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As a Content Marketing Freelancer, I would hope that I know what it is that Content Marketing is, however there are many different terms and I want us all to be on the same page. So today we will discuss what is content marketing and Who can use our services!
What Is Content Marketing Writing?
content marketing is when a business provides information to its potential customers that helps solve their problems. It can be in the form of a blog
post, video, iPhone app, whitepaper, even a webinar or event. The business
offers interesting, relevant and useful content that inspires the readers (target
customers) to develop trust in the brand, which is the ultimate goal. And then when the readers/customers go to make a purchasing decision, they will already
have a relationship with the business and be more likely to purchase their products or services.
If you find the term confusing, you are not alone. The word marketing makes people think that content marketing is something different from what it really is.
To help give a clearer picture, here are five types of writing projects that fall under the umbrella of content marketing:
An article in an airline magazine about a travel destination
A blog post with a recipe for a cake cooked in a slow cooker on a blog
produced by a slow cooker manufacturer
A newsletter a hospital sends to people living nearby with tips and
information about staying healthy
An alumni magazine sent to alumni of the university
An association magazine sent to members of the association
Ghostwritten content for experts and executives, such as articles and blog
On the flip side, here are a few projects that are marketing instead of
content marketing because they do not provide non-product or company
information that is interesting or helps solve problems.
information in these projects revolve around the company and products:
Website copy about products
Case studies written by a brand
Product one-sheetsAdvertorials about a company or product
mistake of creating content with the purpose of selling their products
and talking about how great they are. This just doesn’t work. Effective content marketing is when the
content produced simply addresses the needs of the target customer with very few (if any) mentions
of the company’s products or services. In fact, most pieces of great content could appear in
newspapers, consumer pubs, trade pubs, or online pubs with few or no changes. My favorite
examples include American Express OPEN Forum, airline magazines and Costco Connection
magazine. All of these provide journalistic-style content with the goal of helping customers and
building trust. The information in these websites and publications is almost identical to stories found
in top consumer publications.
While sometimes people call content marketing writing “copywriting” because it is created for
corporate clients, there is a difference. Content marketing is creating information that is not
product/brand focused. The main purpose is providing information. Copywriting is creating content
centered around products and services, such as brochures, sales sheets and landing pages. The
primary intent is to sell.
Who Hires Content Marketing Writers?
You may be surprised at how many types of businesses use—or could use—
content marketing writing. Here is an overview of the types of clients that hire
content marketing writers.
Brands. A great way to earn top dollar and see the impact of your
content marketing is to write directly for a company. One type of company
sells products or services to consumers, referred to as B2C (Business-toConsumer), which includes hotels, food & beverage, retailers of all kinds
and pretty much any type of company that sells products. The other type is
B2B (Business-to-Business), which are companies selling products and
services to other companies, such as technology products, expert services
such as consulting, and IT and any specialty items needed for the business.
Some examples are businesses that sell project management software,
companies making medical equipment for doctors and dentists, companies
selling high-power printers to businesses. B2B is an especially lucrative
market for content marketing writers because you must be familiar with the
industry, so there are fewer writers in these areas, meaning you can
command higher rates.
Content Marketing/Public Relations (PR) Firms. Public relations
firms are increasingly finding themselves being asked to produce content
for customers and often need additional writers. One of my most steady
clients is a technology PR firm that has hired for a variety of deliverables,including case studies, blog posts and ghostwritten articles for major
publications. One of the good things is that you can break into multiple
industries and have steady work sent your way. On the flip side, some
agencies pay lower because they take a cut of the client pay.
Content Companies. I unknowingly began my career as a content
marketing writer when I answered a job ad for Contently, a content
marketing company. Companies such as Contently, Skyword, Ebyline (and
others) provide content marketing writing and act as middlemen between
the writers and the brands. Each company works differently with some
providing editors and staffing the teams while others have the writers work
directly with the brands. The pay ranges greatly based on the projects, as
does the caliber of clients, but you typically make less going through a
company than contracting directly with a brand.
