Creating meaningful connections with your audience is crucial in our digital age where there is an increasing abundance of noise and distractions at every turn.
Content plays a key role in fostering connections. It can help inform your audience on what you would like them to know, it can help drive any key messages of your company, develop your brand’s voice and even it’s personality. Whichever purpose you are using content for, it proves to be an important role in the success of your business.
That being said, content is one of the most neglected business opportunities. Business leaders spend a significant amount of time and money by investing in training for their employees to bring benefits to their company. However, learning how to write quality content for business is often always neglected despite the fact that it is one of the best methods to convey your message.
In this article, we’ll break down the importance of creating content, the differences between each type of content, which includes UX writing, content writing as well as copywriting, and how to leverage each type of content for the success of your business.
What is content? Why does it matter?
Let’s first take a step back and have a look at what content is in the first place. Content is defined as the presentation of information for a purpose to an audience through a channel. In other words, content is information for consumption.
Despite its ability to create tremendous benefits to business, not many people are aware of its significance. Here are just a few ways content can create a positive impact on your business.
- Creates an impression – Content allows us to create an impression on your audience, which is a huge opportunity for you to boost your brand’s message, voice and more. It allows you to have a chance to identify and feel a connection with your audience to urge them to engage with you.
- Encourages engagement – If your content is genuinely valuable and of good quality, your users or audience will be more inclined to read it, and potentially even like and share it. This fosters a real connection with your audience and creates loyal customers in the long-run.
- Generates new leads and sales – New leads and sales is the primary focus of every business. Content is able to help provide your users with relevant and interesting information that may invite them to spend more time and even money on your page.
The different types of content
It’s clear that content has a significant impact on your business’s success, however, there are actually different types of written content, all of which have a distinct aim. There is UX Writing, copywriting and content writing. Although the term copywriting has been around since the 19th century in the form of newspaper and billboard ads, content writing and UX writing have recently emerged to be equally important tools for businesses to interact with their customers.
Even though all three types of writing have a similar process of planning, writing, and editing, they have distinctly different purposes. Let’s go through their differences and similarities as well as how you can leverage them.
1UX writing – writing to help
A User Experience writer or a UX writer creates content or copy for apps, websites, and other digital products that will help users navigate through the product. A UX writer will often find the right words and phrases for aspects of a digital product such as:
- Error messages
- Onboarding instructions
- Empty states
In addition to that, they also create small pieces of text or content which we call microcopy.
Unlike copywriting which writes to help businesses sell their products, UX writing aims to help users understand what to do and how to do it. To effectively write copy that helps users as well as give value to them, UX writers must first acquire a deep understanding of these users and do this through conducting user research.
They’re also in charge of ensuring that the company’s voice or message is understood and heard throughout the digital product, often creating a style guide – which outlines the guidelines for copy and content of a company’s product – to do so.
At the heart of it, UX writers aim to make digital products or interfaces easy to use for users. For example, when a user receives an error message, it can often be off-putting and intimidating as they may not know the technical details of why they are encountering a problem. A UX writer’s job then is to turn a message that is robotic and hard to understand into something more comprehensible and friendly.
In other words, UX writers help make content more user-centered. They do thias by ensuring that each copy they write falls under these four main principles:
The reason why their copy must always try to fall under these four principles is because UX writers are trying to help users move forward in their journey – which ultimately is beneficial for business.
2Content writing – writing to inform
Although content writing does drive sales, whether consciously or subconsciously, the primary purpose of content writing is to educate, inform or entertain your audience. In content writing, you are trying to create the best possible content for your users that adds value to their lives. This type of content comes in the form of:
- Blog posts
- Newspaper pieces
- Magazine pieces
- Press releases
These types of content will offer information without trying to directly sell your audience anything. Simply put, it is designed to offer noncommercial value. Think of content writing as passing information over to your audience, and then copywriting comes in to persuade them to take action and convert those users into leads, who will hopefully become loyal customers.
Another distinction between copywriting and content writing is the responsibilities of the job. A content writer will typically conduct research on the topics they write about, whereas a copywriter may conduct research on the users instead and how to sell the product or service they are writing about. A content writer will also be more concerned with researching keywords and sticking to the best SEO practices to improve organic traffic to the website.
3Copywriting – writing to sell
A copywriter on the other hand writes copy or content to attract and engage readers, as well as promote products that will help move customers down the sales funnel. In short, they write copy to sell. A copywriter typically writes content for the following:
- Landing pages
- Social media posts
- Email campaigns
Unlike UX writing that is done to help users, copywriting is about trying to get the attention of users to convince them to buy a product or service. They use words that will attract customers, and are often very sales-oriented to help pave the way for a successful purchase.
Image from Outlier Creative
Copywriters also want users to often perform an immediate action. For example, this could be downloading a guide or newsletter, actually buying the product or service or signing up for a subscription or more information. Which is very different from content writing which aims to engage and inform an audience.
You need all three to succeed
With more people working from home and the increased use of social media, content is more important than it ever has been. Content will help you connect with your customers and create meaningful relationships in the future.
Hopefully the differences and similarities between each type of content is much more clear now after you’ve read this article. Although all three types of content are created by writing, they play very different roles, require different skill sets, and also differ in their goals.
To effectively maintain and grow your business, you need all three types of content. There is a different time and place to try to inform, persuade, and convert your audience, so being able to deliver each type of content at the right time is essential for the success of your online business.
To learn more about how we can help your business strive in the digital era, get in touch with our team for a quick consultation session today.