What is the difference between SEO copywriting and content marketing? This is a question I used to ask myself. The answer is tricky because different people have different definitions of SEO copywriting. The same goes for content marketing, and to top it off people have different ways they like to market content.
What is SEO copywriting?
On one hand you have people stating the SEO copywriting died back in 2004. Then, there are people who make $200-$300/hr performing SEO and creating content and are busy turning clients away. So which is it? Is SEO copywriting dead, or is this service in extremely high demand? It depends on how you define it!
SEO Copywriting definition 1: The process of creating quality, unique content, usually text based, that will rank in search and also hopefully result in sales.
SEO Copywriting definition 2: Some people define SEO copywriting as the process of creating landing pages for websites. (Are there people who do this for a living?)
SEO Copywriting definition 3: Creating content that is stuffed full of keywords to the point of sounding unnatural. This is actually a form of webspam.
As you can see, many people call it all sorts of things. If you ask me, it is definition #1, and rest assured this service is in very high demand IF you know what you are doing. Most business owners don’t realize they need content; many of my clients come via word of mouth when one professional tells another “people can’t find your content if you don’t have any, duh.”
To recap: create great, unique content that ranks in search and leads to sales. Do not spam. If you do not have the time to figure out how to rank content and/or create content that people love, hire an SEO copywriter.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the latest buzzword for content. I am already seeing local SEO companies who have absolutely no clue on how to create good/great/unique/shareworthy/engaging/whatever content calling themselves content marketing experts. They seem to be the expert in anything that you can do with an Internet connection.
Content marketing comes in a tremendous variety of flavors. Some people like to market their content on social media. Some people say it is creating content that works with your audience and doesn’t sell. Some say it is telling a story and/or engaging with customers. Wikipedia lists FAQ pages as content marketing. I personally define content marketing as the creation of unique content that leads to sales, and my personal preferred way of getting said content in front of people is in search. And yes, that is very similar to what I said about SEO copywriting. There are some great examples of John Deere doing content marketing in 1895 when they introduced a magazine called The Furrow which provided farmers with information on how to become more profitable. I personally believe that as long as people are reading your content it doesn’t matter how it got to them- send it over on a pigeon’s leg if that is what works for your specific business. Content marketing doesn’t have to involve search at all. That said, most of the niches I work in require search and getting helpful information to people when they are looking for it.
So, there you have it. My 2 cents on the similarities and differences between SEO Copywriting and content marketing. Content marketing can be the exact same thing as SEO copywriting or something completely different.