The Difference Between Content Writing And Content Marketing

Content, as they say, is king. With carefully stitched words, writers can inform, educate, inspire, and entertain. They can also make believers out of sceptics, making content writers an essential component in marketing.

In this highly competitive business landscape, a company’s unique value proposition isn’t enough to convert customers. Your target audience should clearly understand why they must choose your brand, products, and services over others. And that’s where content writing and content marketing come in.

According to estimates, the value of the global digital marketing and advertising sector has reached USD$476.9 billion this year. With an estimated 13.9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), it’s expected to reach USD$786.2 billion by 2026. More stories mean more selling opportunities.

Before diving into the distinctions between content writing and content marketing, it’s vital to grasp their definitions and fundamental concepts. Let’s begin.

What is Content Writing?

Content writing covers the processes involved in crafting written content based on a specific brand’s target market. These processes include researching the subject, keywords, and audience, looking for accompanying images or videos, interviewing experts, and incorporating search engine optimisation (SEO) practices. Writing content is one of the many essential components of offline and online marketing, which aims to draw organic traffic and generate leads.

Content Writing Examples

Whether increasing brand awareness, boosting organic traffic, introducing new products and services or providing solutions to common problems, writers create digital content in different formats, including:

  • Blog articles: A 2020 survey by the Content Marketing Institute found that 80% of marketers used them in their strategies. They serve multiple purposes, from raising awareness to enhancing brand authority and search engine rankings. Optimised blog articles serve as the primary point of contact for both potential and current clients. They contribute to a 55% increase in site visitors and are the source of brand awareness for 70% of consumers, according to Social Media Today.

  • Newsletters and e-mails: Newsletters and emails provide personalised information to clients, retaining and attracting them with exclusive discounts. Skilled copywriters enhance email marketing to build effective customer relationships.

  • How-to guides: How-to guides address client concerns, helping them understand your offers, product features, and added value, boosting their inclination to make a purchase.

  • Website content: Businesses aiming to attract new users and keep existing clients must prioritise their website content. A website is often the company’s first point of contact, and 40.7% of businesses use it as the main channel for their content marketing strategies – from uploading blogs to publishing other valuable resource, landing, and call-to-action pages.

  • Infographics: By showing graphs, tables, and numbers with minimal accompanying words, readers can easily understand what you’re trying to say without wasting too much time. Using infographics is a good idea in comparing your product or service with your competitors.

  • Case studies: They demonstrate how your product or service solves common customer problems. As long-form marketing content, they provide in-depth information on why prospects should opt for your brand, validating their choice and solidifying your brand authority more effectively than linking to authoritative sites for SEO. Well-crafted case studies serve as valuable promotional assets, showcasing real-world success stories.
  • E-books: E-books cover topics related to your offerings and customer challenges, building brand authority. They also help generate leads by offering valuable information in exchange for contact details.
  • White paper: Like e-books, white papers establish brand authority by offering solutions to specific problems, and persuading prospects to choose your brand over competitors—a potent marketing tool.
  • Video and podcast scripts: Video and podcast scripts are essential due to the growing popularity of these platforms. According to a survey, 74% of adult users aged 18 to 49 have increasingly used the world’s most popular video platform since 2015, and 41% of Americans older than 12 listened to podcasts in the month before a 2021 survey. These emerging channels have naturally attracted marketers, recognizing them as valuable marketing platforms. Consequently, content writers are in demand to create scripts for video and audio content.
  • Social media posts: Social media posts are a goldmine for online marketers, with over 4.5 billion users worldwide. Hubspot’s stats indicate that 82% of marketers repurpose content on these platforms, and 77% found it somewhat effective in 2021. Ideal for businesses targeting millennials.

What Makes Content Effective?

Measuring content effectiveness can be subjective, but tools exist to gauge impact. In general, online content should be high-quality, relevant, regularly updated, and valuable to engage potential clients and foster loyalty.

Content writers must understand customer pain points and offer solutions effectively. Content creation blends science and art, requiring a balance of keywords, structure, and strong writing skills.

For effective brand awareness and interest generation, digital content must rank well in search engines, especially since 53% of consumers conduct searches before making purchases. Content writers should have knowledge of search engine optimization practices before creating content.

Effective content should be:

  • Relevant to your target audience
  • Visually appealing
  • Shareable
  • Unique
  • Timeless
  • Updated
  • Grammatically correct
  • Contain links to your site, as well as authoritative external links
  • In the right format and on the right platform
  • Engaging

In the long term, content writing establishes brand reputation, earns trust, and benefits your brand. Quality content converts leads into customers.

However, educational and informative blog posts, articles, and information must be complemented with more sales-y material to sell your brand and persuade your audience to convert. Such type of content writing is called copywriting.

Consider using article writing services to enhance your content and engage your consumer base effectively.

