We often see people interchangeably use “content writing” and “content marketing.” However, it shouldn’t be that way. While content marketing has been a crucial part of digital marketing, so has content writing. But how do they both differ?
What is content marketing?
Content marketing includes the planning, creation, and distribution of content to target audiences and convert them into customers. Content marketing doesn’t directly target the customer but instead takes a non-sales-y and subtle approach to marketing.
For content marketing, you can use a mix of various forms, like images, audio, and written content. But keep in mind the preference and touchpoints of your audience, alongside the nature of the business.
The content can be distributed via various paid and organic platforms, like email, social media, or search engines. And you do all this to push your audience through the sales funnel to the customer phase.
Content marketing aims to present the intended audience with free content to provoke the audience into trading with the company by purchasing their product or service. These services are provided by content marketers and include content like:
- Drafting and publishing blog posts
- Keeping track of social media reach and engagements
- Uploading a video on social media
- Writing and publishing LinkedIn articles
- Drafting and sending newsletters
While these are examples of what a content marketer does, it isn’t limited to these examples only. A content marketer must take care of everything from producing to publishing and ensuring the content reaches the intended audience.
Content marketing has a few different results, including:
- Building brand recognition
- Improving the backlink profile of the brand
- Growing the brand authority
- Increasing and attracting organic traffic
- And most importantly, attracting and converting prospects.
But, if that’s content marketing, then what exactly is content writing? That’s precisely what we’re discussing next.
What is content writing?
Content writing provides more of a supporting function to content marketing and its objectives by simply creating content. But not any straightforward content, instead content that is high in both value and quality.
While this is just one purpose of content writing, it isn’t limited. On the whole, content writing refers to writing content that is engaging to delivering the content to the platform where its to be published. Hence, it includes all processes from researching, writing, sourcing images, and even conducting interviews with experts.
While these are all functions of content writers, sometimes, it can include optimizing content concerning the channel. However, optimization is more relevant to blogs or articles for websites to increase search engine rankings.
Examples of content writing include:
- Case studies
- Blog posts
So, what’s the difference between them both?
Content marketing vs. content writing
Keeping in mind what we’ve already discussed, content writing, at times, can be part of content marketing; however, it can’t be the opposite. While content writing is just producing a copy ready for publishing, content marketing is more a technical aspect, including:
- Developing a content marketing strategy
- Deciding the type of content to be published
- Creating the content
- Publishing the content
- Promoting the content
- Monitoring the performance of the content
So, whenever the content is produced for marketing purposes or strategy, like building awareness or promoting a product or a brand. In contrast, content writing is just producing content, at times, even without the intention of publishing.
Every type of content that is written has a purpose behind it. Especially if you’re writing for a business, you need to track performance, which Key Performance Indicators - KPIs can easily judge.
Content writing KPIs:
KPIs for content writers differ from KPIs for content marketers. Since content writers may not have direct insights or contact with the audience or the product, they must identify KPIs to improve the quality of their work.
A red flag for a content writer does not measure their KPIs before publishing. So, the following are discussed factors that you must evaluate your copy over:
1. Readability score
One of the biggest turnoffs for a reader is having a tough time reading and comprehending your copy. Factors that may impact the readability of your copy include:
- The word and character count per sentence
- Word syllable count
- Choice of word and language
- Advanced vocabulary
- Visual design and UX design
If you’re looking to improve the readability score of your copy, keep it so simple and easy that a 10-year-old can even understand it. This isn’t just to improve the quality of your content but also to boost your SEO rankings.
Once you’re done writing your content, run it through tools like Read-able and Hemingway App. Or, to save time, write your content directly over the Hemingway App.
2. SEO score
You may be wrong if you think you’re just writing for humans. Once you publish your content, it is read by humans and robots, and search engines. So, you need to ensure that your content is easy to comprehend by humans and by robots and search engines.
For your content to reach humans, you have to pass it across from the robots. If they don’t favor it, likely, people won’t be able to discover it. Here, robots don’t mean actual robots from Japan, but search engines. So, if you’re writing to improve your SEO rank, you’ll have to keep up with the updated search engine algorithms. Factors that can impact your SEO ranking include:
- Your content should be long. A 3000-word blog post is more likely to keep the readers engaged than a 400-word blog post. Thus, a long-form blog post will rank higher than a short-form.
- There is a faster loading time with good page speed because no one will wait for your page to load slowly. Instead, they’ll exit and go to the competitor.
- The website should aim to keep the audience on the site for as long as feasible. This will aid in reducing the bounce rate. So, to keep them hooked to your website, add internal links. This will redirect the readers to another related page on your website.
While there isn’t anything like perfection, you must still strive for it. Seek feedback from your editor or employer to improve your shortcomings. While feedback for editors is crucial, it is not sufficient enough. Other ways to generate more relevant feedback include:
Comments are one of the most valuable means of feedback. They give you direct insight into the thoughts of the readers. This indicates how the audience felt and connected with your content. If you look at comments from a feedback point of view, you can evaluate your content.
While there can be good and bad comments, it’s essential to focus on both. Good so that you can identify your strengths and maintain them. And bad so that you can work over them and improve them in your future content.
Likes are a great tool to improve visibility and reach, and more likes translate to a stronger post authority. Additionally, if posts have higher likes, it intrigues other users to engage with that post, hence boosting SEO ranking, traffic, and potentially conversions too.
Likes are a strong indication of likeability and social proof of quality content.
The number of social media shares on a post boosts the traffic to your content. When you share a post, it’s more likely to reach more people, increasing traffic to your content. And, of course, people only share content that they feel is worthy of being read by all.
