By James Nnamdi 

Sustainability Copywriter and Content Strategist

11 November 2023
Copywriter vs Content Strategist. Copywriting. Content Strategy. Business. Startup

Not sure if you should hire a copywriter or a content strategist for your business goals? Or perhaps you have a small budget and want to make the most of your investment without worrying.

The struggle is real, my friend, and you’re not alone. Not to worry, because we’re exploring the marketing abyss to simplify these two essential roles and clarify what you may be needing right now. You’ll feel more confident about your decision by the time you are done reading. 

Quickly, take a look at this table before we begin to look at the details and what I believe is the best option for your budget.

CopywriterContent Strategist
ExpertiseWriting compelling copyPlanning, managing, and creating strategic content
GoalQuick sales and instant conversionsCustomer trust, loyalty, and brand longevity
Content-TypeAdvertisements, marketing materials, brand messagingStrategic content for relationship-building
Impact DurationShort-term and potentially long-termEmphasis on long-term impact
Collaboration IdealCollaborates with a content strategistCollaborates with a copywriter
Maximizing ROIImmediate impact and long-term brand valueBalancing short-term wins with long-term growth
Copywriter vs Content Strategist

What Is a Copywriter, and How Can One Help Your Goals?

A copywriter crafts persuasive content, such as advertisements, marketing materials, and brand messaging, to engage and influence a target audience. They are good at using language to evoke emotions, encourage action, and achieve desired outcomes for businesses.

Imagine you’re at a bustling farmer’s market. A copywriter is like that charismatic vendor who lures you in with eye-catching samples and persuasive words. You know that bakery’s magnetic sign that makes your mouth water for their fresh-baked bread, right?

A good copywriter chooses every word carefully. It’s like selecting the ripest fruit for the audience’s taste. You’ve probably heard of “keyword” research. Aside from making sure that highly searched words are used, he/she also wants to communicate with your audience in the language they understand.

Short-Term or Long-Term Impact?

Now, imagine a bustling food truck at a festival. It’s always about those immediate, mouthwatering results, right? Most Copywriters write copy that aim for quick sales and instant conversions. But that’s not all, some copy are also crafted to remain relevant and effective for decades. Like the food truck that keeps customers coming back for more, copywriters can also create a brand voice that people love and remain loyal to.

It simply boils down to what kind of copy is written. While social media ads and newsletters may have a one-time usage, website pages and blog articles are intended to stay long. A copywriter who is good at writing a varied scope of copy should be very helpful for your long-term goals. 

Copywriting Tools and Techniques

Creativity and Technicalities: A good copywriter is creative and flexible in the use of language. This implies a toolkit with a variety of strategies with which to draw in and win over your target audience. 

SEO Optimization: copywriters use search engine optimization techniques to strategically enhance your content to attract organic traffic. This involves selecting the right keywords and structuring content in a way that search engines recognize their relevance and quality. What’s the essence of content if it’s not easily accessible on the wide web of online information?

CTA Implementation: Copywriters know how to smoothly add those buttons or phrases that tell people what to do next- like “Buy Now” or “Subscribe: guiding your audience to take the actions you want them to. A well-placed Call to Action is the cherry on the top.

My Personal Story

In my copywriting journey, I initially believed that crafting words alone could conquer the world of marketing. After all, words have incredible power, right? But, I soon realized that great copy isn’t just words; it has to be a strategy that drives real results. Some parts of it require just words, but the market is large, varied and dynamic. A great chunk of it requires more than just nice words to conquer. I realised that I would also need a bit more strategy to widen the scope of my work and deliver more tangible results. This is why you always hear me say;

“Great copy isn’t just words; it’s a strategy that drives results.”

By intelligently combining copywriting and content strategy skills, I began to write methodically with essential technicalities in mind. The results became easily assessable, just like the taste of a cake that’s always either a hit or a miss. You just know it. But then, that’s the beauty of strategy. I know what to do next- what to improve and what to avoid. Aside from being analytical, I got to master the different types of content and the different purposes they serve; long-term or short-term.

