Copywriting vs content writing. Strikingly similar but serve very different purposes.
These two terms are confused more than “your” and “you’re”. And we get it. The two share a lot in common.
- Both are forms of writing.
- Both are predominantly used for digital products and services.
- Both start with the letters c and o.
Content (not the writing, just the actual content itself) is the driving force in digital marketing. It acts as the touchpoint for all potential customer interactions and represents your brand.
If you don’t have any content supporting your business, how do you expect people to find you online? Or get a better sense of what it is you do and also what you stand for.
Not to sound dramatic but ultimately, without great content, you can’t grow a business beyond a very low ceiling unless you adopt some sort of strategy.
There will be a limit on your reach and your success. But that’s fine, sometimes it’s just a case of knowing where to start.
And a great starting point is to first distinguish the difference between copy and content writing. (hint – you’re gonna need both)
This week I want to break down what that difference is and what they are used for.
What is copywriting?
When I studied copywriting here’s how it was explained to me:
“Copywriting can simply be described as marketing and advertising writing. It is designed to persuade the reader into taking a form of action. That might be signing up for an email list, making a purchase or finding out more about something.”
So essentially, copywriting is a form of sales, using words.
Some examples of this are:
- PPC (paid-per-click) landing pages
- PPC ads
What is content writing?
Content writing is about educating or entertaining an audience.
Naturally, there will be elements of content that ask readers to take an action (maybe subscribing to a blog, kinda like this one…) but the primary focus is to offer high-quality and valuable content.
Content writing is what we use to build brand awareness and gain a loyal following.
Some examples of content writing are:
- Blog posts (no link necessary, you’re reading one!)
- Tutorials (how-to guides and videos etc)
How to choose copy or content
Every campaign is different and will have different goals.
The easiest way to separate copywriting and content in your mind is to think like this:
Converting = “I want my audience to take action!” – You’ll need a copywriter.
Educating/entertaining = “I want my audience to learn more about our brand/be engaged”. – You’ll need a content writer.
Can writers do both?
Some, but not all can.
Copywriting and content writing do follow similar structures in terms of how a writer will lead readers down a page.
But there are major differences in the techniques we use.
For example, copywriting will be concise, you can persuade a reader to take action in a single sentence whereas content that aims to offer value and information, will typically be much longer.
A blog post might be 500-2000 words.
A sales email might be 50.
Because of this difference in length and purpose, the writer has to adjust their mindset to think in totally different ways.
Not everyone is comfortable or effective in doing this.
The language is different
With copywriting, it’s normal to write using emotionally charged copy.
Emotive language is used to connect with readers and create a response. Harvard University concluded that as much as 9 out of 10 purchases are driven by emotion.
But with content writing, we don’t need to elicit that response. We’re calmly sitting with our audience and discussing things we both like or are interested in.
The two styles are tonally, complete opposites.
And this is why not all writers will bounce between the two, usually choosing to specialise in one or the other.
If you follow our brand, you’ll know that we do both but only because we have a firm grasp of what sets them apart and are comfortable jumping between the styles.
Content is SEO savvy
When it comes to SEO strategies like improving your business’s ranking on Google, content is the way to go.
There are numerous ways to improve your SEO such as blogs, pillar pages, videos, social media etc.
By producing content across these channels, what you’re doing is creating more ways for people to notice you and then direct them to your website (which acts as the central hub for your entire brand).
Once consumers arrive at your site, that’s when the copywriting kicks in and gets them on board.
This is an extremely condensed version of it all but you get the basic premise.
Content increases reach, visibility and growth.
And that’s it
So there you have it. A breakdown of copywriting versus content writing and what their major differences are.
Be sure to check back next week and feel free to subscribe and follow us on socials too.