March 13 2018

Web Content Roles Explained: Copywriter vs Content Strategist

content and copywriting rolesAs the old cliché goes: “content is king.” Every business needs to have a web presence today, however with the increased competition and noise online, it’s important to stand out amidst all the chaos. That’s where hiring professionals trained in content strategy and web copywriting will help you cut through the clutter. When looking for the best professional copywriter, you’ll want to find an agency that also understands SEO and content strategy to get the best return on your investment. Explore the difference between web copywriting services and content strategists, and how they work together to create high performing content.

Professional Copywriters

A copywriter excels at writing copy that persuades. He or she must have a good handle on the fundamentals of writing, but also a sound understanding of psychology and how people operate. Copywriters traditionally handle all aspects of any text you may see in marketing and communications deliverables.

Copyblogger defines copywriting as: “…one of the most essential elements of effective online marketing. Copywriting is the art and science of strategically delivering words (whether written or spoken) that get people to take some form of action.”

Copywriters now handle most of the words on a given website or within a variety of pieces within an integrated marketing campaign including:  

  • Website copy
  • Blog Posts
  • News Articles
  • Press Releases
  • eBooks
  • White Papers
  • Direct mail pieces or printed brochures
  • Posters
  • Flyers
  • Radio and TV scripts
  • Interactive social media posts

Storytelling is often the key component even in the shortest writing task. A strong foothold in what works for SEO is also necessary to weave into any feature element as it’s being created.

Content Strategists

As much as copywriters need to focus on the engagement of the words, a content strategist determines what content should be included to inform the copywriter why and how they should write their story.  

Kristina Halvorson, author of Content Strategy for the Web, defined content strategy in one of her earliest articles as: “Content strategy plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content. Necessarily, the content strategist must work to define not only which content will be published, but why we’re publishing it in the first place.”
Content strategists think of a website or marketing campaign from a few different points of view:

  • What are the business goals and how can the website or marketing campaign best accomplish that?
  • How is the content pertinent to the target audience?
  • What do we want people to do after consuming this content?
  • How should this content be delivered to the consumer to provide the best user experience?

A content strategist will develop a plan that outlines what information needs to be present, the hierarchy of that information, and how this content will be discovered or delivered, which may take the form of:

Collaboration Between Copywriters, Content Strategists and Designers

Once the content strategist determines what content needs to go where, they work with the copywriter to write the copy, and the designer to ensure it is delivered effectively. After the content is published, a strategist will also want to evaluate performance and make sure the strategy is delivering against the business objectives.  
In simple terms, the content strategist defines how the site or campaign will be structured and what information will be included. The copywriter is responsible for crafting the actual words to persuade and engage the end users to drive them to those goals. When content strategy and copywriting work together, the end result is a high performing website or marketing campaign that helps to drive your business forward while staying relevant.

Contact a ZAG team member to learn more about how pairing professional copywriting services and content strategy can help improve your website or marketing campaign today.

  • Content
  • Copywriting

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.