Copywriting versus content writing—tomato, tomahto. Potato, potahto. Right?
If you’re feeling flabbergasted, not to worry as it’s definitely a common misconception many people have. Reason being, nowadays, the two buzzwords are oftentimes used in the same context.
Maybe it’s because they work as a team in the writing world. Or, because there are some similarities that exist. But, they certainly aren’t synonymous with one another. And, for that reason, it’s important for you to have a clear understanding of the key differences, writing tactics associated with each, and which you need the most.
So, that’s why I’m here today—to offer up some clarity on the differences between copywriting versus content writing. That way, you and your business can get on the fast track to winning over your readers with your words.
Yet, maybe that won’t do the job for you because you feel 100% burnt out thanks to the task of crafting all of your own sales copy. That’s completely understandable. And, that’s where a one-of-a-kind piece of software comes into the picture. Stick around until the end of this post for an introduction—you just might leave with a new copywriting companion!
But, before anything else…
Let’s lay the groundwork and define copywriting and content writing. As Social Media Today explains it best:
Copywriting is to content writing what eggs are to cake.
Hungry yet? I know. Zero in for a minute, however…
Copywriting represents the eggs that make the cake taste good. In more specific terms, it’s what makes your product or service appealing to your reader. Therefore, copywriting generally involves a thoughtful combination of words and phrases that’ll increase their desire to take a specific action. From purchasing your product, subscribing to your email list, liking your social media post, and so on.
Content writing, on the other hand, represents the cake itself—it’s what lured your reader to your site in the first place. Content writing generally involves creating and sharing valuable, free pieces of information to convert and attract prospects into customers. And customers into loyal repeat buyers. It’s how you can easily position yourself and your business as a trusted resource and hub of information within the industry.
Okay, what types of writing do these two buzzwords include?
Simply put, copywriting involves marketing material and content writing involves content. So, let’s play a fun game to see specifically which types of writing you think falls under either category.
Take a second to think about each of the following and write down which buzzword (copywriting or content writing) you think it’s best associated with. And, at the end of this section, I’ll supply the answers. Ready? Here we go…
- Blog post
- Sales letter
- Website content
- Social media post
- Slogan and tagline
- Ad—print or web-based
- Press release
- eBook on industry-related topic
- Email newsletter
(1. Content writing, 2. Copywriting, 3. Copywriting, 4. Content writing, 5. Copywriting, 6. Copywriting, 7. Content writing, 8. Copywriting, 9. Content writing, 10. Content writing, 11. Copywriting)
Remember, you might hear someone call writing for an email newsletter “copywriting.” But, if that email newsletter is focused on providing valuable information versus selling a product or idea, it really should be labeled content writing.
And, if you felt you needed some work in being able to distinguish the difference between the two during that exercise, we’ll fix that next!
So, what are the three differences between copywriting and content writing?
1. Copywriting sells. Content writing informs & educates.
When you come across an ad in a magazine, a postcard in the mail, or even a homepage on a website, you’ll be exposed to much more salesy lingo. Plus, the brand’s story woven throughout the words on the page. Reason being, copywriting has a specific purpose. And, that’s to sell your product or service.#Copywriting has a specific purpose: to sell your product or service… Click To Tweet
Take a look at effective, sales-driving copywriting in action on the Apple Watch Nike+ sales page.
The brand successfully uses its copywriting magic to create powerful headlines, lead-in copy, and communicate the features and benefits of the watch. It sells. That’s for sure. Winner winner, chicken dinner!
With content writing, you’d never see a blog post (at least I’d hope) that focuses on communicating only about the brand’s product or service.
That’s because it’s meant to be much more informative and educational, building an audience of ideal customers. Think how-tos, lists, ultimate guides, and so on—content that’ll help further your reader’s knowledge, alleviate their biggest headaches, or answer their burning questions.#Content #writing = more informative, educational, & builds audience of ideal customers… Click To Tweet
You might, however, end up reading a robust article on crafting a powerful brand with words you found via Google Search. And, at the bottom of it, you’re informed of an upcoming webinar the author is hosting as it relates to the topic.
