Copywriters drive sales.
Content Marketers educate and inform.
Copywriting and Content Marketing are used at different stages in the buying cycle.
Both are necessary.
It’s like a chemistry teacher who knows she needs to teach stoichiometry, atomic theory, kinetics, and the periodic table. But a chemistry teacher also knows the classroom is not enough. It’s only when she gets them in the laboratory that she can coach her students on how to apply the theory.
Content marketers educate. Copywriters persuade buyers to apply their education, to consume your product and fix their problem.
B2B customers want to solve a problem
Business customers buy because they want to solve a problem.
Business buyers go through a repeatable, predictable process when they make a decision to buy. When you understand where your B2B customers are in their buying cycle, you can help them move to a decision to solve their problem.
In the early stages buyers may acknowledge that a problem exists, but it doesn’t appear to be a big problem. They don’t place a high priority on fixing the problem.
It’s too early at this stage of the buying cycle to start selling anything to your customer.
The customer hasn’t even acknowledged that the problem is important enough to solve.
And customers don’t fix small problems. They fix big problems.
Educate your buyers
At this early stage in the buying cycle, write articles that educate, that answer questions, and that build trust.
(Of course they don’t have to be articles. You can publish content using other media—videos, podcasts, online tools, and white papers.)
Write articles on a variety of topics:
- Business and technical issues that your customers face
- Interviews with industry experts
- Implementation and integration issues
- Answers to questions that salespeople and customer support staff answer regularly
As you educate your customers through articles, you’ll also build trust. They will come to see that you are experienced, that you share their values, and that you want to serve their needs.
Stop educating, start selling
Some of your buyers will read your articles and decide that they want to fix the problem.
At this stage in the buying cycle it’s time to start selling with your copywriting.
Your copywriters persuade customers to enter into a meaningful business relationship with you.
Copywriting lays out the problem and the consequences of not fixing it. Copywriting explains how your solution is the antidote to the problem. It addresses objections and cites testimonials.
Copywriting converts buyers into customers.
Why has Content Marketing become important?
Copywriters and copywriting have been around for a long time. Why the recent attention to content marketing?
The answer simply is that buyers have shifted how they consume content.
Buyers today engage deeply with online sources of information. They use these sources first to become aware, then to make serious and substantive decisions.
You will have an advantage if buyers find you in the early stages of their buying cycle.
In their research, buyers look for thought leadership and examples. They want guidance on how to proceed on the next issue at their organization. At this stage you can shape their thinking with substantive and engaging content.
In summary, Content Marketers educate and Copywriters drive sales. Like the chemistry teacher who combines classroom and lab, both content marketers and copywriters play a role as you help customers move forward in the buying cycle.
Photo Credit: starmanseries