Content Marketing vs. Blogging
If you’re a small business owner stumbling upon a copywriter’s social media pages, you might be wondering when or why you’d need a web copywriter for your business. Particularly when you see someone offering to write blogs for you. Can’t you write your own blogs? Sure, you can and somebody should be. Copywriters in my niche however, tend to have more of a focus on content marketing. This is using the content your business shares to position brands as figures that their followers can know, like and trust. This can take time, energy and experience that you might not have right now.
While the term content marketing can often be exchanged casually for the word blogging in conversation, there is a difference between the two. Content marketing is the creation of valuable content to attract and convert customers. Whereas blogging can have a variety of purposes such as sharing your thoughts, feelings and experiences.
Content marketing is a much more planned, targeted and monitored activity than personal blogging. It's the art of using content that is relevant to your field and valuable to your ideal consumer to position yourself as an authority, establishing trust as a knowledgeable expert.
Things that content marketers do differently to bloggers:
1. Plan ahead
Content marketers plan and schedule their posts ahead of time, with a general marketing goal in mind that stretches across all posts. Each piece of content has a goal and a call-to-action that aims to spur the reader into action towards that facilitates the businesses overall goal.
2. Keyword research and SEO
Content marketers don't jump into writing without keyword research to support their goal of search engine optimisation. They build targeted search terms into the content to make it easily accessible by potential customers who are using Google to search for the specific service or goods the business is providing.
3. Design content to be shared
While blogging can be a personally expressive art-form, content marketing is aimed toward creating valuable content that invites the reader to click the share button. This is how the word is spread and a business finds more potential customers or clients. Sometimes the content marketers' goal may predominantly be to "go viral".
4. Monitor analytics
Content marketing is all about the analytics. What worked, what didn’t work? What got viewed the most times versus what got shared the most times. Do those analytics match up, or is your readers’ favourite content not getting put in front of enough people because you haven’t used the right keywords? All these kinds of questions come into consideration when you’re using written content to market your business.
5. Consume competitor content
Again, while blogging can be an individualistic form of self-expression, content marketers are likely to consume the content of competitors in an effort to better understand what clients are looking for and piggyback off their keyword research. If you've ever run a Facebook page you'll have seen that you can even list competitors and monitor their analytics. This way you can see what content people like and share, staying on top of social media trends and creating content your demographic actually want to see.
6. Keep content relevant to the digital marketing strategy
If you hired a paid content marketer for your business, they would have a scheduled content calendar that tracked the events of your business including what you wanted to advertise, sales, holidays, etc. Each piece of content published would serve to promote the goals of your business and in the aim of serving an overall digital marketing strategy. Not much is posted willy-nilly just because it's pretty. (Although many digital marketing strategies have room for the pretty stuff, too.)
7. End content with a call-to-action
Blogging can be posted however you like, but content marketing will usually have a specific call-to-action at the end to convert the reader. Whether it's a direct sale, an opt-in that swaps an email address for some valuable content or a request to leave a comment to continue to build your online presence. There'll be some request for the readers to do something after they've finished before they drift off into the oblivion.
To summarise, content marketing is the technique of using valuable information to ultimately drive the reader to action over time. It is not an ad or a sales pitch, but the slow build of reputation and a relationship of trust with your readers. It is a planned, targeted and monitored marketing strategy. Content marketing lets potential customers know that you know what you’re talking about. You’re the real deal and you have the knowledge to prove it.
Wanting to get started on content marketing for your own business? Before you jump in, have a read of 3 Quick Tips to Better Writing and sign-up to get more writing tips and my latest blog posts dropped in your inbox here.