top of page

Content Marketing Episode 3: Copy vs Content

Start Something, Columbia! took on content marketing for the third week today. Remember you can listen live here and here. Here are the show notes:

Theme for the day:

Content Marketing Part 3! So much still to cover and we’ve already done two shows on this.

Agenda review:

Today we’ll hear from Jada Willis, 1MC co-organizer and this week’s presenter.

We’ll focus on the difference between content and copy when it comes to writing.

And we’ll walk through the buying cycle and discuss how content marketing fits in to each stage.

Segment 1:

This week at 1 MC -- Jada Willis of Willis HR is an outsourced human resources professional. She’s built a library of content to support hiring and personnel management practices including job descriptions, interview questionnaires, onboarding documentation, even termination procedures. She’s a wealth of HR knowledge. Questions for Jada:

Why did you start Willis HR?

What’s the biggest mistake small companies make in the hiring process?

What do you hope to get from your 1MC talk tomorrow?

Segment 2:

Topic of the week -- Content Marketing (again)

Content marketingis a form of marketingfocused on creating, publishing, and distributing contentfor a targeted audience online. It is often used by businesses in order to: Attract attention and generate leads. Expand their customer base. Generate or increase online sales.

So this week we’re gonna break down the difference between content and copy and our blog has a great piece on this topic: Content vs. Copy, let’s get this clarified.

It makes reference to another article, “Confessions of a Six-Figure Copywriter” by Abby Woodcock. In her article, Abby is transparent about the difference between copy and content, how buyers become overwhelmed with the need for copy and content, and the cost differences between the two.

  • Our article focused on defining “business writers” and discussing their role in the content creation effort.

  • Content writers create work the “summarizes, engages, introduces and educates” according to Woodcock. So a blog to establish industry credibility would be content.

  • Copy sells. So advertisements, sales emails, and web pages all need a copywriter. Someone who uses psychology to move a person from one position to another.

The key word here is “valuable.”

It’s what changes this definition from one that could describe almost any form of advertising or marketing. You can tell if a piece of content is the sort that could be part of a content marketing campaign if people seek it out, if people wantto consume it, rather than avoiding it.

Because content can be persuasive but that is not its aim, content is less expensive. Know the difference before hiring a writer. What are you trying to accomplish?

Neil Patel -- we’ve used his work here before -- tells us Content Writers should have these skills in his article Five Essential Skills for Marketing Copywriters Today:

  1. Polished writing skills -- easy to read, make complex ideas easy to understand, compelling conclusions, selecting the best vocabulary

  2. Headline creation -- five times as many people read the headline as the copy itself, so the headline’s got to have special time and attention

  3. Awareness of the user experience -- how someone interacts with and feels about the content they’re consuming from your site (Neil even suggests writers focus on that instead of SEO).

Let’s talk SEO -- Larry’s a website guy. What’s your take on SEO?

I confess, we have some tricks for that which I’ll share but first, there’s a great blog on Content Marketing about a “bubble bursting” in the SEO content industry.

It’s by Jodi Harris who gave us our GOLD MINE article last week and she does it again here:

SEO Content: Excel with a 15 Point Plan (you know bloggers love lists); here are four of her tips:

  1. Document your strategy

  2. View SEO and content as partners, not competitors

  3. Choose the right keyword

  4. Combine SEO and social media

Segment 3:

The Buying Cycle

Perhaps more important than understand what content marketingis, is understanding whycontent marketing is important to your business. First we need to understand the four steps of the buying cycle:

  1. Awareness.Prior to awareness a customer may have a need, but they are not aware there is a solution.

  2. Research.Once a customer is aware there is a solution, they will perform research to educate themselves. For example, a car buyer will try to find out what different types of cars exist, and which one will fit their needs.

  3. Consideration.At this point the customer starts comparing different products from different vendors to make sure they’re getting a high quality product at a fair price. This is called Value.

  4. Buy.Finally, the customer makes their decision and moves forward with the transaction.

Traditional advertising and marketing is great when it comes to the second two steps. Content marketing taps into the first two stages of the buying process by raising awareness of solutions and educating consumers about a product they may have never considered before.

Here again, Jodi Harris of comes to our aid with “The Content Match Game: Tips For Better Content Alignment Throughout the Buying Cycle.”

She breaks the audience into Suspects, Prospects, Leads, and Opportunities.

  • Suspectswant what the company knowsnot what the company sells.

  • Prospectsare looking for a solution to a problem, content that lets them do-it-themselves (which makes them ripe for conversions into customers)

  • Leadsalso want solutions, but they may not be in a position to buy. Here’s where that BANT acronym comes in, we mentioned it a few weeks ago -- Leads with the Budget, Authority, Need and Timing to make the sale. These are your white paper, case study, and demo video consumers.

  • Opportunities, these are the people who are ready to make a buying decision and they want it to be a good one; they want Return on Investment data, pricing sheets, and templates -- they want to know what the work will look like once it’s underway.

Graphics – psycho, demo and geo

How the 3 graphics relate to copy and content –

Psychology moves people! -- noun: psychographics

“The study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria, especially in market research.”

  1. Psychographicsare kind of like demographics. Psychographicinformation might be your buyer's habits, hobbies, spending habits and values.

  2. Demographicsexplain “who”your buyer is, whilepsychographicsexplain “why” they buy. Demographic information includes gender, age, income, and marital status – the dry facts.

  3. Geographics – Geographicsegmentation is when a business divides its marketon the basis of geography. You can geographically segment a marketby area, such as cities, counties, regions, countries, and international regions. You can also break a marketdown into rural, suburban and urban areas.

Psychographics Are Just as Important for Marketers as Demographics (The Harvard Review)

Marketers are used to thinking and speaking in demographics, since slicing a market up by age, gender, ethnicity and other broad variables can help to understand the differences and commonalities among customers. Think “our target audience is 14- to 34-year-olds” or “we are launching a campaign aimed at urban Latinos.”

But psychographics, which measure customers’ attitudes and interests rather than “objective” demographic criteria, can provide deep insightthat complements what we learn from demographics.

When you understand these kinds of psychographic differences, marketing tools will make your insight actionable in a way that was nearly impossible before the heyday of Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Using psychographics allows you to do smarter keyword targeting –

Segment 4:

Events of the week --

1 Million Cups Columbia meets at Richland Library on Wednesday at 9 a.m. Our speaker is Jada Willis of Willis HR.

Main Street Music Series: May 30th Come support this band showcase featuring The Knowbodyz, Two Way Street and Serious FM, in the student concert series at Main St Public House from 7-9 PM, in the heart of downtown. Get some food, drinks, support and enjoy an amazing evening of music!

Want more Start Something, Columbia! ? Like us on Facebook for updates, behind the scenes pictures, and upcoming meet-ups and show notes.

11 views0 comments
bottom of page