Since the emergence of the world wide web for public and especially commercial use in the mid 90’s new disciplines such as copywriting, content marketing and content strategy had their appearance also in the German speaking world. With growing importance of the internet for our industry and the progressing digitalization these disciplines obtain a growing importance in every company representing their values, products or services online.
That being said, there is still a common misconception of those differing disciplines, which I try to explain in this blog post.
What does Content Marketing, Content Strategy or Copywriting even mean?
“Content” itself is a rather tricky term (especially for non-english natives) because there are several types and formats that constitute content. In short: Those three disciplines are different practices but essentially intertwined in the creation of a successful online presence.
In order to explain their characteristics and on the other hand their connections, I will turn to an unrelated but somehow similar concept; building a house. You never start building a house at the roof, there always has to be a foundation on which you can build up your home. Without a well thought through blueprint that governs the construction in all its phases you most probably get a jerry-built house. This approach can be converted to building an internet presence of a company with the website being the home.
Efficiently working with web content requires three essential disciplines:
- A useful content strategy
- High-quality copywriting
- Smart content marketing
Content strategy – the solid foundation based on your blueprint
To state Robert Rose of the CMI (Content Marketing Institute): “whereas content marketing addresses the “why”. content strategy asks about the “how”.” Content strategy is basically asking how to use content to meet your business goals. Content strategy is the foundation of our house, documented in a blueprint, acting like a roof for all our sub-strategies.
Content strategy covers your persuasive content, the retention content and very importantly the content management. Strategy mainly takes part in the analysis of your content lifecycle management covering the topics requirements, user research, governance and budget.
Nina Löffler stats in “Think Content” that according to different research studies of the CMI (Content Marketing Insititute), companies with a distinctive strategy work way more efficiently than the ones without. Which covers our earlier mentioned theory of a jerry-built house without a foundation.
But what is the use of a well worked out content strategy without actual content? This is where copywriting comes into play.
Copywriting – the live, stories and memories that fill your house
After building the foundation of your home you start filling up your room not only with furniture but with experiences and memories that tell your individual story. This is what copywriters do with our webpages. Copywriting includes the creation of original content based on a variety of source material. In doing so, copywriting accomplishes a number of goals. It weaves the brand story throughout all content, it communicates with target personas, builds trust, engages readers and finds a balance between thought leadership and promotional content. Copywriting can therefore also be seen as a tool for Content Marketing. Actually, a quite essential tool. Keeping in mind that text-based content is a very important tool for content marketers, not least because of the discoverability by search engines.
Content marketing – a tool to make your house attractive to potential buyers
Since a web business can’t rely its success on bought traffic and traditional advertisement, the discipline of Content Marketing has risen to be an integral part of every content strategy.
What use is your solid structure and high-quality furniture of, if no one can see your house to admire or even buy it? In this case, a content marketer can be compared to a real-estate agent. He uses content to help his organization sell their products or services online.
Content marketing is the process of using digital platforms to promote content for target audiences. As a component of inbound marketing, content marketing aims to pull prospects towards the brand by showcasing the benefits for each individual persona.
To sum up
Content Strategy, Content Marketing and Copywriting go hand in hand, are mutually dependent and are at the same time disciplines of their own.