Copy or content - what's the difference?

Since launching Humm Media, we've been posed these questions many times...

Should a business work with a copywriter or a content marketer?

What's the difference? Is it cost? Or much more than that?

In simple terms, the differences can be explained as follows:

  • Content marketing: designing and creating a range of communications which has a clear marketing purpose. There is clear insight as to why this piece of content needs to be produced, and a measurable output which aligns to marketing goals. Typical pieces of content marketing are blogs, videos and e-zines

  • Copywriting: makes us do something. Whether that's opting in to an email, calling for information or buying. This style of writing is persuasive and typically found in sales collateral, direct mail and advertising.

At Humm we sit outside these defined boxes; considering ourselves as the producers of intelligent content. Because the reality is, without both great content marketing and brilliant copywriting, then it's unlikely you're going to achieve what you're setting out to deliver.

Take the blogs on your website. You spend hours researching and writing fantastic pieces of content to ensure you have regular blogs to share with your target audiences. You give out useful tips and tools which businesses could steal and use effectively in their organisations. You're proud of your blog, yet the traffic fails to come. Google analytics tells you your mum, sister and primary school teacher have read it five times. But that's it. Social media doesn't help either - no retweets, likes or favourites.

What you have here is great content marketing minus the brilliant copywriting. You're missing the killer headline, the one thing which will draw our generation of impulse readers and information seekers into your website with the precious seconds you are awarded.

Intelligent content is the love child of both copywriting and content marketing; combining the skills of a highly talented writer with a brilliant marketer. Intelligent content producers start with the why? Seeking out insight and a defined need before creating a plan to resolve the challenge which then directly impacts marketing and sales goals. Then the writing comes into play; delivering your message in a way which creates a connection with the reader and moves them towards a clear action. A connection which builds rapport and fruitful relationships. And finally they consider the design - the look and feel, how it will be delivered; ensuring the visual delivers the same message as the copy.

Sadly though many businesses fail to understand the importance of possessing and distributing intelligent content. Instead budgets are set and 'copywriters' or 'content marketers' are hired. Only to find months down the line very little impact is being delivered.

So the next time you're thinking about creating a piece of content we urge you to remember this brilliant quote from @brianclark:

“A great headline mixed with a lame opening is like inviting someone into your house, only to slam the door in their face as they approach.”

#copywriting #contentmarketing #business #communications #copy #content #blogs

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