You’ve probably heard phrases like “content is king” and “create consistent content” over and over again from your marketing departments. Perhaps you’ve read a lot of articles espousing how important it is to have strong content or great copy on your site. The truth is, there is a difference between copy and content, and a good marketer will know the difference. Good content is viewed as a commodity, whereas copy will persuade your readers to action, ideally. Whether you’re looking for some advice for your current small business or you’re looking to level up or start a new one, here are some guidelines to help you navigate the world of copy versus content.
Know the difference
In the most basic of descriptions, content will include items like press releases, news updates, video transcripts and other similar items. Copy however, is comprised of items like the text on your website page, blog posts, social media updates, product descriptions and, occasionally, white papers, e-books and handbooks. These types of copy are standard to most businesses, and are usually for people that are already searching your site. Content is more about drawing new clients and customers to your business. It’s a fine line, but there is a line.
Tell a story
When you’re writing your own content or contracting it out to a freelance writer or content creation firm, be sure to think like your customer. Think about everything your ideal customer needs from your product or service, then start making a list of those features. With that list in mind, you can start creating your content while focusing on those items. Think in terms of outcome and not the product or process by telling a story. For example, if you run a business that sells hair care products, you’ll find more success by sharing a great story of how someone achieved cleaner, healthier, stronger, thicker hair instead of just sharing the list of ingredients. It’s the story of the product itself that compels a person to buy.
Don’t forget a call to action
Urgency is important in marketing. If you don’t inspire a sense of urgency, then you won’t have customers lining up to buy your product or service. One such way to create that urgency is through your call to action, which should be included in every single promotion you send out. Put time limits on your offers, explain that supplies are limited or announce a price increase that will take effect in a few weeks. These simple calls to action, with the added urgency, will help increase sales.
Always stay positive
Many times you’ll find products or services marketing towards the “doom and gloom” side of marketing, meaning they focus on how bad things will be if you don’t buy their product. That tactic can work, but its longevity is limited once the customer finds out that doomsday is not actually around the corner. Instead, focus on ways to showcase your products and outcomes in a positive light when writing your copy and content. A light hand and a positive outlook will do wonders to bring in more clients.
This article was written by Deborah Flomberg of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.