Regardless of whether you're calling it content marketing or copywriting, the important factor to remember, particularly in B2B is that if you're writing something, then you're writing with a long-term goal of creating and delighting customers. Yes, it may take multiple interactions to get there but that's the aim of the game, right?
Content marketing without an element of compelling your reader to take an action would be of little use to your long term strategy. And in equal measure, creating copy which drives action but isn't providing the reader with something valuable, isn't much use either.
Let's take a look at 3 different areas of content you can inject some purpose:
If your blogs are ending at your last point, you're missing a great opportunity. Always ask yourself what the next step is for the reader. Is there a checklist or download which you could offer them to extend the information in the post? If you don't know the next step, then they certainly won't.
Take your visitors on a journey with the content of your web pages and make sure it's not just your navigation linking your site together. If they get to the bottom of your 'about' page, you've written something compelling, and they're interested in getting to know you a little better, so why not direct them to your case studies to find out how what you do applies to their type of business? Don't just fill your site with hastily written words and no suggested next step and expect the conversions to roll in. They're unlikely to (or at least not in high quantity).
You can't rely on open rate to gauge the effectiveness of your emails. Make sure there's something compelling the receiver to take action. Whether it's clicking to read more of a particular blog post, or enticing them to click through to a landing page to download an eGuide you'll be able to see the impact in the analytics. How about simply asking them a question and seeing who responds? The key is to keep it human and valuable. No one wants to feel as if they're just one of many in an automated audience - mix that call to action with some personalisation to aid its success.
It's by no means an exhaustive list, but it's certainly a starting point for checking that your content indicates a next step for the reader. I'd be interested to know where else you've had success sewing calls to action into your content. Let me know over on Twitter?
Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers — and customers into repeat buyers. Copywriting gets a reader to take a specific action. Sometimes that’s making a purchase, but it can also be subscribing to your email list, signing up for your content library, or calling you for more information. Content marketing is blogs, podcasts, and email autoresponders. Copywriting is sales pages, ads, and direct mail. Two different critters, right? Well, not if you’re doing it right.