How are content marketing and copywriting different?

It’s a question that perhaps you’ve never cared to ask. After all, content marketing and copywriting are basically synonyms, right? While that’s not entirely true, to be successful with your content marketing plan you need to find a way to balance the two so that your content is a hit.

How are content marketing and copywriting different?Don’t give the hard sell when content marketing

The biggest mistake business owners make when starting out with content marketing is believing that in order to gain customers they need to sell, sell, sell. This old-school way of thinking is the basis of copywriting, where content is written with the sole purpose of describing a certain product or service you provide in the hope that the reader will enquire further and ideally make a purchase. It’s more of a wide-spray tactic that will spur only a small percentage of readers into action.

Instead, content marketing should be used to entertain a wide variety of readers by telling them a story or providing them with useful information they can’t find elsewhere, so much so that your call to action (subscribe to your newsletter, give customer details, like/follow social networks) will put you front of mind whenever they consider the product or service you offer.

While it’s true that your business needs to sell in order to succeed, don’t make the mistake of bombarding your readers with sales pitches in your blogs that offer nothing else. You need to incorporate some elements of copywriting into certain areas of content marketing, but it should not be the foundation on which your blog is built. After all, if you want to amass a loyal customer base you need to appeal to a wider audience than simply the rare breed of people who enjoy the hard sell.

Content marketing thrives on SEO and regular blogging

While copywriting is more often than not a direct, forceful advertisement used to sell your wares, content marketing relies on knowing what the consumer is looking for in order to provide them with appropriate information. This is where SEO comes in.

For your content marketing plan to be successful, you need to research relevant keywords that your customers will be searching for and aim to use them throughout your content in order to jump up the search rankings. In addition to intelligent SEO, you need to create a regular stream of content in order to stay relevant in the fast-paced online world where blogging is something every business is (and should be) doing.

Again, regularity in content marketing has something of a crossover with copywriting, and it’s this slight blending of two different forms of content creation that will allow you to succeed where others fail.

It’s important to understand what separates content marketing from copywriting, but for maximum value from your content marketing strategy you need to learn how to use the two in tandem.


Simon Jones – Sub-Editor