What is the difference between copywriting and content writing? To understand this, read the complete article. The world is going through a lot of upgrades and changes and as people are accepting those changes, things are being revamped for the better. And while it’s possible that not all of the changes might be for the good, there is no doubt that change is necessary as being stuck might lead to stagnancy. But changes and upgrades in the world are most prominent in the world of technology and computers which has been huge in the last half a century.
From the invention of the internet which introduced the world to the idea of globalization, to the usage of online shopping. And, all of it was possible because of one single thing – ‘necessity’.
Ever since retail shopping came to the internet with either NetMarket or Internet Shopping Network in 1994. And soon after Amazon.com launched its online shopping site in 1995 that led Jeff Bezos to be the richest man in the world, and eCommerce to be one of the most successful business ideas. All of this was possible because of the upgrades that were made in the world of the internet wherein most of the people on the globe have a connection to the internet.
Soon after Amazon a lot of businesses transferred hopped on the ‘Internet wagon’ to ride the profits. From eBay to Alibaba all of them started their own online retail stores to compete with Amazon. The success of the online business led many to make hay while the sun shines and thereby businesses that previously worked offline also came online in the search of the same profits that their counterparts were earning.
And when an entire business shifted online so did all of its various departments most prominently and daresay, successfully marketing. And that is what led to the birth of the term that is currently one of the most discussed topics – ‘Digital Marketing‘. And while Digital Marketing has a lot of different types, some are more useful than others. These involve Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing among others. And just like anything Content Writing is represented with another word which is Copywriting. The truth is Content Writing and Copywriting are not the same things, despite people thinking that they both are one and the same thing.
Content Writing Vs Copywriting
While, content is created by combining by planning, writing, and editing web content, and includes writing blog posts and articles, scripts for videos and podcasts, that can also move onto include content for specific platforms, such as Twitter or on Reddit; Copywriting has written text that serves the purpose of information, inspiration or persuasion. And in most cases, copywriting is most greatly used to increase sales and conversions. Copywriting is useful in places such as sales letters, blog posts, advertisements, and social media posts.
So while copywriting is a persuasive copy that works on advertising a product or brand, drive conversion/sales, thereby engaging customers and encouraging them for a direct response thus making it another word for ‘marketing writing’. Content writing tries to build a rapport and establish trust with customers which in turn creates a positive image and works on brand association thereby increasing the authority that you’ve over a domain.
So a text that is created for an advertisement, website, brochure, catalog, direct mail piece, tagline, white paper, social media post, or any other marketing communication, they are called writing copy.
Difference between Copywriting and Content Writing
And that is exactly what separates copywriting from content writing – purpose. As in copywriting you sell or at least offer to sell the persona that is attached to your brand in content writing you concentrate more on delivering valuable content and less on the selling part thereby making it a big hit.
So as an art of selling people on an idea, brand, or ideology copywriting fuses the products and ideology of a brand together to create branding. Usually, an advertorial in nature copywriting has the intent to pitch customers to use a brand’s products and/or services. While Content writing is the art of creating content that needs to either inform, educate or entertain. Thus it is important that the written piece serves a clear purpose and/or reason for the piece and represents the brand’s voice all the while being a good read. So the elite content focuses on the quality of the editorial, without giving any thought to if it comes from a brand or a publisher.
· 1. Length: As said before content writing concentrates on educating or entertaining, and that is why content writing typically results in longer content than that of copywriting. As they might click on something with a few well-placed sentences containing well-placed words but educating or entertaining them will likely require a longer length.
An average content piece contains 500-2500 words depending on the topic. While it’s not necessary that all pieces that are entertaining and educational have to belong, it’s more to do with the fact that content writing centers around noncommercial value. Short content won’t offer much value to readers but with a relatively long length, content is typically more valuable to readers.
· 2. Emotions: Researchers say that most purchases are made because of an emotional decision and not a calculative one. And thus it’s copywriting that often invokes an emotional response, but in the case of content writing, it isn’t his job to do so. In fact by letting know all the offers brings out the factor of FOMO which might compel a consumer to buy a product in order to enjoy the available benefits.
In fact, peer pressure also works and often compels consumers to buy products that people around them have been buying. Experienced marketers use these emotions in copywriting to persuade readers to take action. There are several other emotions other than FOMO that are invoked in a copywriting piece that includes security, pride, comfort, a sense of belonging and instant gratification.
· 3. Grammar: For any writer, Grammatical error is a big ‘no-no’ as they show your incompetence and possible inexperience. And a similar case comes in content writing. Errors interrupt readers’ thoughts by forcing them to stop. When readers face grammatical errors such as a missing period at the end of a sentence or a dangling modifier, it is likely that they will stop processing the grammar error. And because of that effort, some readers might abandon the content without reading the rest of it.
