If you’re with an agency, you’ve no doubt heard of content marketing. Perhaps you’ve even had luck selling a content marketing strategy to clients already. When it comes to creating that content, however, how should you do it? Should you hire a copywriter? What’s the difference between a copywriter and a content writer, anyway? How much will it cost you? Are there options for outsourcing that work?
We’ve answered these questions and more to help you determine the best method of providing quality content and copy for your clients, in a way that’s sustainable for your agency. First, though, we have some basic distinctions to clear up.
Ready? Let’s jump in!
What Is the Difference Between Content Writing and Copywriting?
Content writing and copywriting have two different goals. Put simply, content is designed to drive traffic, and copy is designed to sell. Content is the blog post educating readers on the different types of skincare ingredients and their benefits. Copy, meanwhile, is the persuasive pitch on a sales page that convinces a shopper to buy your skincare products.
Content engages. Copy converts.
Content is the bait. Copy is the hook.
This brings us to our next question…
Which Do My Clients Need: Content Writing or Copywriting?
In today’s world of inbound marketing, a good marketing strategy needs both components. Punchy, memorable ad copy alone doesn’t cut it anymore. Your audience is too savvy to be swept off their feet by a single tagline — even if it’s as memorable as “Breakfast of champions” or “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” They may buy your product or service once, but you’ve done nothing to keep them coming back for more. Audiences today want more value, more information and more entertainment, and less overt self-promotion.
On the flip side, however, if you supply oodles of informative, engaging content but never convince your readers to take any action, you’ll never get what you need from them. They’ll never even know what you want. Content needs copy, whether it’s in the form of pushing a particular product or simply asking your reader for their email address.
Like most relationships, the one between a business and a customer is a dance of give-and-take. Combining copy and content to find the balance between offering value and asking for something in return is tricky but essential for any content marketing strategy.
What Is the Difference Between a Copywriter and a Content Writer?
As you’ve likely guessed, copywriters and content writers possess different skills and bring different approaches to their work. When you hire a copywriter, you’re getting someone who specializes in short, snappy phrases designed to move and convince. They’re a flashy sprinter, tearing up the track and bringing the crowd to their feet.
A content writer, meanwhile, is the marathoner. They engage the audience through miles of quality content in blog posts, articles, ebooks, and more. They by turn inform, entertain, and inspire, engaging a loyal fan base all the way to the finish line.
But wait, you might ask — can’t a sprinter run a few miles, too? And can’t a marathoner sprint every once in a while?
You bet your Nikes they can. A good content writer will keep the business’s ultimate aims in mind and craft their content accordingly. Finding writers who understand both prongs — content and copy — allows you to have a marketing strategy that weaves the two seamlessly together throughout your website. It allows you to find that proper balance of give-and-take, from your landing page to your blog to your customer’s shopping cart.
What Projects Do I Hire a Copywriter For?
Any online business needs someone to write the copy and content on their website. If your agency is in charge of a client’s website and marketing, that means you need someone to write that content. Too often, digital marketers underestimate the value of quality writing, instead slapping a product description together at the last minute or assigning the company blog to an intern.
Both copy and content can be incredibly powerful marketing tools, when used correctly. That means having somebody who knows how to pair top-notch writing with SEO best practices to drive traffic and convert leads. Anytime you’re dealing with writing that is going to be read by potential customers, you owe it to your clients to hire a copywriter who knows what they’re doing.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Professional Copywriter?
Okay, you say — so creating quality content and copy is important. That means my agency should hire a professional copywriter full-time, right?
Not necessarily. The benefit of adding a copy and content writer to your in-house team is that they’ll be there anytime you need them. The downside, however, is that you’ll be paying a premium price for that convenience. The average full-time writer of web content makes around $75,000 per year writing regularly for one company. For many agencies, that figure represents a significant portion of their marketing budget, and it means less money to spend elsewhere.
Can I Outsource Copywriting?
What if you don’t have or aren’t willing to spend the kind of money needed to hire a copywriter? Is there another way to get your clients the content they need at a price you can afford, without sacrificing quality?
We’re so glad you asked!
As it turns out, outsourcing content is increasingly common. The latest research by Content Marketing Institute shows that 55 percent of B2C marketers — and nearly as many B2B marketers — outsource some of their content marketing.
Of course, outsourcing content creation can have its own challenges. It can be hard to know where to find great copywriters, or your freelancer might go radio silent just when you need them most. You may have to try multiple writers before finding one that works with your client’s brand and tone — and then you may have to find an entirely different one for a client in another vertical.
Fortunately, you aren’t stuck with the choice between a full-time copywriter who breaks the bank, and random freelance copywriters for hire. There are services available that provide both copy and content when you need them, from a community of writers who have already been vetted. For many agencies, these blog and content writing services offer a flexible and affordable alternative to hiring a full-time professional copywriter.
How Do I Find a Good Copywriter?
Finding a good copywriter — one who understands the current marketing environment and how to write effectively and authoritatively — is no easy feat. Add in the fact that they need to understand your client’s industry and its unique considerations, from construction to healthcare, and trying to hire a copywriter can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.
The good news? There’s a magnet you can use: Verblio. (We also got rid of the haystack for you.)
We know we’re only as good as the writers we work with, which is why we’ve combed through thousands of applicants to bring you the top 4 percent. Our writers have experience in everything from IT to music to insurance, real estate, and more, and they combine that industry expertise with five-star writing chops.
What are the Advantages of a Content Writing Service?
Call us biased, but we think there are a number of benefits to working with a content writing service like Verblio, as opposed to having all your content and copy written in-house.
- You only pay for what is actually written — not for a writer’s downtime.
- Have clients in different industries? Work with multiple writers with expertise in different areas, so every client gets the content they need.
- Scale your content volume indefinitely as you acquire more clients, without having to hire more full-time writers.
- Ditch the hassle of vetting, hiring, and onboarding writers, and skip straight to the part where you provide stellar content that makes your clients wonder what they ever did without you.
A content writing service bridges the gap between shelling out the big bucks for a professional in-house copywriter, and dealing with untested freelancers or turning to low-quality content farms. In addition to blog posts and other digital content, you can get web copy to build out your clients’ sites from top to bottom, complete with SEO and clear value propositions that drive both traffic and sales.
If you’re looking to hire a copywriter, why not opt for a community of over 3,000 of the best and brightest? Read all about our options for agencies or learn more about how to sell a content marketing strategy to clients.