Copywriting vs Content Writing: What’s the Difference?

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Copywriting and content writing are two distinct yet related fields. Many marketers confuse them, but there's a big difference between the two

Both copywriters and content writers work to expand readers' horizons with captivating text, visuals, and links that lead readers deeper into an article or website.

Both of these professions are in increasing demand. Statistics show that the need for copywriters is expected to grow by four percent from 2021 to 2031

The type of writing differs greatly depending on what the writer wants to achieve. If you plan on investing in content marketing, it's essential to identify the main differences between these two professions

What is copywriting?

Copywriting is a field of professional writing concerned with creating advertising slogans and other types of advertising speech

Copywriting vs. Content Writing What's the Difference

Copywriting involves writing advertisements, direct response marketing material, press releases, and sales letters

Copy is used in all these fields to successfully convey a specific message or idea to target customers. Copywriting includes persuasive writing techniques intended to influence target audiences through branding and advertising. 

It is the art of applying words to communicate a specific message to the masses to influence their decisions and actions.

Today's digital landscape is saturated with content and ads. To reach potential customers and stand out from the rest of your competition, you must use effective copywriting strategies to make your ads memorable, attractive, and persuasive.

There are many types of copywriting, but most of them focus on a few essential techniques.  

Here are the main types of copywriting. 

Direct response copywriting

This is all about getting prospects to take action right away. The goal is to get the ad in front of their eyes as quickly as possible.

As such, the focus is on drawing attention. To accomplish this, you use a variety of attention-grabbing copywriting strategies to get your prospects' attention. 

Direct response copywriting involves making concise copies that let prospects know what you want from them. This also helps to make your message feel more urgent, so it's more likely to be read

The goal is to inspire the prospect to take action as soon as they finish reading the copy. The tone is more persuasive, with a strong sense of energy, while using customer-focused language. 

Email copywriting

Email marketing is still an effective marketing effort organizations invest in for their campaigns. According to a study, 58 percent of adults check their emails when they wake up.

This strategy provides a more personalized copywriting approach. Email is a fantastic marketing tool because it's easy to use, super affordable and highly targeted at your audience. 

Since it's also a highly personal communication medium, it can connect with prospects on a much deeper level than other channels. This makes it much more likely for them to take action.

To make the most of an email marketing strategy, you need to know how to write compelling email copy for your products and services.

You need to understand the three core components of every good email: the subject line, the body text, and the call-to-action (CTA).

Public relations copywriting

Public relations (PR) copywriting is about generating positive media coverage for your brand

Since most PRs are meant for the building business, they should be high quality. Copywriters are well-versed in creating a value proposition that compels readers to take action. 

Social media copywriting

Social media is a mix of many different types of copywriting put together to create a complete, holistic marketing strategy

Social media copywriting

Unlike other tools, social media platforms have built-in features that make creating, writing, and publishing content easier than other channels like email, blogs, and websites. 

Starting with social media can make it intimidating to know what to write about and how to format your posts. Social media copywriters may craft content depending on the campaign.

They may write copies to:

Technical copywriting

Technical copywriting refers to written content that offers end users information on how to use a product or service. Technical copywriting also has a direct link to user experience. 

For example, if you need to create a product guide. Copywriters ensure the information provided is thorough and easy to follow.

They also ensure that the writing style feels conversational, which helps to make the guide feel more authentic and less technical.

UX copywriting

UX stands for user experience, and it's all about creating a memorable and authentic brand experience for your customers

Creating an effective UX strategy is more than just filling your content with words. It requires a thorough user analysis, which helps you to discover what your customers want and answer their most pressing questions.

B2B copywriting

B2B copywriting refers to any form of content that's aimed at businesses. This can include everything from blogs, catalogs, sales letters, and emails, to any other content you may use to promote your business

One of the most common types of B2B copywriting is blog content, which drives traffic back to your site, increases brand visibility, and boosts sales.

What is content writing?

Digital content is any written or visual content you publish online. It may be a blog, a video, an image, a quote, an interview, or a photo essay. It may be a piece of a larger project, such as an ongoing series or a book. 

Digital content can serve a number of purposes, including marketing, sales, education, collaboration, and customer support

All content must have a purpose, which should be the sole focus of your content.

The content is more likely to be successful if it has clear objectives and a goal that you can measure. Some of the content types that content writers produce include the following:

  • Blog posts: Blogs are an excellent way of getting a loyal audience. SEO content writing will help your website gain more traffic.  
  • Insight articles: Creating insight articles offers a way to establish your brand as an authority and expert in the industry. 
  • Video scripts: Content writers can also develop scripts to help guide video editors in conveying the message in video format. 
  • Speeches: Content writers working in organizations may also write speeches for keynote speakers.
  • YouTube video descriptions: With 86 percent of marketers using videos to attract an audience, writing video descriptions is a content writer's job. 
  • Product reviews: Product reviews are also great for boosting sales. Some brands send their products to content specialists to help them write product reviews that will attract more buyers. A survey shows that 93 percent of buyers check online reviews before purchasing. 
  • Newsletters: Content writers write newsletters to communicate with customers by providing relevant promotions straight to their emails.

The difference between copywriting and content writing

Here are some of the differences between copywriting and content writing.

The Difference Between Copywriting and Content Writing

Goal for writing

Copywriting is more persuasive, while content writing is more informative. Copywriting mostly includes a CTA to sell a product or service. Copywriters always aim to write a personalized CTA because it helps them convert more

Content writers are more subtle in their approach. While they may use a CTA, it's always within the context of providing value first to their target audience. 

Another difference between copywriting and content writing is the scope of their focus. A copywriter's area is almost always limited to a single target market. A content writer may write for multiple target markets or focus on one particular topic.

Content length

Copywriters mostly do short-form copy, while content writers focus on long-form content. Short-form content is more effective in engaging the target audience, which is highly important if your goal is to make a sale. 

Long-form copies, which most content writers do, focus on delivering information or explaining processes or topics. 

Tone of writing

Copywriters mostly write using a conversational style because they want their messaging to appear more personal. Content writers' writing tone depends on the brand's writing style.

For example, those in the SaaS industry may have a more technical and formal approach. However, those aiming to build relationships with their customers would also want a more conversational approach. 

The most apparent difference between copywriting and content writing is the use of words. A copywriter creates advertisements, direct-response marketing material, press releases, and sales letters demanding action

A content writer creates digital content, such as articles, blog posts, and other written or visual content forms. These copies don't necessarily require them to take action. However, they may set up the content for a future sale. 

Copywriting or content writing: Which is best for you?

If you're looking to grow your business, build brand recognition, and acquire new customers through effective marketing, you'll focus your efforts on both copywriting and content writing. 

Copywriting or Content Writing Which is Best for You

They both aim to expand readers' horizons with captivating text, visuals, and links

The content leads readers deeper into an article or website. Both copywriters and content writers use the written word to convey specific messages to target customers successfully. 

However, they use those words in very different ways. This is why it's essential to know the difference between copywriting and content writing.

There are many different content marketing strategies, but the most effective ones combine different strategies.

For example, you can use images and words in your email marketing. You can also leverage social media posts to generate in-depth content. Explore how you can leverage each type of writing. 

Remember, the idea is to create more effective marketing messages that give your target audience a reason to take action.

Copywriter vs. content writer? The choice depends on what you want to achieve with the copy you are producing.

Copywriting may be your best option if you plan to push a sale. However, if you want to build a loyal customer base, you might find more value in content writing. 

Get writing that match your goals

These two roles aren't mutually exclusive. Instead, they are two separate branches working together towards a common goal

Both help organizations connect better with their audience to advance their goals.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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