Let’s quickly look at the content strategist and see what’s different. 

What is a Content Strategist, and How Can One Help Your Goals?

Building Long-Term Value

A content Strategist plays a crucial role in building long-term value for your brand. The difference between both experts is more about their goals. While a copywriter focuses on writing for conversions, a content strategist helps you construct a lasting relationship with your audience. By planning, managing and creating strategic content, he/she helps to build customer trust and loyalty over time. Content strategists are different Content writers, but they are often good at writing content.

The copywriter says “Wow! We’ve doubled our sales in two months”. The Content Strategist says, “But how do we keep these buyers around forever?”. Remember, I am emphasising only the major difference.

Content Strategy Tools and Approaches

The most of content isn’t just about the day’s special – it’s about building a loyal customer base. Content strategists don’t mind cultivating the relationship for a long time before dropping the first-ever sales letter. They rely on specific tools and approaches to create content that delights and leaves a lasting impression. 

Editorial Calendars: They help with planning, ensuring a steady flow of engaging content. It’s like knowing what specials will be served at the café each week, consistently keeping your audience excited about what’s coming up.

Market Research: Just as café owners take time to understand their customers and their preferences, content strategists conduct market research to establish your ideal buyer persona and how to draw them in for a long ride.

Storytelling Frameworks: They provide a structure for developing content that resonate with your target audience. They configure the kind of atmosphere where your audience feels connected, understood, and eager to stay.

The Copywriter-Content Strategist: The Ideal Option for Small Businesses

Words + Strategy

Imagine a café where the chef collaborates with the owner. Or let’s say, the owner doubles as the chef.

Aligning Copy for Short-Term Wins and Long-Term Growth: Usually, the chef generates quick sales, while the owner ensures the café grows into a beloved neighbourhood spot. A copywriter who also possesses good content strategy skills should be able to strike a balance. Well, this shouldn’t be difficult to manage, especially when the business is still a small one.

Now, a combined approach ensures that every piece of copy contributes to the long-term value of your brand. Like, you are harvesting profit today while securing future opportunities at the same time. Any skilled professional who can reasonably combine both is sufficient for a start.

Maximizing ROI: As a small business with a small budget, you want to maximize your return on investment by cutting costs, yet making sure that no aspect of your marketing is left unsecured. My little advice- Consider hiring an expert in one area who also has good skills in the other area. Well, I’m good in both areas, but you may have to hire me. Haha!

Conclusion

The thing is, most copywriters are not into much planning and management of content, but they are your ideal partners for crafting persuasive copy that sells your product or service. A content strategist, on the other hand, is good at planning, managing and cultivating customer relationships, but may be poor at writing copy that converts. 

So, here’s the scoop: if you have a small budget or you are a small business, the winning decision would be to go for an expert in one area who also has good skills in the other area. A copywriter with content strategy skills is most likely your ideal option because you need to be converting to plan the future. 

Well, I am a copywriter who doubles as a content strategist. While my heart beats more for crafting copy, my long-term clients benefit from my content strategy expertise. If you are a small business and you think I could be of help, feel free to contact me right away.

Meanwhile, If you are a small business owner, I think you should consider reading this short practical guide: A Five-Step Content Strategy Blueprint for Businesses to Boost Traffic and Sales.

And hey, if this article sparked some lightbulb moments for you, why not drop a comment below? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

Remember, “Great copy isn’t just words; it’s a strategy that drives results.”

James Nnamdi Freelance-sustainability-copywriter.-Bremen-Germany

JAmes Nnamdi is an environmental researcher turned sustainability copywriter; on a mission to promote sustainable and eco-friendly practices. The certified content strategist is helping to boost the credibility and selling power of Eco-friendly businesses with result-oriented copywriting. Click here to get in touch

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