Let’s make one thing clear before we get started: I love copy. I love long copy, short copy and everything in between. Good copy sells, and it’s an integral part of your online marketing strategy.

With that said, your copy won’t be effective unless it’s supported with high-quality content. That statement may seem confusing on the surface. “Content” has become such a catchall term that its definition is no longer clear. We’ll explain what people mean when they talk about content, how it’s different from copy and why it’s essential for your business.

What is Content?

At its core, content is what you use to interact with people who may not be ready to make a purchase. It’s the images, podcasts and articles you use to engage your audience. No matter the medium, content has to be entertaining, interesting and useful.

The best way to explain this is by giving examples. This product description for an X710 John Deere tractor isn’t content. This infographic showing how John Deere is trying to end world hunger is content. Coca-Cola’s new seven-minute video directed by Ridley Scott is content. The blog you’re reading right now is content.

What’s the Difference Between Copy and Content?

Copy serves a specific purpose. When you’re writing about how your product or service solves a problem faced by consumers, that’s copy. It’s what you use to close a sale.

Your content is what starts the conversation leading to that sale. Online audiences spend all day tuning out advertisements. To get their attention, you need to do something different.

Why Do Businesses Need Great Content?

Let’s go back to that Coca-Cola video for a second. It’s gained over two million views on Youtube. That doesn’t happen by accident. It’s a result of Coca-Cola’s carefully designed content marketing strategy, requiring everything they produce to meet the following guidelines:

– Does it answer the “why should I care?” test.
– Does it surprise you?
– Does it have universal appeal?
– Does it generate interest?

Luckily your company can create highly effective content without hiring Hollywood directors. For instance, this Rockwall-based flooring company just published an article about incorporating blues into a home’s décor. It never brings up their products or pushes the reader to visit their store. Instead, it simply offers readers useful information in a format they’d be likely to share.

Remember, your online audience sees hundreds of advertisements every day. The way you’re going to get noticed is by taking a break from selling to entertain, inform and interest people. That way when they’re ready to make a purchase, your brand will be the first one they think of.