But in the case of copywriting, there is no such requirement of writing containing perfect grammar. As a matter of fact, an incomplete sentence might be more persuasive than a grammatically correct sentence. The support of this statement is the fact that most online advertising portals restrict how many words you can include in a text ad. And therefore to accommodate within that limit several unnecessary words or punctuation must be removed from the text. All you’ve to do is keep them coherent and easy to read while complying with the advertising portal’s guidelines.
· 4. SEO: Good content has the capability to rank higher on the result page regardless of whether it’s content writing or copywriting. But when only considering SEO content writing comes out on top compared to copywriting. Websites get higher on search rankings and get more search traffic if you create content for your websites. For reasons such as content offers high value to readers, content writing is the better choice for SEO.
Furthermore, it doesn’t have any commercial intent as it is purely informational, and thereby readers enjoy it. The other reason is the length offered by content writing. Content that is lengthy usually ranks for more keywords than short-form content. And thus long content attracts more views, which in most cases leads to more backlinks.
So by creating a copy that is meant as a piece for content marketing, a different form of copywriting is created. Traditional copywriting practices such as exciting product descriptions, CTAs, and promotional offers are not found when it comes to content marketing. But during content writing, you require a different set of skills as the goals of content marketing are different from copywriting. While the ultimate goal is to attract and convert prospects into customers it’s the methods where things change as methods used in content writing are much more indirect when compared to traditional marketing.
Content marketers seek to build relationships with consumers rather than promoting specific offers or products. Providing valuable, educational, or entertaining information, that works on the foundation upon which brand recognition and loyalty can be built. So with a little bit of patience content, marketers build trust and it’s with this trust comes the belief that consumers will purchase from them at some point in the future.
All marketing writing pieces have a similar goal which is to convey information about a product or service to potential customers. So while content in a piece might be indirect nevertheless, it will still carry some message about the brand. And so while many of the previous excerpts emphasize the point that content writing and copywriting is different it’s not exactly true.
The two are quite similar. First and foremost, goals, as both copywriting and content writing ultimately seek to convert a reader into a sale or a lead. Another is the need to be well-written. Quality writing is very important as it entices readers to keep reading, and that is why a well-written piece might work better than its counterpart. And at last, comes the need to convey a message to an audience and both types are very focused on that.
Difference between a content writer and copywriter
Content Writer: As a content writer it is their job to create content thereby providing information or even showcasing the products or services they offer. Content writers research the material before writing each article or product description so that they can develop content that reflects the ideals and morals of the company. Content writers work along with content managers and clients to write according to a company’s editorial style.
While it’s better and more common that people with an undergraduate degree in English or marketing are most commonly known to be content writers, but people without any degrees can also become content writers with a proper portfolio of your work. A skill to work various writing and publishing programs, such as Microsoft Office, G Suite, and WordPress is also looked for when looking for a content writer.
Copywriters: They write compelling marketing and promotional materials that can range from product packaging and labels to brochures and blog posts to email copy. Moreover, with copywriters companies can have a definite brand voice and ensure consistency with the voice by writing, editing, and proofing materials. Most copywriters have a Bachelor’s degree in English, Journalism, Marketing, or Communications.
A Copywriter can get a job in various industries that includes print, television, radio, and online. Successful copywriters contain a strong portfolio of their previous works to show when interviewing, tend to be more collaborative and passionate, and are most productive in a fast-paced environment.
So what we know by now is that copywriters write copy and content writers write content. So while a copywriter is a professional whose job is dedicated to producing copy which as we know means marketing material. But in the case of a content writer, it can be anyone. Unlike copywriters, content writers don’t necessarily have to be professional writers, but just someone who produces content. So with the availability of the internet to the masses, anyone can write, including professionals, executives, authors, bloggers, software engineers, CEOs, brands, etc.
So in the end a copywriter is a professional who writes marketing copy while a content writer can be anyone producing content. So at last but not least the final difference comes in the form of things that both of them work on. In older times, copywriting was all about the advertisement but since the Internet things have changed to include several other things. Ads, online and off, Web page content, Email campaigns, Television or radio commercial scripts, White papers, Billboards, Sales letters, Direct mail letters, Social media, etc.
Wherein, in case of content writing, jobs include Blog posts, Newspaper articles, Whitepapers, Email newsletters, Social media posts, Podcasts, etc. As you can see, there are several similarities between the jobs of content writers and copywriters, but it’s important to understand that the point is to sell you an idea as part of a marketing campaign.
So in the end all businesses need either content writing or copywriting or in some cases a combination of both at times. So while they might be two different things, the combination of the two can get the job done.