5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Content Strategist Instead of a Copywriter

Content strategists are the new black. This job description is on everyone's lips, yet hardly anyone knows what it means.


content strategist


As a matter of fact, this profession just came out of nowhere and was only introduced as such by Content Marketing Institute in 2011. So you're probably wondering: What do content strategists actually do? And why would I want to hire one instead of a copywriter?

Technical jargon warning:

What follows below is an explanation that even an IT guy will understand (please keep in mind: Don't hire an IT guy to write your copy). 

Okay, here we go these 5 reasons:

1. They don't use words like 'user-generated content' or 'content strategy', but they still love words and pictures!

Copywriters and content strategists work on different floors of the same building. While copywriters focus on words and use phrases like 'user-generated content, 'optimize for search engines' or 'content strategy', copy strategists think along with images like: "Create a storyboard", "design the user journey" or "what's your message?". They both produce content, but they talk to their audience in very different ways.

2. Copywriters only care about beautiful texts, while content strategists also care about design

Copy goes hand in hand with design at least when it comes to online marketing materials such as website articles, emails, and advertising banners. The more attractive the packaging is, the more likely prospects are going to click on that email or share that article. So what you want from your copywriter is not only a beautiful text but also a well-designed layout to match.

What if the formatting of the texts doesn't feel right? What if there's no white space between the lines? Or what about empty spaces inside the text instead of line breaks? It all sounds pretty basic and trivial, yet it can make or break an entire campaign. But this is where content strategists come in: They think along with images and design! When it comes to user experience design (UX/UI), content strategists are as important as graphic designers for websites – they plan out what goes into those visuals that grab people's attention from the first glance.

3. Copywriters are responsible for the words, while content strategists are responsible for the story

Everybody knows that copywriters love their text. They're crazy about words and grammar rules! When it comes to writing articles, blogs, or emails, they sometimes get so carried away with this passion of theirs that there's no room left for a 'story', let alone happy users who actually want to read what you have to say. On the other hand, content strategists plan out frameworks for each campaign. They decide how many pages an article should have before adding any images, which types of buttons work best on email templates... These are things all copywriters learn by themselves yet rarely consider when writing those texts – because again: not enough space left after writing those beautiful words. Copywriters are master storytellers, while content strategists are master architects of storytelling structures.

4. Copywriters have copy in their name, while content strategists have 'strategist' in theirs

Copy is for copycats; strategist sounds much more intelligent and trustworthy. Is that ironic? Well, not really: As a customer, you want to do business with somebody who's competent enough to share your vision and has the expertise to bring it into reality. This is where copywriters come in: They know how words work and what makes people tick. That's why they're responsible for coming up with catchy headlines and trying out different word combinations until something sticks (something like this one: "5 reasons why you should hire a copywriter"). Copywriters are also responsible for naming projects, campaigns, and the 'products' they're selling. On the other hand, there's an entire team of content strategists behind them who work on different projects simultaneously while copywriters only 'work on one thing at a time. This means that there are no boundaries between design, UX/UI work, or marketing activities. They share ideas and collaborate to get things done.

5. Content strategists know how to make use of words, but they don't always write themselves

Copywriters are legends when it comes to writing texts – witty headlines included! But not every good word is worth saying in public: Businesses need every type of communication in their toolkit in order to be successful. For example, when it comes to words shared on social media, the last thing you want is a bunch of grammatical errors or typos in your posts. Social media content requires more than just emotions and opinions; it involves facts and figures too. And for this reason, marketers usually hire professional statisticians who know how to write articles about complicated data in simple words (this means that copywriters need their help even though they may or may not appreciate this fact).

Conclusion:

Content strategists also involve statisticians when it comes to designing infographics based on numbers provided by experts who don't necessarily have an eye for design (and these are often people like business analysts, accountants, etc.). Not only do designers make use of written materials but also various types of visuals, even if they're not as pretty as a picture on Instagram.