How To Choose A Copywriter, Part 1: Copywriting or Content Creation?

Looking for a Copywriter?

Whether you need content for blog posts, an integrated sales campaign, product brochures or an industry award submission, you need to be using the right copywriter for the job. It’s as simple as that.

Sometimes you won’t have the capacity or the copywriting expertise in-house and you’ll need to secure the services of a freelance copywriter.

And that’s when it can get tricky.

How do you choose the best copywriter for the job?

Is a copywriter what you need, or will a content designer or a content creator be more suitable?

Let’s explore the key questions that you should consider before you engage a writer. Whoever you choose, they are going to be adding their words to your company’s personality and contributing to its voice.

You need to be sure they’ll deliver what you require to meet your business objectives.

Making a Start: Content Creator or Copywriter?

Writing for business is a blend of audience identification, storytelling and keyword strategy.

The Copywriter’s Approach

A skilful copywriter will use words to grab the attention of your customer and move them towards a sale, or any other pre-defined goal that you want to achieve.

They’ll use techniques like hitting the right pain points, addressing concerns, revealing key benefits and creating appeal to persuade your readers to take action.

A copywriter will look to you for what your audience wants and they will be led by your knowledge of your products and markets. They will hook your audiences based on the ideas that you generate and will take those ideas and enhance them with their understanding of writing techniques.

In short, a good copywriter will use the information you give them to generate the piece of copy that you asked for.

The Content Creator’s Approach

A skilful content creator, or content designer, will have the skillset of a copywriter, but will be able to provide an extra layer of marketing expertise.

A content creator may work with you to identify the gaps in your organisation’s content and will ensure these gaps are filled with quality content. They’ll focus on the language that your audience uses, what channels they prefer and the different types of content that they consume at different stages in the buying cycle.

If you’re not sure what content you need to be generating or are developing a blog, you should consider a content creator, who can work with you to maximise the opportunity.

A good content creator or content designer won’t just write on the topic that you request, they’ll place it in a wider context. They will do the research that ensures everything they produce is focused on how your products solve the problems of your audience. They may also assist you with a content calendar that develops angles and topics that approach your products from the customer’s perspective.

So What’s the Difference Between Copywriting and Content Creation?

In short, copywriters tend to write about your products and services in a linear way, using the topics and ideas that already exist. Copywriting begins with a company’s product and tells the audience how that product can help them.

Conversely, content creators begin with the audience. They explore what it is that potential customers want and then design content that fills those needs. They may also evaluate the different content routes and advise on the best options to consider, making suggestions on when to use long-form content, short-form, blog posts, video, interview-style, how to, testimonials, email, off-site, offline, page hierarchies and marketing automation techniques.

It’s all about delivering the right content to the right audience at the right time, and in the right way.

Some writers, like me, are adept at both copywriting and content creation. Others may excel at one, or focus predominantly on short-form content, long-form content or even PPC copy and strapline generation. The now and next needs of your business will determine your choice.

Whichever route you choose, effective content is a combination of writing, marketing and sales messaging, but it will only get you so far. Impeccable content won’t make an impact on your sales if you don’t have a clear marketing plan, tools, resources, strategies and tactics in place to make your business discoverable, interesting, trustworthy and credible.

In the next instalment I’ll explore where to find a writer and the subject of quality versus price.

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