subject, they should be willing and able to dig a bit deeper and find out more. Research skills involve knowing where to look for information, as well as knowing the type of questions to ask to find the most relevant and useful data.
Ability to tell stories.
“Storytelling” is something you hear about so often in the content marketing world that it’s almost a boring cliché. A story is what separates content that gets people to take action from lackluster content that drives people away. It can be tricky to get the knack for storytelling. But it’s also something a writer can develop with a bit of practice.
How to Use Content Marketing Copywriters.
There are lots of ways a company can use the skills of a copywriter in their content marketing efforts. Here are a few ideas:
Create engaging, informative blog posts or articles.
A content marketing copywriter can create long-form content, such as blog posts and articles. Ideally, the copywriter will craft attention-grabbing headlines and calls to action that convince people to take the next step.
Create social media posts.
Captions are the new black on Instagram. Some even argue that the caption is more important than the photo (so much for a picture being worth 1,000 words). Who better to hire to create pithy, attention-grabbing, like-garnering captions than a copywriter?
Create the text for infographics.
Although graphics might be the main focus of infographics, there is text involved, too. A copywriter will be able to create copy that helps the person looking at the graphic understand what’s going on.