Content marketing KPIs:
Understanding the performance of your content is vital to figuring out how much value the content is adding to the business. Since the content marketing strategy takes up a lot of resources, it’s crucial to have frequent content marketing performance reviews.
Unlike content writing, content marketing has access to better knowledge, insights, and data. While there are several KPIs, the following are the most effective:
1. Organic traffic
Organic traffic isn’t just a good metric but also why businesses opt for a content marketing strategy. Hence, it’s considered one of the most valuable KPIs. That’s not just us saying; surveys have indicated so too.
Organic traffic will help you measure how many visitors came across your website from a search engine result page. A lower number doesn’t necessarily mean something wrong with your content; it may be because of the choice of keywords or because you haven’t correctly optimized the content.
While focusing on organic traffic is crucial, you must aim to dominate the search engine ranking. This will automatically increase the organic traffic.
2. Social media reach and engagement
Another crucial KPI is how people react, comment, share, and save your content on social networking sites. And 47% of marketers agree so as well. The evaluation of traffic and engagement on social media content will aid in understanding how the audience resonates with the content and, more importantly if you’re targeting the correct audience or not.
This can be easily measured by:
- The kind of reactions you’re receiving on posts
- Thoroughly scanning through the comments
- In which context are people mentioning you online
- Where and what kind of shares are you receiving
All of this, alongside the reach, is important to evaluate the engagement of your content. While 1,000 likes standalone may not seem like a good figure. However, if the reach of your content is only 1,500, it sure looks like a good figure.
3. Page average time
The average time a user spends on the page will help you judge how captivating your content is. The more time people spend on your website’s page, the more likely your content will keep them hooked. This is a positive sign that your content is effective.
Whereas the less time they spend means they’re just skimming through your content or aren’t fascinated with it. Hence, it would help if you worked on it. While organic traffic is a good indicator, if you fail to keep them captivated, you won’t be able to achieve your desired results.
Analyze the top-performing content and compare it with the least performing ones to identify factors like format, structure, and length. This will help you in developing guidelines for ideals copies.
4. Leads generated
The amount of leads generated is another crucial element of the KPIs. If you have a high number of generated leads, your content is valuable and captivating. Hence, people have shared their contact information to learn more about your services.
Generating new leads isn’t all that you have to look for. Maintaining relations and connecting with existing leads is just as crucial because you have to convert those leads and nurture them along the content marketing funnel.
5. Conversion rate
Measuring and tracking the conversion rate, preferably organic, is a crucial content performance measure. Conversion can vary as per the objectives of your business or call to action; while for some, it may be sales generation, others may classify it as lead generation.
Furthermore, to use conversion rate as a KPI, you’ll have to set a benchmark to compare and analyze results. There is no universal benchmark; they vary as per campaigns and objectives. You can use the average of your conversion rate over the past three months as a benchmark.
While all of these KPIs are crucial to assess the effectiveness of the content by the content marketer. Using tools like Google Analytics can ease your task.
Continue reading to learn further about the distinction between the role of a content marketer and a content writer.
What is a content marketer? What does the content marketer do?
A content marketer plays the role of a bridge between the business and the interests of the intended audience. And they can do so via their content.
The roles of a content marketer include planning a content marketing strategy, creating valuable content, and then sharing them over the respective platforms. All of this is to attract the prospects and convert them into not just customers but repeated buyers.
The type of content varies as per business objectives. For some, the purpose is to convert prospects to customers. While for others, it is just to educate the readers. Additionally, a content marketer can easily achieve these goals using skills like:
- Content writing
- Content marketing strategy
- Social media
- Subscription assets
But you’re probably wondering how is that different from a content strategist? Read on to clear that confusion!
What is a content strategist? What does a content strategist do?
The demand for content strategists has constantly been increasing all across the globe. There are at least a thousand vacancies for content strategists even today. But what does a content strategist do?
While this is a relatively new field, it is very different as opposed to content marketing; however, there are a few similarities. While both a content strategist and a content marketer complement each other, they are different roles.
Content strategy is more of a planning job alongside creating, delivering, and governing valuable and relevant content. The responsibilities of a content strategist may vary from firm to firm. You can even go solo or work in a team. But some responsibilities remain standard, like:
- Defining the brand message for content
- Creating and communicating the value proposition for content
- Establishing the workflow, management, and governance for content
- Identifying opportunities and gaps
- Competitors analysis
- Content auditing
- Content mapping
- Editorial calendar – creating and managing
- Analysis of the content marketing strategy
- Tracking and calculating the return on investment of the content
- Overlooking the style and tone of writing for content
Apart from these responsibilities, to be a good content strategist, you should have the following skills:
- Copywriting skills
- Presentation skills
- Delivery skills
- Experienced content strategy campaign handler
- Content Monetization
- Editorial competency
- Analytical skills
Let’s put it this way; a content strategist is an upskilled content marketer. Hence, upskilling in this digital and fast-paced era is very crucial so that you don’t end up unemployed. This will aid you in evolving with trends and adapting quickly and flexibly to your respective domain.
Bringing them together
While content marketing and content writing may sound synonymic, they aren’t indeed. While a content writer’s job is to draft publish-worthy content, it may not necessarily be for a business; it can be personal. In contrast, the job of a content marketer is more inclined towards a business.
And due to the difference in the jobs, the performance indicators differ too. Performance monitoring starts from the first alphabet written to publishing for a content writer.
After which, the performance review of the content marketer starts. Whether their strategies are viable or not, have they placed the call-to-actions appropriately or not. And all of this is reviewed through indicators like bounce rate, conversion rate, and organic traffic.
We believe this article has cleared up any confusion regarding both. And in case you’re looking for content writing services or are looking to form a content marketing strategy, we can help you with both!