There is one question that very often comes up when marketing is mentioned. Are marketing and marketing writing one and the same thing? And yet another question – where does content writing fit in there?

Well, with both of those questions, things are both simple and complicated at the same time. First of all, marketing and marketing writing are not exactly the same thing. The latter is just one part of the former. On the other hand, marketing writing and content writing are interchangeable terms. Among marketing experts (and writers) they more often tend to use the term content writing.

Marketing and marketing writing in general have to deal with some form of content. In publishing, art, and communication, content is the information and experiences that are directed toward an end-user or audience. Content is “something that is to be expressed through some medium, as speech, writing or any of various arts”.

Marketing writing or content writing is writing to generate content. As Website Income notes, “content writing is one of the steps that has to happen within content marketing. Content marketing consists of a series of steps, including digital marketing strategy, keyword research, content writing, publishing, and marketing the created content. Too often, the process of content writing gets mistaken for a business doing content marketing.”

But what makes marketing writing so specific? It is the fact that it has a specific goal, and that goal is to sell something. To do so, as marketing experts at HubSpot note, it has to be compelling. “Compelling copy fascinates its target audience and drives them to pull the trigger on a CTA. It does this by capturing their attention, unearthing a pain they’re desperate to assuage, and presenting a mutually valuable, solution-driven call-to-action.”

Reasons why content writing is so popular

As some experts point out, the key reason for searches on the internet is content. “Content is the food for the human brain and the human brain always consumes content as the brain food (DigiToly). When a person enters a search term into Google or another search engine, the internet can present them with the best matching content. “Search engines pull up content on the basis of the most relevant content as per the search intent from the websites indexed in their directories and offer content in that particular category.”

The goal of the content is to help engage people. It establishes communication with them. It also helps them get information on whatever they want to know about.

As far as businesses go content helps them reach their target audience. It stimulates their potential audience into making informed decisions.

So the essence of content writing comes down to reaching the right audience and reaching them first. “People usually click and consume content from the first 3-4 links they find on search engine result pages after searching their query.

Hence, in order to meet the demand of the audience and their search intent, your content should be written and optimized the way both search engines and your audience find it relevant, meaningful, and engaging.”

But how do you reach the right audience and reach them first? While abiding by certain rules of content writing certainly plays a part, still, the main key lies in writing compelling content.

marketing writing

Compelling writing is the key to good marketing writing

Back in 2019 projections said that the content marketing industry will reach $412 billion by 2021. At the same time, 91% of B2B (business to business) marketers said that they are using content marketing.

This just further underscores the point that marketing writing or content writing needs to produce the right effect. That is that such writing has to be compelling (above). Of course, to be compelling, content writing has to be quite good. But, such writing in itself can be an allusive category.

Even experienced marketers themselves can often shy away from writing content. They are at ease with creating a marketing strategy, planning all the steps, but they balk when it comes to writing content. That is why they often resort to engaging content writers, whether it is in-house or freelance. But how do you approach content writing and get to the point where you create a compelling copy?

HubSpot (above) divides this process into seven steps:

  • getting to know the target prospect;
  • exploiting the psychology of exclusivity;
  • making content emotional;
  • drawing analogies and metaphors;
  • avoiding ‘weasel’ words;
  • creating urgency;
  • tailoring the CTA.

Let us go into the above points in more detail.

  • Getting to know the target prospect – the job of marketers and content writers is quite similar to that of fishermen. The fishermen prepare their hooks and bait, chose a fishing post knowing what king of fish they are after. Similarly, marketers also need to learn practically everything about their target audience. “Doing so makes it easier to highlight irresistible benefits throughout their copy. Benefits that relieve ultra-specific pain points, making the offer all the more compelling to the right audience.”

More on compelling writing

  • exploiting the psychology of exclusivity – One of the key elements in compelling writing is making each and every member of the target audience feel both important and special. HubSpot gives an example: “The folks at Google played the exclusivity card, too, creating a frenzy when they launched a soft beta of Google+ and invited only a select few users to create a profile. Google’s marketing team wasn’t trying to be mean, they were trying to create desire (that compels) out of thin air. And they succeeded.”
  • making content emotional – Features of a certain product that are subject to certain content can only do part of their job. This is “because features appeal to your prospect’s logical brain. And purchases aren’t driven by logic. They hinge on emotion, which explains why good commercials make us want to laugh or cry or pick up the phone to call home.”
  • drawing analogies and metaphors – “Most things in life boil down to value.” Marketer or marketing writer has to figure out the value in what they’re selling and then put it into clear, concise, and compelling words.
  • avoiding ‘weasel’ words – What would be the ‘weasel’ word? Those people use to maintain some plausible deniability. “Politicians trying to avoid making any definitive comments, for instance, would use weasel words. Copywriters use them a lot, too, especially if their product’s promise is weak or loose.”
  • creating urgency – If content leaves readers with the impression that your offer will always be there, “they may use that as a justification to not convert on your call-to-action.” The point is to make prospects feel uneasy about waiting. Strange as it sounds, the more uncomfortable they are, the more likely it is they’ll be compelled to act.

Call to action and types of marketing writing

  • tailoring the CTA – “CTA, or a call-to-action, is one of the most compelling elements your copy can possess — as long as it’s well-executed.”Writers have to strive to make their CTAs simple and potent; creative and forthright. Most importantly, they have to make sure to play to their audience.

So, technically speaking what writing forms can content writing take? Here are the most frequent ones:

  • E-mail marketing content – E-mail could currently be the most popular method of content marketing. There are three basic reasons for that. It is a more personal way to connect with the current and prospective market of the business. It makes potential customers aware of what a business has to offer without a hard sell. It is a modern and on-trend way to associate products and services with the needs, demands, and wants of the market.
  • Relationship Marketing Content – It is not only the development of the products and services that matter but the improvement of the professional relationship of the business to its clients or customers as well. Through relationship marketing, customers can be more secured when it comes to spending their hard-earned money as they already know that they will be taken care of by the business.
  • Social Media Development – One expert notes that social media tops the list of the most maximized marketing platforms. The social media accounts of companies need to perfectly reflect the values, image, and vision of the business. For that reason, companies hire social media experts and professionals to regulate posts and assure that the social media presence of the business can positively impact the impression of people.
  • Online Content Creation – Marketing writing helps businesses to have online content that is reliable, effective, and beneficial. Writers can do that through, blog writing, website content development, and search engine optimization.

marketing writing

Concluding remarks on marketing or content writing

Of course, the forms of marketing, or content writing do not end there. They also include Digital marketing plans, writing different corporate marketing documents, lead-generating content, and marketing reports.

A good content writer should usually be able to handle a few of these tasks. The more they are able to handle, the better chance there is they will get the intended message across.

Also, whether they have an English or communications degree, they need to have a writing background to get into content marketing writing.

As one expert explains, to be an SEO/content marketing writer, you need an understanding of strategic content marketing. Since content marketing is all about creating, distributing, and promoting high-quality, informative, engaging content to a target audience, going about it randomly won’t work. Instead, it must be backed by a strategy – “a game plan, a blueprint, a map that helps you put all the pieces together.” Ultimately, content strategy drives content marketing.

So, getting compelling marketing writing requires getting a high-quality content writer.