An Introduction to Content Writing and Marketing
Marketing is not new, it’s been in existence since time immemorial. Every business has a dedicated department, budget, and a team for marketing. Content writing on the other hand is anything that is written to aid sales. Content writing and marketing are cohesive subjects.
A good content writer can help in striking the right chord with the end customer and thereby drive sales, which is the objective of marketing. There are many pertinent questions relating to content writing and marketing so stay tuned as we unravel these questions layer by layer.
Before we even begin to dig deeper, it is important that we know the basics. To me, marketing is displaying and communicating what is relevant and necessary. Marketing is the most natural skill that humans are born with.
A kid knows how to convey his emotions to get his parent’s attention. Parents market their child’s abilities to secure admission to a good school, marriage alliances are solely based on marketing the skills of prospective brides and grooms.
The point is that marketing is something that we see and apply in every facet of our life and there is absolutely no one in this world who does not use marketing. The only difference is some people use it consciously while some apply it at the subconscious level. When the marketing becomes more explicit, focused, and targeted, it can work wonders for businesses.
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Companies design marketing campaigns that allow them to share all that is important for a customer to know, like the brand, quality, usability, durability, availability, functionality, and so on. There are so many aspects to cover for each product/service that a single mode of marketing cannot suffice. Thus, you see traditional marketing channels like print media, TV advertisements, radio advertisements, billboards, etc. all being put to use to attract the customer.
However, traditional marketing lacked three important parameters:
2) Personal Touch
These three parameters are very well catered by digital marketing which has become the backbone of mainstream marketing. In mathematical parlance content writing and marketing are like a subset and superset, respectively.
Anything that is read, seen, or heard on the web is digital marketing. Any article you read, any video you watch, any script you hear, any personalized emails you receive is a part of content writing and marketing strategy. Thus, it is reasonable to say that content writing and marketing are indispensable tools for businesses.
Marketing is a very broad term. Each term in marketing like traditional marketing, digital marketing, types of marketing, etc. can be a full-fledged article in itself. Since traditional marketing has been in use for ages there is enough content available for it on the web therefore we will focus more on content writing and marketing as one whole tool in the further paragraphs. So without any further delay let’s get on with the basics of content writing.
Content writing is like giving words to a product to make it resonate with customers, their needs, and situations. There are different forms of content writing suitable for different platforms and different target audiences.
The language, tone, platform, graphics, etc. everything is customized to suit the relevant audience. A formal platform cannot target college students with corporate mumbo jumbo, it will be a fiasco. Similarly, content that is targeting corporate individuals cannot be written using college slang.
A technical corporate product needs content that does justice to what it stands for. A good content writer and marketer should be smart to gauge and match the product, platform, language, tone, and audience like a piece in a puzzle.
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● Different Types of Content Writing?
- Blogging: Blogging is the most common and known form of content writing. Everyone is well aware of blogging and would have read many blogs themselves. Blogging is a medium to share the writer’s experiences, learnings, and research on a product/service that others might also be looking to buy or invest in.
The use of keywords that will help you rank your website is also essential in the write-up. A blog that does not get ranked will serve no purpose as most readers will not be able to locate it.
So, the job of a content writer is to weave his thoughts in a way that is SEO-friendly. Blogs are a great way to improve traffic on your website. More traffic means more prospective leads. Thus content writing and marketing eventually aim at generating leads and then converting leads to sales.
- Copywriting: Writing a copy that is intended to generate interest in prospective leads and convert the interested leads to sales is copywriting. It has several subcomponents to it like:
- Product Description: This is what most of us have read while shopping online. Details regarding the product material, its size specifications, installation guidelines, etc. all are part of the product description. The content writer’s ability to convey the product features and benefits crisply is key.
- Website copy: Every business has a website today. Each website has multiple landing pages for its products, services, company background, history, etc.
Copywriter essentially helps to create content for each of these landing pages, products, and services in a way that keeps the website audience engaged and hooked to look for more. A good website copy should have a clear call to action (CTA) that can convert a lead into a sale.
