Copywriting vs content writing: I don’t understand the difference

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Copywriting vs content writing – what’s the difference, exactly?

We hear that question all the time.

The copywriting vs content writing war is one that’s been ongoing for decades.

But at the end of the day, good digital marketing requires both content and copy.

Both are inherently necessary to develop your brand, build a business and win new customers.

And yet, it can easily get confusing between the two.

Every business, however, needs to know what the difference is. Copywriting and content writing are both very different kinds of writing, and what you’re trying to achieve with your business will determine which kinds of writing to gor.

So, below. we’ve outlined a guide as to what you need to know.

What’s the difference between copy and content? Aren’t they the same?

When thinking about copywriting vs content writing, always remember that they are not the same.

They may have some similiarites. But they aren’t the two sides of the same coin.

Content is designed to educate, inform and engage you.

Copy is designed to motivate you to take an action – and, more specifically, buy.

Content is the stuff you’ll see across the internet like social media posts, blog posts, long-form articles and newsletters. This is produced to engage an audience, breaking down the barriers between your business and your dream customers.

It isn’t designed to produce a sale, but it is an important part of the sales funnel. By understanding who you are, what your brand is, and you what you know, a customer is more likely to come to you for help.

Copy (also known as sales copy) is specifically designed to entice a reader to take an action. Television ads, Facebook ads, LinkedIn promotional ads and email sales letters. Well-drafted copy puts sales psychology at the forefront of mind, motivating the reader to click ‘buy now’, ‘download the guide’, ‘book your spot’ and so on.

Copy uses particular tactics to encourage these readers to take an action. This includes things like creating a sense of urgency, appealing to their dream customers’ deepest desires, and presenting themselves as a solution to their customers’ worst fears and nightmares.

Yes, both copywriting and content writing aim to transform a mere reader or watcher into a sale or a lead at the end of the day.

But the process of getting there is far different. Let’s get into it more below.

Copywriting vs content writing: the fundamental differences

While they may have similarities, copywriting and content writing are very different from one another. We’ll explain how so in detail low.

The purpose is different

Copywriting has the purpose to sell, while content aims to inform and entertain.

Copywriting is largely focused on producing sales – a direct, short-term goal with instant high rewards. You don’t just see copywriting on a brand’s tagline – it’s in advertisements, sales letters, sales emails, PPC landing sites, and more.

While copywriting goes hand in hand with content writing, content writing’s path is different. Content writing produces lengthier content in the form of blogs, articles, newsleters, business infographics and the like – it focuses on informing or entertaining the reader.

This kind of writing will be able to persuade readers to buy with just one or two phrases, like Instagram captions. But it may also be in the form of long-form sales pages – it just really depends on what you are selling.

The job is different

Obviously, the work is different.

Content writing requires creating content that aims to educate, entertain and inform people about your subject area.

This can include blogs, articles, video scripts, e-books and newsletters. They can be short or long articles. The finest content writers are so good at creating stories that they can produce dozens of blog pieces even without mentioning your brand – and yet they can still attract both new and returning customers.

Copywriting, on the other hand, is a completely different skillset. Expert copywriters are masters of language, and can use the powers of persuasion to make it irrestistable for prospects to buy.

Copywriting is much harder than content writing because – at the end of the day – you’re wanting your reader to buy from your or actually do something.

Copywriters spend a lot of time researching your market, understanding what keeps them awake at night, and understanding what their wildest desires are. They then apply this to their copy, with the result of enticing readers to flock towards you.

In a world that is full of distractions, that is an incredibly difficult challenge.

The success metrics are different

How can you tell if your copywriting or content writing has been successful in their purpose?

The success of copy will depend on the number of:

  • Leads you generate
  • Sales you produce
  • Click-throughs on your ads
  • Appointments you book
  • Callbacks you get

The success of your content will depend on other factors, such as:

  • SEO rankings
  • Likes
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Backlinks

You’ll notice that the metrics with respect to copy are the more traditional ‘marketing’ metrics.

That being said, looking at the metrics to assess the success of your content is just as important.

A highly-effective content marketing campaign can still encourage your prospects (and especially your more sceptical prospects) to understand you who are and how you can solve their problem, leading to an appointment, a meeting and – eventually – a sale.

The price is (very) different

You have to pay more for copywriters – because copywriting will generally be always more expensive than content.

Yep, you may actually have to pay more money for a headline, compared to a full-length article.’

Why? There are mainly two reasons.

First,copy is directly linked to getting business leads and sales. Content is indirectly linked to that. You can asess your financial return on investment much more effectively with copy.

Second, copywriters tend to apply a much greater degree of skill and expertise to their writing as opposed to content writers.

This is not to say content writers are not skilled – they certainly are.

But because the purpose of copy is to get a sale, and to motivate action, copywriters apply a much greater degree of wordsmith expertise. They need to use the right words to get people feeling like they need to buy.

With content, you’re often paying per word count.

With copy, you’re paying for skill.

And that’s why it’s more expensive.

Copywriter or content writer? Who do I choose?

Now that you know the difference between a copywriter and a content writer, you might be wondering which of these two can fit your business team.

Well, the answer is…

*drum roll*

…both!

Forget the ‘copywriting vs content writing’ war.

It’s best for your brand to combine the best of both worlds: useful, informative, and authoritative content with a clear call to action.

It’s important to remember that copywriting is often referred o as content, but content isn’t always copy. Copywriting is straightforward and focused on sales, where content writing is instructive, creative and designed to be shared.

So, where do you get a copywriter and a content writer all in one place?

No matter where you are or what sort of business you operate, Copyshipper will provide you with the best-selling copies and content.

Copyshipper has some of the greatest and most passionate copywriters and content writers willing and available to get your message out there.

At a price you can afford.

Copyshipper providesa devoted, high-quality service that will have you coming back for more. They can write your website copy, as well as your product descriptions, email marketing campaigns, sales video scripts, and, of course, social media copy (whether it be Facebook Ads or LinkedIn promotions). Non-promotional content such as blog posts and e-books are also handled by us. 

What are you waiting for? Get your writer at Copyshipper!

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