This past week a potential client told me: “I see the
writing as a minimal part of our website.” Fortunately,
my clients don’t see business writing this way.
When I hear something like this, I think three thoughts:
One, they place small financial budget limits on their marketing
Two, I feel sorry for them and their ignorance about where to
invest their marketing dollars.
And three, this prospect is not a good fit for me as a quality client.
In your marketing materials, you could view marketing writing as
‘content’ or copy that informs and educates readers who want to
read what you have to say.
Some people think that content and copy is the same.
So what’s the difference?
Is it really just an article?
Content marketing has become the latest replacement buzzword
for article marketing, writing blog posts and more.
Even more telling is how some instant Internet marketing experts
dub themselves Content Marketing Strategists.
Recently on the popular business networking site LinkedIn,
legendary copywriter Bob Bly asked a discussion starter what a
Content Marketing Strategist is.
He seemed to find the phrase more than a little trite and assumed
that if anyone said they were content marketing strategists, they
should be asked what articles they had written.
Content to fill the page
What some business people don’t seem to get is: simply
dumping ‘content’ on pages for the search engines to crawl and
writing for humans is a completely different thing.
That’s where the perception of writing really seems to have gone
off the rails, with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) writing. It has
helped commoditize marketing writing to the point where a business’s
professional reputation is at stake.
The primary goal of “writing for the search engines” has led some
people to think that quality writing isn’t really all that important.
They just want words on the page. And someone to land on their website.
Copy, as I alluded to earlier though, means writing for the hearts
and minds of your human readers, using words they already use and
In many cases, those words will also turn out to be the relevant keywords
that makes Google happy anyway.
How do you see copy writing in your marketing strategy? Do you see it as
simply words on the page, as an “means to an end” or as quality reading
your clients want to consume? Feel free to chime in with your thoughts.