- Sales copy: This can include anything from a flyer to a leaflet to a brochure to a full-blown user manual. Content writer’s ability to simplify even the most technical terms is essential especially if the target is to reach out to a layman. A complex brochure will never convert to sales. Similarly, a complex user manual is an irony in itself.
- Advertisements: Writing scripts for advertisements whether for social media or otherwise is a job of a content writer and marketer. The ability to write a script that resonates with the audience is a job that requires an in-depth understanding of the product, the benefits it provides, and the problems it resolves for customers.
It gets more difficult especially when a new version of an existing product is launched. Creating differentiation for your product becomes the core here.
- Infographics: Infographics are a combination of visual aid and words. It is very useful for products and services that require looking and reading at the same time.
E.g. to make people know about offered palmistry services, a picture of a palm with various lines and its name is an ideal example of infographics. Infographics help better retention of information as a human’s span of attention is limited when it comes to wordy paragraphs or sentences.
A visual is ideal to relay the information crisply and effectively. Content writers need to think of when to use infographics and when to use heavy worded articles.
- Press releases and print media: Though it is a traditional form of marketing, it does require the skills of a content writer to make the print advertisement click, and press release to convey only what is needed.
- Technical Writing: Technical writing or long-form is writing detailed papers or e-books on a particular technical topic. This is generally written by people who have experience in the technical field and thus can write research papers or white papers on the topics relating to the technical subject.
It sounds quite daunting at first, but it gets easier for people who have knowledge and experience in the said field. This is generally applicable for fields of technology, medical, finance, etc. where the writer needs a deeper understanding of the subject before they can produce something which resonates with the people in the industry or outside.
- Social Media Posts: Social media is the most popular and far-reaching mode of marketing, so it gets tapped quite frequently to generate interest in new products/services or just to maintain the brand’s presence in the market.
There is no marketing campaign possible without an active engagement on social media platforms. All the key leaders whether in corporate or politics, maintain an active presence on social media as it also helps in gaining ground-level feedback from the consumers.
For businesses to grow, there is an absolute unsaid need to understand the response of the consumers on every aspect of each business and accordingly modify or upgrade its products/services or marketing in general. The most important benefit is that social media allows content writers and marketers to experiment with multiple copies for a single product and see what resonates most with the customers.
- Emails: Email marketing is something we all have witnessed since we first set up our email IDs. Whether you are a customer or not, you will receive many offers, discount coupons, promotional event emails to lure you into buying or investing.
Over the period, emails have become more personalized too. The content writer has to have writing skills that say it all without too many words. Email marketing has a very limited attention span, so infographics work better here too. All in all this marketing channel requires the content writers to be quirky, crisp, and to the point to withhold customer’s interest.
These are the different types of content writing and marketing in general. Knowing the types of content writing and marketing will help you know what to expect in your job if you happen to become a content writer.
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● Features That Make Content Effective
Now let’s look at how to write so that content writing and marketing serve their purpose? This is extremely important as the content that does not resonate with the end consumer is a failed marketing cost. There are few features that a content writer should abide by to keep the consumers hooked to their copy and these features are as follows:
- Title: The title of the copy is very important to generate interest in readers. This is the first interaction of your article with the readers. The title should be intuitive enough for the readers to know what to expect in the article.
E.g., ‘Top 5 ways to style your scarf’. Reading this title sets the clear expectation for the reader that the article will contain 5 styles that can be experimented with a scarf. If the title of the article does not do justice to the content or vice-versa then you will lose credibility which will backfire on the whole content writing and marketing strategy.
- Introduction: A good introductory paragraph sets the tone for the entire article. It should contain a hook that creates curiosity in the minds of readers, leaving them craving for more. Please understand that this paragraph is where you either build interest or lose the interest of the reader.
If you are a beginner, make sure to have some of your friends and family read your first paragraph to see if they find it interesting enough to continue reading. Remember good content is not what you feel is right but instead, good content is what resonates well with a reader. Taking feedback while writing and after writing is what will help you to create good content.
