Oftentimes, the terms “content marketing” and “copywriting” get mistaken for one and the same.
The reality is that while they do go together like bread and butter, they are separate entities, each with their own vital role in your blogging efforts.
Let’s begin our discussion with some short and sweet definitions, to make sure we’re all on the same page, but bear with me because then I’ll show you some cool (and simple :)) tips to help you use copywriting techniques to make your content not only more spellbinding tor readers but also more effective in attracting leads and customers.
So, what exactly is the difference between Content Marketing and Copywriting?
- According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
In other words, content marketing is all about writing great content – in the form of blog posts, reports, teleseminars, videos, social media updates, etc. – that draws people in and delivers value of some sort.
It might teach them to solve a particular challenge or show them how to improve their life/love/business in some way.
And here’s some great news for you: you’ve likely already mastered the art of writing valuable content for your community. Heck, you can probably shoot off blog posts in your sleep.
- So, how does copywriting come into play?
Where content marketing is about forging an initial relationship with readers, copywriting is all about drawing readers even deeper into your world.
Copywriting accomplishes this task in two ways:
1) Copywriting invokes strong emotions in readers. An emotional response to your content not only helps them remember you above all the other content marketers out there but also strengthen their bond with you and leaves them eager for more of what you have to offer (both free and, ultimately, paid).
Think of it this way: why do you watch your favorite TV show, or read your favorite author, or catch every movie in which a particular actor plays a role? Typically it’s because of the emotions you feel when reading or watching your favorites. Happiness. Sorrow. Pure entertainment. Maybe you just feel like you’re “home” when you’re immersed in that world.
We all have our reasons for feeling drawn to a particular person or entity, and effective copywriting can help you to forge that bond not with just any reader, but with those folks who are the perfect fit for your community and will become raving fans of your work.
2) Copywriting inspires readers to take a specific action. Blog readers are great. Newsletter subscribers are better. Paying customers? Now, THAT is the holy grail of your online business. Quite literally your bread and butter. And copywriting works to transform readers’ relationship with you from passive reader to mailing list subscriber or even paying customer.
Now, you might be thinking that this sounds all well and fine, but how do you go about combining the powers of content marketing and copywriting to make your work not only valuable to readers but to you as well?
I’m so glad you asked. 🙂
Here are 3 Ways to Add Copywriting Techniques and Amplify Your Content Marketing Efforts:
1) Take advantage of direct response copywriting rules to get readers into action. Many writers pen great content but then end their post abruptly, which can leave readers feeling lost as to what to do next.
The solution is to give readers a chance to dive even deeper into the topic if they so choose. This is known as a “call-to-action” in copy speak. 🙂
Let’s say you’re writing an article on exercise tips to lose belly fat. You can only cover so much information in one blog post, and there will be some readers who are happy to take that information and run with it. Others might want more guidance. And let’s say you have a book or home study course that dives deeper into losing belly fat. Maybe your article offers 3 exercise samples but your product offers 101 exercises they can do at home in 10 minutes or less. Or something like that. 🙂
At the end of your blog post (and possibly even in the body of your blog post if it makes sense), you mention the more in-depth product and provide a link for anyone who’s interested in diving deeper.
Some will take you up on it. Some won’t. And that’s okay.
(Hint: you don’t have to go for the sell if you don’t want to. You can also promote something free, like a report or webinar, if you want readers to join your mailing list.)
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2) Use proven copywriting techniques to keep readers hanging onto your every word.
One such technique is known in copywriting as the “Bucket Brigade.” Back in the day, a bucket brigade was a series of people who passed buckets of water down the line from the well to a fire. It was important to have a continuous line of people moving the buckets to help quickly douse the fire.
Likewise, in your marketing writing efforts a bucket brigade uses a series of words and phrases that lead people from your headline or blog post title down to your call-to-action that we talked about in the first method above.
They’re simply phrases and words that “join” together paragraphs in your content. Your writing needs to be seamless so that your prospect never has a chance to “slip out” the sides (or stop reading and click away, in other words). They can only go one way — forward to your offer at the end.
A good “Bucket Brigade” is a series of miniature “cliff hangers” that literally suck your prospects in your copy and keep them glued to the page all the way to the end. TV is a great example of using cliffhangers to keep folks engaged, both from season to season but also from commercial break to commercial break. If you notice, many shows will end a scene on a mini-cliffhanger to help ensure that you keep watching after the commercial break.
Examples of Bucket Brigade phrases include:
And here’s some great news for you:
A word of caution:
As you may have noticed…
And that’s not all…
And best of all…
But before I jump into the details, let me say this…
I must let you in on a secret…
Bear with me, because I’m going to show you how…
But there is just one small catch…
But more on that later…
All of the above allude to upcoming content that they won’t want to miss, so it helps to keep them interested and reading.
(Pssst: As you may have noticed, this article makes use of several Bucket Brigade phrases. Can you find them in the text? :))
3)Using Power Words to add some pizzazz to your content.
Power Words are to copywriting like peanut butter is to jelly. They help invoke emotions in readers, which keeps them more engaged in the content.
I like to refer to Power Words as simply “jazzed up” versions of regular, everyday words. Instead of hot, think sizzling.
Instead of big, think massive.
Instead of quick, think instant.
Massive return on investment.
- Here’s a quick example: Instead of saying, “In this article, we’re going to talk about how to stop your dog from barking,” we might insert some power words to say, “This article will reveal 5 proven ways to instantly stop your dog’s incessant barking for good so you can savor refreshing silence once more.”
The underlined words are power words, by the way. 🙂 Notice how they help to paint a picture in the reader’s mind of the relief they’ll feel once they solve this particular challenge (by reading all the way through your article, of course).
And best of all, one or all of these techniques can be put into place immediately, on both new blog posts or to breathe new life into oldies-but-goodies.
Which will you try today? Let me know in the comments below.
Want even MORE info on how to use copywriting to amp up your content marketing efforts? Join Donna & I in an upcoming live training and discover my 5-step process for writing blog articles that get noticed and help transform readers into subscribers and customers. Enter your name and email address below to save your spot.
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