If the recipe for success is content marketing, isn’t copy the main ingredient?
Posted By Barry Feldman On November 30, 2011 @ 1:21 PM In Creative Best Practices | 1 Comment
For a few years now, there’s been so much talk about “the death of the copywriter.” Granted, the death of copywriting, or the death of just about anything, makes for alluring headlines. Us humans appear to be magnetically attracted to obituaries.
Content marketing is alive and well.
Content is king. Content is currency. You’ve seen these theories and bought into them or you wouldn’t have given an article about content marketing a minute of your valuable time.
What is content? The Content Marketing Institute  recently offered the 2011 edition of their Content Marketing Playbook , which features 42 ways to connect with your customers. Let’s allow the title of that killer piece to define content. It tells us what content is and what it’s for: a way to connect with customers. We might as well call it a great definition of marketing, too, because it is.
So, do you want some?
You definitely do. As a consumer, you endlessly seek the solutions to your problems. As a marketer, communicating with your customers is essentially your job description. These truths are so old and universally understood, they’re practically commandments. But wait a sec…
The web changed everything.
Thought leaders around the world agree: when you establish a presence on the web you become a publisher. However, the notion that often follows goes something like this: now that you’re a publisher, you need journalists to create your content—not copywriters.
I beg to differ.
Yes indeed, the web has changed the media landscape in a big, big way. The vast majority of professional copywriters must master web-based communications to thrive. What’s more, marketers themselves are swiftly changing their approach as they grasp and apply the tenets of inbound marketing, as demonstrated by decreased investments in traditional advertising and increased investments in the creation of valuable content.
Having said all that, I hope this article helps answer the simple question, “How do I create valuable content?”
Forgoing copywriters is not the answer.
It’s a formula for failure. Copywriters specialize in persuasion. You can make the case (as many spectacular authors have) that in the inbound era effective marketers wisely choose not to cram their content full of product-centric messages. However, if building a relationship or connecting with the customer trumps generating an immediate sale, you’d be crazy to suggest persuasion is disposable. Or at least you’d be wrong.
Persuasion is still the main ingredient.
You can slice and dice the content creation model any way you want and take apart and analyze any individual link in the selling chain, but you’re bound to arrive at the same conclusion:
If content is king, it rules from a throne called persuasion.
What’s new? What isn’t?
What’s new: the recipe for success is content marketing. The web is where people go to find content. The web is where people shop. Your customer is far more empowered now. Offer her tools to inform her buying decision and she’ll gladly help herself to them.
What isn’t new: the tools your customers value—your web pages, downloadable resources, how-to articles, white papers, e-newsletters, blogs or what have you—should compel your customer to do something. It could be click. It could be call. It could just be comment, share, tweet, register, enroll, or maybe even something as simple as come back again soon. But if your tools lack persuasion, if they fail to engage the audience and establish trust, they’re not effective tools.
Copywriters are your friends.
If to want to see your marketing investments pay dividends—and you haven’t honed copywriting skills—you want to put a professional on the job. Copywriters haven’t really died and they’re not evil. Get a good one to work on your content and good things happen:
Yes indeed, your friend the copywriter has a big responsibility. Your marketing plan going forward is a recipe where content marketing is bound to be the entrée. So don’t skimp on the main ingredient. Put a professional in charge of cooking the content.
What type of experiences have you had concocting content? Please share them with us here.
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blogs.imediaconnection.com/files/2011/11/recipe.jpg
 Content Marketing Institute: http://www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/
 Content Marketing Playbook: http://www.junta42.com/content-marketing-playbook.aspx
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