Monday, 20 June 2011

SEO Copywriter or Content Strategist?

We read a thread on LinkedIn about the role of Copywriter vs Content Strategist which was sparked by this article.  For many people a Copywriter is someone who simply writes engaging copy rather than someone who is involved at a strategic level.

The majority agree that a content strategist is something different…  What that is exactly remains a bit blurry. 

Firstly, lets try to distinguish the role of an online Copywriter?

Based on the comments we’ve been reading it can be anything.  From someone who is given a brief and writes engaging, grammatically correct copy to someone who writes grammatically correct, engaging copy to a brief... Hang on... That’s the same thing.

So are we content strategists then?

We don’t think so.  From The Copywriting People’s point of view an online copywriter is more than just someone who writes copy.  A Copywriter identifies and incorporates key words for SEO purposes.  A Copywriter recognises business goals and marketing objectives. 

Ok.  So what is a Content Strategist in our opinion?  Well… we’re not entirely sure.  But we’re fairly certain it involves numerous space age tools (like the kind we see on CSI) and months spent at the client’s site – all chargeable time of course.

If a Content Strategist does in fact use incomprehensible tools then we’re right and it is the job of the online Copywriter to analyse, strategise and lure the reader.  But CSI and its many tools are fictional.  So if a Content Strategist is only human where does that leave us?  What are we and has our job title changed? 
When working on digital media we work in two ways.  Our clients either give us a list of key words and we incorporate them into the text – traditional copywriter duties.  Or we can go ahead and define which key words should be on each page, incorporate them into the headings, links and text; and ensure a consistent tone of voice across the full marketing suite – which are typical content strategist duties right?  But I think we’ll just call it copywriting…

If anyone can answer our many questions please let us know.  We’re quite clearly going round in circles on this one!

And if we are doing content strategist duties, where are our space age tools?!