It’s often said that “content is king.” And although Microsoft founder Bill Gates made that famous claim back in 1996, it remains true today. Quality content that delivers valuable, relevant information is the linchpin of most successful marketing campaigns. According to a recent Hubspot survey, 70 percent of marketers surveyed are actively investing in content marketing and advising others to do so as well.
But these marketers aren’t creating that content themselves. A report by SmartInsights reveals that 84 percent of B2B marketers surveyed are outsourcing their content creation to freelance writers. That means content writers are in high demand these days, and it’s one of the easiest ways to break into freelancing. To understand what content writing is and how you can get started in this increasingly popular field, it’s time for Content Marketing 101.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a way to build brand loyalty and sell products, services, and expertise by creating and sharing information that’s relevant and useful to the target audience.
This marketing strategy relies on different types of content such as blog posts, articles, infographics, and video content to demonstrate a brand’s authority. In that way, people are willing to trust the brand and turn to it when they need its products, services, or expertise. Good content is simply well-written, well-researched information that can stand on its own, even though it’s shared by a business to attract customers.
What Does a Content Marketer Do?
At its core, content is simply information. And as we’ve seen, content on the web can take a variety of forms, both written and visual. Content writers, of course, specialize in written content, but that can range from the typical blog posts and web pages to social media posting, press releases, whitepapers, and even video scripts.
Content is meant to speak directly to the needs of a particular audience, which could include current and potential customers, investors, employees, or other stakeholders. That’s why understanding the purpose of content is key to producing high-quality work. Content can be well-written, thoroughly researched, and creatively conceived, but if it doesn’t speak to the intended audience and provide the value that the audience is looking for, it's not doing its job.
Content marketers often work with a marketing team to ensure their copywriting efforts are ranking in organic search results. Metrics from Google Analytics provide clear insight on how a business's content is performing.
Content Writers Demonstrate Why People Should Care About Your Products and Services
If you have spent any time browsing content writers, you probably feel more confused than you were before you started. That’s because a lot of content creators—including journalists and copywriters—position themselves as content writers to attract clients.
However, not every writer qualifies as a “content writer.”
A content writer has one main job: demonstrate to your potential buyers why they should care about your products and services. They achieve this goal by using your brand’s voice to educate people about what you offer and develop a content marketing strategy to stay consistent. Getting the job done can take hundreds or thousands of words.
Content writers have several secondary objectives as they work to demonstrate your brand’s value. For example, they might:
Include keywords that your potential customers will use in their search queries.
Write meta descriptions that encourage readers to click your link over other search results, also known as search engine optimization.
Identify the pain points of customers and clients.
Enhance your brand’s image by giving your blog, social media accounts, podcast scripts, email marketing, and publications more personality.
Although successful content writers use multiple digital marketing strategies, demonstrating your value is always top-of-mind.
Is a Content Creator a Content Marketer?
Some content creators might work as content marketers, but not all content creators are content marketers. Does that sound confusing? Let’s break it down.
People who call themselves “content creators” can work in various areas of content creation. Some are podcasters. Some are directors who make YouTube videos. Some are artists who draw funny memes.
And some work as content marketers.
You can think of content marketers as a specific type of content creator. They might even dabble in other creative areas. When they write for you, though, their work educates audiences so people know they can trust your brand to offer reliable solutions.
Is a Journalist a Content Marketer?
This question isn’t as tricky to answer. Journalists often have the writing skills to become content marketers, but they have to abandon objectivity and investigation when they work for you.
Obviously, you don’t want to pay a writer to hand you an article about some mistake your company made a decade ago. That’s the kind of content journalists write. Great content marketers strive to show what’s great about your company, products, and services. They want to subtly promote you while also helping readers learn something.
Unfortunately, the number ofjobs for journalistskeeps falling. Some writers who expected to build careers as journalists discovered that the market doesn’t have a place for them. More and more companies are investing in content marketing, though. It makes sense that someone with excellent writing skills would go where the jobs are.
So long, “nearly impossible shot at winning a Pulitzer Prize.”
Hello, “getting paid regularly. It’s very nice to meet you!”
What Skills Should You Look for in a Content Writer?
Great! Now you know what a content writer does. Let’s move on to the skills someone needs to work as a successful content writer.
Flexibility to Match Your Brand’s Voice
Your brand has a unique personality that needs to come across in every piece of content you publish. If content marketing doesn’t feel authentic, it will not convert readers.
The best copywriters can alter their styles to match your voice. They can take a formal tone that appeals to investors interested in emerging cryptocurrencies, or they can take an informal tone that attracts outdoor adventurers who connect with tales of hiking muddy trails and lazily drifting on the water after a long day of kayaking.
Some content writers specialize in certain tones. This approach works well for them, and it could work very well for you, too. Does it really matter that Jack W. can craft hilarious one-liners when you need someone to explain how hedge funds function? Probably not. As long as the writer can follow your brand’s tone, you have a good match.
How many blog posts does the internet need about the benefits of exercise? Do you need to read another piece of content about which social media platform is best?
There are literally billions of web pages on the World Wide Web. Very few of them stand out. For the most part, it’s the same old content pointing to the same research trying to sell you a different version of the same product.
The internet is such a noisy place that very few people can write valuable content that stands out. It takes impressive creativity to create brand awareness.
Brands can have extremely specific needs when they look for content writers. If your company makes custom GPUs for hardcore gamers, you should hire a technology content writerwho can explain RAM usage, motherboard compatibility, and other topics that interest your customers.
Does your company offer business advice to companies that cultivate or sell recreational marijuana? Then you want someone with experience incannabis content marketing.
Any topic that requires a high level of understanding demands a content writer with plenty of experience. You probably don’t need an expert to write general knowledge posts abouthome gardening, but y our law firm definitely needs a legal expertto cover the specifics of a new law.
Example of Great Content Writing
What does great content writing look like? Here are some great content marketing examples from Scripted writers:
If you'relooking for a content writer, a content service can help you quickly find the right one for your needs. Before you begin, define the kind of content you need – and the results you want to get. Determine a general word count and any other considerations. Then search for content writers with experience not only in your industry but also in writing the sort of content you’re looking for. Your content service may also choose specific writers for you.
Scripted specializes in SEO content marketing solutions. Our pool of professional freelancers specialize in writing SEO-friendly content for startups, agencies, and enterprises.
If you don’t have time to scroll through writers and their credentials, schedule a chat with the Scripted team to talk aboutcreating a Cruise Control account. With Cruise Control, you get a dedicated manager who can find a skilled writer for you, identify keywords that will help your content rank, and give you regular reports that show how content marketing helps your company reach its goals!