Want to make a copywriter cringe? Refer to their work as content. Why? Because there’s a sharp difference between copywriting and content marketing—simply put, copywriting is promotional writing that is designed to sell a product, while marketing content develops trust and thought leadership. While marketing content is not meant to directly sell a product the way advertising copywriting does, your content marketing campaign can benefit from these classic copywriting techniques.
Create Something They Want to Read
Spend some time online and you’ll understand this universal truth: not all content is good content. If the content is good, it provides valuable information that benefits readers, while also being enjoyable and easy to read. Your readers are constantly bombarded by an overwhelming amount of available content. If your content is painful to read, they will give up and find the information they need elsewhere.
So how do you create content that is easily digestible? For one thing, write at a fairly basic (roughly 8th grade) level, using simple words, brief sentences, and short paragraphs. White space is critical—if you were reading a piece, would you want to see a wall of words? Neither does your reader.
Keep it Personal
Which would you rather read—a letter from an old friend or a corporate marketing piece? Familiarity and personalization are critical. Great copywriters build familiarity and trust with the reader, drawing them in by using the word “you”. They talk about the reader, their pains, their goals, and their dreams, writing to a single person, rather than a large, faceless group. Their copy is conversational tone, like two old friends talking over lunch.
Great copy includes intriguing headlines that arouse curiosity and make the reader want to read the copy. This is especially critical for effective content marketing. If you have a stellar content piece, but a lame title, most readers will never get past the terrible headline. Your headline should arouse curiosity and hint at one or more benefits.
Market Your Content
You’re doing content marketing, but are you marketing your content? If all you are doing is writing content and burying it on your website’s “resources” page, you are costing yourself a lot of readership. Great copywriting can help you seal the deal and persuade someone to accept your offer of exciting content, whether it’s an email, case study, or white page. Your best copywriting skills can “sell” potential readers on subscribing to your content funnel. Tell them what’s in it for them – how they will benefit when they do opt in.
Content marketing is a powerful tool—but you have to do it right to enjoy the kind of success you want. Tried and true copywriting techniques that worked long before we had smartphones and the Internet can help you enjoy stellar content marketing results.