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Content Strategy Vs Copywriting: What’s the Difference?
Creating compelling content is a major part of marketing. From print ads to landing pages, all promotional content you see is likely written by a copywriter and part of a larger strategy.
Without copy, businesses struggle to establish their brand voice and market themselves as a trustworthy and reliable source. There’s a reason why 79% of companies use content marketing to generate quality leads – it’s because potential customers look to content to inform, engage, and persuade them.
While content strategy and copywriting are both part of marketing, they focus on different aspects and goals. A content strategist creates content calendars and researches potential demographics to target, whereas a copywriter will take the information gathered and create compelling copy designed to persuade the reader to act.
In this article, we’ll explore the roles and responsibilities of content strategists and copywriters and how they work as part of a marketing campaign.
- A content strategy refers to planning, creating, and managing content to help businesses achieve their goals.
- Content strategies include multiple elements, such as content guidelines, editorial calendars, plans, and metrics, to properly manage a marketing campaign.
- A professional content strategist determines the correct audience to target by carrying out research and will devise content ideas to appeal to said audience.
- Strategists will develop content calendars, and tone of voice guidelines, write content, and identify and manage the right channels to publish copy. Unlike copywriters, strategists will analyse the effectiveness of published content using metrics.
- Copywriters and strategists will often work together to develop a marketing campaign that engages the right audience and generates leads and sales for a business.
- Strategists will regularly monitor metrics to understand how content performs by looking at engagement, click-through rates, and search engine rankings.
What is a Content Strategy?
When we say “content strategy“, we refer to the process of planning, creating, publishing, and managing content to achieve specific marketing or business goals.
A strategy will revolve around creating content for a defined audience, and the copy is tailored to suit their needs and preferences.
It allows individuals and businesses to craft their brand tone of voice, create content that aligns with their goals and objectives, and attract the right demographic.
A professional content strategy will include many elements, such as content guidelines, editorial calendars, plans, and metrics, to help strategists measure the effectiveness of published content and the appropriateness of the content channels being used. This could include anything from social media to an internal website.
What Does a Content Strategist Do?
A content strategist develops and executes a content marketing campaign on behalf of an organisation to meet their specified goals and objectives.
The scope of the strategy depends on the client, and the content strategist determines the best course of action through having regular meetings with the organisation.
The main focus of professional strategists is to plan, create, and manage published content that appeals to the client’s target demographic and will help the organisation grow their customer base and outreach as part of its business goals.
Content strategists are usually tasked with the following:
- Conducting relevant research to identify the needs and preferences of a target audience.
- Identifying content themes that align with both the business and the target market.
- Developing content calendars and tone of voice guidelines.
- Act as a content writer by writing, editing, and proofreading.
- Identifying and managing appropriate channels like social media, email, or search engine optimisation, often to maximise search engine visibility.
- Analysing the effectiveness of content using metrics such as engagement and conversions.
What Makes A Good Content Strategist?
A good content strategist will have plenty of skills and experience, enabling them to create and implement content strategies that align with a brand’s goals and deliver measurable results.
A content strategist is in a unique position. They need to balance creative editorial duties alongside salient business marketing to deliver campaigns that appeal to the target demographic and drive results. Strategists will stay up-to-date with emerging trends to keep the reader interested and informed without creating gimmicky ad campaigns.
A good strategist will always ask the right questions and work alongside a brand to understand and work on business goals. They will always ensure that content quality is high and copy consistently aligns with a brand’s voice and standards.
What Does a Copywriter Do?
While a content strategist manages the overall content marketing campaign, copywriters create content to encourage a particular target market to take action.
They usually follow a defined content strategy and craft copy while adhering to clear marketing goals.
A good copywriter will create content that persuades, informs, and engages the right target demographic.
Copywriters can adapt their writing style quickly, whether they’re writing website content, a blog post, or a product description.
Being a copywriter isn’t just about writing copy. They have a range of responsibilities, which include:
- Working alongside a content strategist to develop concepts and ideas for marketing campaigns.
- Craft short-form copy, such as headlines and slogans, that grabs the reader’s attention and aligns with other branded content.
- Writing social media copy for an organisation’s channels, such as LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.
- Long-form content writing, including product descriptions, sales pages, or blog posts that support business goals.
- Conducting research on target audiences, market trends, and specialised industries.
- Editing and proofreading content to ensure accuracy, consistency, and readability.
- Optimising content for search engine optimisation (SEO) and other digital marketing strategies.
What Content Does a Copywriter Create?
A copywriter is often tasked with creating content designed to educate and persuade a specific audience. While every copywriter is different, generally speaking, they write:
- Ads: Including print ads, digital ads, and sometimes video ads. They will write what appears in the advertisement, including the headline, body copy, and call-to-action.
- Website copy: A copywriter will craft landing pages and product descriptions on a company website, ensuring it informs and persuades the reader to take action – whether that’s buying a product or service or subscribing to a newsletter.
- Email marketing: Includes everything from email newsletters to customer service emails. The copywriter will write compelling subject lines and email content.
- Social media: The copywriter is responsible for writing social media posts and captions that are engaging and shareable while aligning with the brand’s voice and tone.
How Content Strategy is Different to Copywriting (and the Same)
We know what you’re thinking. Aren’t copywriters and content strategists the same?
While both are professional writers, content strategists work on planning and managing content, aligning it with their client’s goals and objectives and distributing it to the most effective channels.
A content strategist conducts the appropriate research, oversees content calendars, and pays close attention to content performance and whether it’s delivering results.
They form the backbone of any marketing strategy and work within a marketing budget to meet all client goals.
Unlike content strategists, copywriters are tasked with creating compelling content with persuasive language that encourages the target audience to take action.
Rather than strategising content writing to reach marketing goals, they instead focus on creating engaging content in the form of taglines, headlines, product descriptions, and other marketing materials.
Content strategists and copywriters often work closely with one another, combining a core strategy with writing skills to deliver the best results for the client.
While both professionals work towards different goals, they are both dedicated to delivering results for a client through content planning and creation.
Does content marketing include social media posts?
What makes a good copywriter?
A good copywriter is someone who has the ability to write persuasive, compelling, and engaging content that motivates the reader to take action. They will have a sound understanding of the target audience, a creative flair, and excellent attention to detail.
What's the difference between a content writer and a copywriter?
While content writers and copywriters are similar, they create different forms of content. Typically, content writers write long-form content, including blog posts and ebooks, designed to inform and entertain their audience.
In comparison, copywriters write shorter-form content designed to sell a product or service. They write anything from headlines to sales pages.
Are print ads part of copywriting?
Yes, print ads are part of copywriting, consisting of a headline, body copy, and a call-to-action. The goal of a print ad is to persuade the reader to take action, whether that’s making a purchase or visiting a website.
What is a sales funnel?
A sales funnel represents the customer stages during a purchase, from awareness to the final decision.
In some cases, content strategists will develop a sales funnel as part of their strategy, incorporating key content marketing tactics. They identify stages in the funnel where content can be used to help guide potential customers towards purchasing.
Do content strategists identify a business's target audience?
Content strategists will work with a business to define their target audience, pinpointing demographics, pain points, and interests. This information is then used to create a detailed content strategy tailored to the audience targeted.