Copywriting Basics

This specialised form of content writing entices potential clients to convert or perform specific actions that benefit your company. Copywriting is valuable in creating content intended for the following marketing and sales-related campaigns:

  • Sales pages
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) ads
  • PPC landing pages
  • Call-to-action pages
  • Social media ads
  • Product pages
  • Sales e-mails
  • Informercials
  • Short Message Service (SMS) ads

A good copywriter’s success is measured by how well they can convert leads to actual clients or respond positively to sales campaigns.

Now let’s move on to content marketing.

What is Content Marketing in Digital Marketing?

Content marketing encompasses activities that promote the brand using content to achieve specific business goals, providing value to your audience, attracting qualified leads, and gaining their trust and loyalty. Most of the valuable content can be accessed for free, driving your audience to want more and eventually use your paid products or services.

This fundamental marketing strategy involves content planning, creation, and distribution, targeting audiences and ushering them toward marketing and sales funnels. It’s a tool that can generate leads and turn them into prospects and clients into repeat customers.

5 Key Stages in Content Marketing

A curated list of 2023 content marketing statistics highlights its effectiveness in boosting sales, building customer relationships, and increasing brand awareness. Notably, content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing but generates over three times as many leads.

Yet, a successful content strategy doesn’t happen by magic. It’s the result of deliberate marketing efforts to navigate these stages.

     1. Customer and Competitor Research

Your content marketing strategy greatly depends on your target market, business goals, and niche. Research is fundamental in content writing and marketing because it lets you understand how to get the audience’s attention and persuade them to convert.

Using the following tools might help:

  • Site analytics to determine how visitors use or interact with websites and social media platforms
  • Surveys and polls to know their preferences and reactions to specific content, products, or services.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software
  • Reviewing customers’ posts, reviews, complaints, and feedback Understanding consumer’s search intent to create in-demand content
  • Studying competitor strategy to find unexplored topics and impactful methods

Creating a customer journey map, visualizing a customer’s experience with the company, proves useful in addressing potential and existing clients at various stages of their purchasing journey.

     2. Content Planning

Researching information allows content marketers to plan content for various prospect stages and select suitable channels. This involves determining content type, topics, tone, distribution schedule, and platforms.

Research has found that leading business-to-business (B2B) companies identified short articles of less than 3,000 words and virtual events, including online courses, webinars, and videos, as the most used content assets in 2021 and 2022.

Marketers should ensure alignment with goals and set performance indicators for easier content marketing analysis and revision.

     3. Content Creation

Content creation aligns with marketing goals such as brand recognition, authority, and revenue growth, aiming to attract new clients and foster loyalty.

The insights about effective content discussed earlier can guide content writers and marketers in producing appealing content. Beyond capturing interest, content must be engaging and compelling, driving positive reactions to sales and marketing ads.

Additionally, the following marketing efforts can help streamline the content production processes:

  • Establishing workflows
  • Listing the topics according to priority
  • Creating a content calendar
  • Using tools and software to make the process more efficient

Additionally, training content and copywriters in SEO techniques and keyword research enhances content visibility and reader engagement.

     4. Content Distribution and Promotion

Your content’s value relies on reaching your target audience. Effective marketing strategies, including social media marketing, SEO, and search engine marketing, help spread your brand’s message.

Choose distribution platforms that align with your audience’s channels. Repurposing blogs and articles for social media, embedding links in forums, using video platforms, and collaborating with influencers or brands can extend your content’s reach. A content management system simplifies this process.

     5. Content Performance Analysis and Revision

An effective content marketing strategy is just one piece of the puzzle. Consumer behavior can change rapidly due to online trends, market shifts, and industry disruptions. For instance, 3D content formats are gaining popularity in advertising because they provide an immersive experience.

Beyond emerging trends, content marketers must continuously monitor and measure content performance to refine their strategies. Calculating ROI for each content type and comparing actual metrics to planned ones are essential starting points.

An effective content strategy keeps readers coming back, using valuable resources like well-crafted eBooks and targeted email campaigns to engage visitors and enhance retention.

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Differences Between Content Writing vs. Content Marketing

And so, we’ve come to the most exciting part: learning the difference between content marketing and content writing.

To summarise the discussion thus far, content writing involves crafting content that informs, educates, and engages your target audience. Comparatively, content marketing is a strategy that ensures the generated content effectively promotes a brand.

In essence, content writing is just one component of content marketing. If content marketing were a triathlon, content writing would be akin to swimming or cycling.

To simplify, we’ve created a table outlining the distinctions between content marketing and content writing.

Concluding Thoughts

There’s no competition between content writing and content marketing. Both refine a company’s marketing strategies. Content marketing identifies audience issues and preferences, while content writing produces valuable, shareable, engaging resources.

Content marketing expands digital reach through planning and sharing engaging content, leading to revenue. Content writing supports and enhances content marketing, generating materials for lead generation and increased sales.

In essence, one can’t succeed without the other. Content marketing relies on great content, and strategic content writing follows an excellent content marketing strategy. Neglecting either can result in significant revenue losses.

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