Copywriting and Content Writing: What’s the Difference?
With video and social media marketing on the rise, blogging has taken a backseat in many business’ marketing strategies — but it comes at a risk.
Websites with blogs are 434% more likely to be ranked well in search engine results. The higher your business is on search results, the more traffic flows to your website. And more traffic means more leads and sales.
But, simply having a blog is not enough. Well-written, educational content is what drives users to convert. In fact, “quality of content” is the most critical success factor for blogs. And good quality content comes from good writers.
But how do you know what makes a good writer? And with phrases like ‘content marketer,’ ‘content strategist,’ and ‘copywriter’ you may not even know where to start. Copywriting or content writing? And what’s the difference anyway?
What is Copywriting?
You may think ‘content’ is just the new marketing buzzword for ‘copy,’ and I wouldn’t blame you. People often use the terms interchangeably, but there are distinct differences between the two.
Copywriting is more focused on closing the sale. Think of your classic sales pitch or landing pages with their bolded words and shouting headlines — these are all examples of copywriting.
Like the pithy writing on ads you see on Facebook, copywriting is advertorial in nature. Copywriting is all about convincing your audience to take action. Your call-to-action (CTA) can include buying a product, downloading an ebook, or signing up for a newsletter. You may also see copywriting called sales writing because that’s what it is. Copywriting is used in TV, print and digital ads, as well as product pages, email promotions, brochures, and landing pages.
The goal of copywriting is for the consumer to take immediate action. Thus, copywriting is more straight-to-the-point than content writing and uses more persuasive language to appeal to the buyer. Good copy can make a huge difference in your business. If you have short-term goals and want significant sales returns, you should focus on copywriting.
What to Look for in a Copywriter
- You want to find someone who is more to-the-point than wordy.
- Look for plenty of examples of ads, video scripts and landing pages in his/her portfolio,
- Check to see the results of the copy by asking for analytics on actions taken on the page.
An excellent copywriter inspires consumers to purchase products, schedule demos, and subscribe to services. They are kings and queens of crafting compelling CTAs that turn browsers into buyers.
What is Content Writing?
Imagine a customer stumbles on your business’ Facebook page for the first time. Your product images and descriptions look great, but there isn’t a lot of activity on the page. Zero blog re-posts. No status updates. Little engagement. Would the customer buy from your company? Probably not. Your business is new to them, and they need to know more about your company before making a purchase decision.
This is where content writing comes in.
Unlike copywriting, content writing focuses on engaging with your audience over time. The goal of content writing is to get your audience so familiar with your brand that you build a level of trust and authenticity. Eventually, customers get so comfortable with your business that they become interested in your product or service. Content writing includes blogs, social posts, newsletters, ebooks, and other material that educates and entertains.
Content writing shows customers how responsive you are as a brand by allowing you to proactively answer your audiences’ broad concerns. The power of content writing is that it eventually turns leads into prospects, prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers.
Content writing shows customers how responsive you are as a brand by allowing you to proactively answer your audiences’ broad concerns.
According to HubSpot, B2B marketers have found blogging to be more effective than other lead generation methods. Content writing has the chops to position your brand as an authority on a topic and grant your company credibility as the foremost leader on a subject.
What to look for in a Content Writer
- You want to find someone who chooses readability over jargon.
- Look for plenty of samples of educational content like ebooks and how-to articles.
- Ask yourself: are they engaging? Content writers are masterful storytellers.
Content is free for your readers, so the writer you choose needs to have a good handle on SEO to make sure people find your content.
Which Should You Use?
Your blog should strive to have the best of both worlds: valuable, informative, and authoritative content wrapped up with a clear CTA. Where content writing is educational and creative and meant to be shared, copywriting is direct and focused on a sales-generating end-game. You need both to run a good business.
What has been your experience with content and copywriting in your business? Sound off in the comments below!