Professionals. It is essential that people trust their doctors, lawyers and
These professionals have a lot of information to share
and providing content on their website can be a great way to both increase
their search engine ranking and earn the trust of potential customers. Many
professionals may not realize that they need help and have never worked
with a writer, so it may take more marketing to land these clients.
Associations and Universities. Most associations and universities publish a print magazine with information for their members and alumni.
These magazines fall under content marketing since they contain content to further the brand (association or magazine). Also, many departments have
their own publications as well as other needs for writers. Outside of the\ alumni magazine, it can be challenging to find the right people, but when
you break into a university, you can often land lucrative and ongoing work. Nonprofits. The best way for nonprofits to raise money for their causes
is to share the stories of the people that they have helped. Many nonprofits use freelance writers to craft these feature stories, which are often very
journalistic in nature. While some nonprofits do pay lower fees, others are well funded and have healthy budgets. Hospitals. Most hospitals provide information to consumers to help them better manage their health with the purpose of increasing trust in the
hospital. This content may be in the form of newsletters, emails or website
Some hospitals provide information to doctors as well, which is also content marketing. Many hospitals outsource their content needs to agencies so sometimes it can take some sleuthing to find out who produces the newsletter and website content for your local hospitals.
What Do Content Marketing Writers Write?
Content marketing can be more than just blogs and articles, though. Content
marketing also includes video, infographics and even trade show events. A great
example of thinking outside the page for content marketing is the Zoës Kitchen
L.I.F.E. app. In addition to tracking the fast-casual restaurant’s loyalty program,
the app helps customers measure progress on their lifestyle goals, such as
exercise and healthy eating. Chipotle hosts a fantastic music event designed to
educate people about clean eating and sustainable farming practices, and that
event falls under the umbrella of content marketing as well.While content can come in any form, there are certain types of deliverables that are more common than others.
As a content marketing writer, you will most
likely be hired to write the following:
Blogs. A blog is the most common and by far the easiest way for a brand
to launch their content marketing strategy. Businesses blog about topics that
will help potential customers solve problems and become educated on their
topic. The blog posts shouldn’t be sales oriented but should be informative
to the brand’s potential customers.
As a content marketing writer, you may
also find yourself ghostwriting blog topics for a representative of the brand
as well as writing unbylined blog posts.
Articles (Both Print and Online). If a brand has a custom content
magazine, such as Costco Connection, then you may write articles for the
print magazine and/or the website, both of which educate customers and
often highlight products. Other brands create an article library on their
website, such as a cardiologist who drives potential patients to her website
with articles on keeping your heart healthy. Content marketing writers may
also ghostwrite articles, often for trade publications, for an executive of a
Case Studies. Case studies show potential customers how a brand’s
products can be used in real life to make a difference. These are typically
used by B2B companies and are often a cross between feature writing and marketing writing. Case studies are often overlooked by brands but can be a
great sales tool. For example, a technology company may create a case
study on how a hotel used their property management system (software that
manages all parts of the hotel) to increase guest satisfaction and revenue.
Whitepapers. They are typically 4 to 10 pages long and provide
insightful ideas and perspective on a topic, not just reporting but generating
ideas. Be aware that some companies call a piece of content a whitepaper
when really it is a sales brochure. Great whitepapers focus on ideas, not the
Infographics. Infographics are all the rage these days. Effective
infographics are not just a cool image, but they actually tell a story,
typically by breaking down the issue into bite-sized facts. Since graphic
design and writing are different skill sets (and only a few lucky people
possess both), most companies use writers to craft the text and a graphic
designer to make the content eye-catching.
Video Scripts. In recent years, Content Marketing Institute (CMI) reports
have shown that video is one of the biggest areas of increase in content.
Each video needs a script. Many writers overlook video, but it can be a very
E-books. Many companies offer e-books either free or for a nominal
charge to provide information to potential customers. They can be a very
effective form of content marketing, but e-books are time-consuming so are
a perfect deliverable to hire a freelancer to write.
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