Content Writing Vs Copywriting

Author: Jana Devan
November 23, 2020 • 5 minute read

Content Writing Vs Copywriting: What Is The Difference?

Whether you know it or not, you are being constantly barraged with marketing-focused writing. While you’re browsing a magazine, scrolling through Instagram, catching up on your favorite blog, glancing at a billboard on the highway, or even reading a restaurant menu, someone is trying to convince you to consider their brand. 

The world is inundated with this type of information and there’s so much of it because it does a great job at winning us over. Good writing drives profitability, so why wouldn’t you tailor your brand’s writing to maximize your audience?

There are all sorts of buzzwords about writing in our digital age, and here we’re focusing on two that should be at the top of your to-do list: copywriting and content marketing.

What is Copywriting?

Copywriting is text written to be used as advertising. When you read copy, it’s easy to recognize exactly what a brand is trying to provide for you. The purpose of copywriting is getting you to take one specific action – purchasing a product that the brand is putting forward. 

Copywriting Examples

  • Marketing emails advertising a specific product or sale
  • Text on a brand’s website
  • Written material like brochures and flyers
  • Product information in catalogs
  • Social media captions about products on a brand’s official accounts

Copywriting is characterized by the fact that the audience is aware of the product that is being sold and is probably already interested in that product before they even start to read the copy about it. A great way to pick out copy is by asking yourself the question: 

“How deep in the marketing funnel am I when I read this?” 

As a marketing refresher, the marketing funnel maps out the stages of nurturing prospective customers. The stages are: awareness, interest, consideration, intent, evaluation, and purchase, in that order.

If you can recognize that you are either showing interest in or at some stage of buying the product (whether you’re considering it or have the intent to buy), you are probably reading copy. 

This position of the funnel is absolutely key for you and your brand because the copy has to be thoughtful, engaging, and interesting to convince people to buy into whatever it is that you’ve created. 

What is Content Marketing?

What sets content marketing apart from copywriting is its position in the marketing funnel. 

Whereas copywriting takes place in the mid-late sections within the funnel, the purpose of content marketing is to get you aware of the product and into that funnel to begin with. 

The best content marketing is invisible. The whole intention behind content marketing is creating meaningful content that tells an audience about a brand or product in a subtle way. The product needs to be packaged into content that provides real value outside of just what you’re trying to sell. 

Content Marketing Examples

  • Blogs
  • Influencer social media
  • YouTube videos 
  • Articles
  • Newsletters 

Influencers are the masters of content marketing. Whether or not you realize it (and some influencers do point out when they’re being paid to advertise), your favorite food blogger, fashion vlogger, and yoga influencers are given products by brands and ever-so-subtly mention them while giving you an awesome recipe, fashion idea, or vinyasa flow tutorial. The content draws you in because it provides information that is really useful to you and then the influencer conveniently hands you a tool that will help you live their lifestyle.

The key word of content marketing is “usefulness.” You can’t make lazy content, slip a few products into it, and call it a day. Just like copywriting (if not more so), the content has to be thoughtful, engaging, and interesting. 

While the purpose of copy is to convince someone to buy a product, the purpose of content is to convince people to support a brand so they can be presented with that brand’s copy later. It’s a first step into the door. 

Content Marketing vs Copywriting and SEO

One of the many benefits of advertising in a digital world is that you can take advantage of both copywriting and content marketing to amplify your brand. The two types of writing often overlap; some marketing experts actually don’t believe in differentiating the two. To take advantage of this, let’s consider Search Engine Optimization.

To make a complex idea simple, SEO is the use of targeted keywords in your writing to get search engines to favor your website. It’s imperative that the text on your site uses the right keywords to encourage search engine algorithms to get as many eyes on your brand as possible. 

This is where you can bring a great mix of copy and content to draw traffic to your site. 

First things first, all of the copy on your site (especially the landing page) should be clear, concise, and well-written. It should show potential customers what your brand is all about.

As far as meaningful content goes, maintaining a blog on your website that focuses not just on your product, but on the industry that your product is a part of, can be one fantastic way to engage with people that might resonate with your brand.

If you own a sustainable lipstick brand, for example, you should have meaningful blog posts about topics like sustainability, makeup tutorials, and beauty standards in which you can mention your product or brand along with other issues while considering SEO keywords. 

Think of the digital landscape as a playground for you and your brand. Take advantage of copywriting and content marketing to show us all how incredible your ideas are and what they can do to inspire us.

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