- Target Audience: When deciding the content of the article, the first thing to know is your audience. Creating content for B2B is very different from creating content for B2C. Content for young adults has to be different from that for corporate folks. Trying to fit one size to all is a sure shot way to failure.
Writing a product description for a branded product requires a fair understanding of the users of that brand. Failure to bring the essence of the brand will not resonate well with brand loyal and brand conscious people.
Researching on the main topic and topics around it will help you construct a rough skeleton of your article which then needs to be beefed up with a solid write-up to bring it alive. Structuring your thoughts at the beginning allows you to remain focused all through your article and not get swayed into including too many unnecessary details or off-topic talks.
- Completing the hook: Remember the hook opened at the introductory stage. Make sure to close the hook and fulfill the promises made. Empathize with the readers to know if the key takeaways assured are being provided.
Nobody has, can, or will succeed in the long run if they fail to deliver on their commitments. Being honest and truthful to your content is what will make you a brand that will sell by the name.
A good content writer is known for honest and well-researched opinions. Having a hook keeps you focused on the line of content and completing the hook in the content body will give soul to your copy. Needless to say, never falter here.
- Current Events: Being updated about the current events and tying your content with that is also a popular way of engaging with consumers. Amul is the best example I could think of when it comes to creating content in line with current events.
This type of content is the most common on social media platforms. When used wisely this can become a very popular campaign. The most important thing here is that you have to be crisp and follow minimalism when it comes to words. Infographics are best utilized in creating this form of content. When writing long-form articles, this can be used in between to keep the readers engaged.
- Conclusion: Make sure you provide your concluding remarks in a summarized fashion. If there is a possibility to give opinions, then do so unbiasedly. Do keep in mind that opinions make you stand out from the rest.
Content can overlap but your opinion and the logical way of arriving at that opinion is the differentiating factor so make sure to include it in your article. Opinions can never be right or wrong, but it does show your integrity towards your research.
Adding your opinion comes with its own cost and benefit, so it is essential to weigh those before deciding to add them. Refrain from giving any if you believe it can work against the brand or product you are writing about.
Frequently Asked Questions:
➢ Is content writing and marketing the same?
No. Marketing is a broader term that contains everything relating to marketing like promotional events, traditional marketing, cold calling, digital marketing, etc. Content writing is instead a type of marketing that is used in various forms and for various platforms. As mentioned in the article before, content writing is a subset of marketing.
➢ What is the job of a content writer?
The content writer is essentially a part of the marketing team. A content writer is responsible for writing copies to generate sales. His creative writing can be used for writing white papers, media articles, social media posts, blogging, product description, etc. An experienced content writer can gradually become a content strategist.
➢ Is content writing a good career?
Content writing is an upcoming and high in-demand field. It does not require any technical background, to begin with. It is a high-volume low-cost kind of field, so the market share is big enough for multiple people to tap into. There is an ample opportunity to set up your own business in content writing and is a great work-from-home option too.
➢ Who can become a content writer?
Anyone with a bachelor’s degree in the field of communications, literature, etc. gets an added advantage, however, there are no prerequisites for one to opt for this field. If you incline to marketing and writing, you can opt for any of the content writing courses and become a certified content writer.
➢ Which content writing course is best?
There are many online and offline content writing courses available to select from. You can also read ‘7 Best Content Writing Courses in India in 2021’ for making an informed decision.
To conclude, content writing is an in-demand skill today. With the increasing importance of digital presence for all types of businesses, content writing has become the cornerstone for even small-scale entrepreneurs.
The sheer number of businesses, entrepreneurs, and big corporations provides enough bigger pie for many players to cut a share. It is a field of creative expression and allows for improved work flexibility that is becoming an important parameter for young adults entering the job market.
People looking to reenter the workforce after a break can also find this as a suitable career. Moreover, the need for content is not bound by any language barrier. The requirement for creative writing exists across languages and countries. There are ample free tools available for people starting in the field of content writing and marketing that serve as an aid and help you to get better with these skills.