Content Marketing vs Copywriting - person using the trackpad on a laptop

Content Marketing vs Copywriting: Everything You Need to Know

March 09th, 2022 | Author: Shannon Purcell | Content Marketing

Everyone knows that words matter—and it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. It isn’t any different in digital marketing, either. You need copy to populate your digital channels and connect with customers, and a steady stream of content that demonstrates your value. 

On the one hand, there’s your website and key promotional sites — the product and service pages, CTA buttons, email promotions, and social media ads. On the other, it’s a growing array of informative content for “nurturing” customer relationships — often without the overt sales pitch — such as blogs, how-to guides, and infographics. All of these are important marketing content, but they differ in how they’re created and for what purpose.

But do you know how to leverage both — and when to use each of them? Let’s go over content marketing vs copywriting and how every successful digital marketing strategy is crafted with both at the heart.

Content Marketing vs Copywriting: What’s the difference?

The question isn’t what type of marketing content you need but which is best suited for a specific purpose. For example, are you selling and promoting an offer, or are you nurturing leads and customer relationships and extending customer lifetime value? 

Each of these requires a unique type of marketing content, created either through copywriting or content marketing. Both are part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Combined, they’re how you engage customers, whether it’s the “push” they need to buy, or long-form information that drives informed shopping decisions and repeat purchases.

Content Marketing as a Catch-All Strategy

To start, content covers everything you publish, and it can include copy or words but also feature graphics, illustrations, images, video, and other media. So when you implement a content marketing strategy, it involves strategically curating these different types of content for targeted, purposeful distribution, such as lead generation, lead nurturing, brand awareness, and general education or awareness — all designed to develop customer relationships.

Copywriting as a Customer Hook

Meanwhile, copywriting is exclusively concerned with words: taglines and slogans designed to hook the reader and entice them to take an action right away, whether it’s clicking a button, submitting a form, or completing a purchase.

While copy can figure in various types of content, it’s most often associated with strong headlines, ads, and CTAs — short and punchy, straight to the point and often, a core part of your brand identity.

When is copywriting used? The heart of impactful advertising

Most customers remember — and learn to trust — a brand due to its distinct, memorable identity. Copywriting features heavily in this, often by creating brand taglines and slogans that are central to advertising.

In digital marketing specifically, copywriting is central to various ad assets and marketing campaigns. Crafted by master wordsmiths, effective copy instantly appeals to your target audience, aligns with your brand, and drives action. It’s built on a strong emotional hook — a positive feeling that you want customers to remember and associate with your brand, whether it’s humour, superiority, trust, or happiness. 

The key is to capture all of these elements in just 2 to 5 words — no doubt a tall order that pays off in conversions from:

  • PPC ads
  • Social media ads
  • CTA buttons
  • Headlines
  • Website menus and forms
  • Product and service pages
  • Pop-up messages
  • Chatbot scripts, and more.

When to Use Content Marketing: A Complete Content Strategy

Content marketing — often largely centred on content writing — is composed of long-form copy. While taglines hook customers, content marketing keeps them on-site. It’s a long-term strategy for creating and distributing value-added content that engages customers at every step of the buyer’s journey and nurtures customer relationships.

Content marketing can take a lot of forms. Most commonly, it combines clear, effective copy designed to educate and inform with media elements like graphics, images, and videos. It incorporates brand storytelling, a unique value proposition, and the best practices of SEO to maximize your visibility in key searches that customers use to find information on similar offers.

Unlike copywriting, content marketing isn’t focused on sales. It’s not an overt sales pitch; instead, it’s designed to educate, inform, and entertain to demonstrate unique value that builds lasting customer trust. And while it’s a longer path to conversion, content marketing delivers qualified leads among highly interested and invested audiences, with the ability to drive repeat purchases and increase customer lifetime value.

Here are some examples of content marketing:

  • How-to blogs and articles
  • Guides
  • Product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations
  • Case studies
  • Newsletters
  • Infographics and videos
  • E-books, industry insights, and other downloadable resources.

The Best of Content: Combining Copywriting and Content Marketing

An effective and cohesive digital marketing strategy requires having both good copy and good content in your arsenal. You need a quick, memorable hook that draws audiences in and trustworthy content that demonstrates the value of your brand’s offers.

This means incorporating copywriting elements, like strong headlines and CTAs in articles and guides, and across your digital channels. Doing so moves customers along the sales funnel, eventually leading them to convert. 

For example, suppose you’re listing product features and applications. In that case, you’ll need a CTA button in strategic places throughout the article or infographic that directs now-interested and ready-to-buy audiences to make the purchase. The key is to strike a balance between the sales copy and marketing content — enough to start a conversation, and when the time is right, close and convert.

Create Content the Consultus Digital Way

Need help writing copy and creating content that converts? Not sure if you need content marketing vs copywriting? Consultus Digital can help. Our content marketing agency in Toronto offers the best of copywriting and content marketing, masterfully weaving these together to engage customers. 

Through our combined, fulsome approach to copywriting and overall content marketing, we can help you populate your digital channels with the right balance of sales copy and value-added, long-form content. Whether you’re launching a limited-time offer or nurturing leads along the sales funnel, our content marketing agency crafts a personalized, goal-oriented content strategy that converts.

Let’s talk about your copywriting and content marketing needs, and overall digital marketing goals. Get the latest insight on copy that converts and content that customers value throughout the buyer’s journey. Talk to our content marketing experts in Toronto today.

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