But, wait… isn’t that copywriting, you ask? Because it’s selling something? Nope. That’s because, the author has already supplied the reader with all this great information and insight and, now, they’re simply replacing a sales pitch with a softer sell. All for informational and educational purposes.
Thus, building trust and good vibes with their audience because they clearly know what they’re talking about if they’re hosting a webinar on the topic. Who wouldn’t want to grab hold of an opportunity to learn more from another’s expertise?
2. Copywriting is an art. Content writing is a science.
The easiest way to think about this difference is to consider the show Mad Men. Yes, there was a lot of drinking and drama involved, but it highlighted something The Simons Group explains best:
Copywriting requires creativity, precision, and persuasion.
It’s truly an art to develop short and sharp taglines, catch phrases, headers, and calls to action that sell ideas and emotions tied to your product or service. There surely are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Content writing, however, is much more scientific in nature.#Copywriting is an art. #Content #writing is more scientific in nature… Click To Tweet
Why? Well, for starters, it involves a layer of strategies and techniques. For example, what can your next blog post topic be about to get noticed in Google search? How can you communicate this piece of content in a way that drives shares and engagement on social media? And even, is your content robust enough to serve as an informative and educational piece?
Yes, much goes into copywriting—it is its own challenge. But, you have to pass through even more checkpoints with content writing as it’s generally web-based with the purpose of optimizing for SEO (search engine optimization).
3. Copywriting drives action. Content writing drives authority & credibility.
The last thing you want your ideal customer to do is think about acting on your offer later versus right now. So, what’s the solution? Well, one thing is for sure: emotions drive action.
Therefore, that explains why copywriting involves using emotional verbiage to tug at your reader’s heartstrings and evoke how they’ll feel when using your product or service.
As a result, you’re able to persuade them—with a creative, powerful combination of words—to click that call to action button now. For the sake of grabbing hold of your product or service on your sales page, joining your email newsletter, clicking on your Facebook ad; you name it.#Copywriting involves persuasion by using powerful words to drive action… Click To Tweet
Content writing, contrastingly, drives authority to help you build a strong brand. Here’s how: by publishing quality content on a regular basis via blog posts, articles, and even e-newsletters, you will:
- Move closer to the top of search results, helping build your brand’s credibility. (Fact: Google’s algorithm prefers to highlight sites that are updated regularly.)
- Develop a strong library of resources your audience can refer to, helping increase their trust in you and build your brand’s level of expertise. When they’re ready to make a buying decision, there will be little doubt in their mind because they consult you as a credible source and authoritative brand in the industry.
- And, establish strong relationships with your desired audience, helping build a loyal following and shape brand advocates who want to share your consistent and valuable content with their people.
How do you know which you need the most? Copywriting or Content writing?
The truth is, that’s actually a trick question. You really need both. And, Copyblogger explains why:
Content without copywriting is a waste of good content. And, copywriting without content is a waste of good copy.
Let me explain why.
First, if you’re writing great content, and not noticing many readers checking it out (ex. low blog pageviews, email newsletter opens, etc.), you’re probably missing the mark on the following copywriting elements:
- Headline—it could be ho-hum and uninspiring, which then fails to encourage a person to click to read it, whether they came across it in Google Search or email. Or, maybe it’s too cute and punny, which then makes it difficult for a person to understand what the content is truly about. So, get to copywriting better headlines.
- Social proof—why would anyone want to hang out on your blog or sign up for your e-newsletter if you don’t share the fact that the “cool kids” are doing it? What I’m getting at is, you need to incorporate testimonials to illustrate people care about what you have to say. Also, you should center your call to action around a question. Reason being, readers are generally encouraged to respond when you give them a chance to do so. Thus, when you get more comments on your blog posts, you showcase the fact that other people are reading and intrigued by your content.
- Call to action (CTA)—if you have a flimsy, vague call to action at the end of your content piece, chances are, your reader won’t have a clue what you want them to do next. Thus, they leave the page and your goals are crushed. So, stop making sloppy mistakes with your CTA and take advantage of a strong command verb to give them a reason to take your desired action.
Second, if you’re writing great copy, but failing to provide great content, you’re missing out on the opportunity to do the following:
- Show off your generosity—if you want your audience to show you their wallets, you have to be willing to give them something in return. And, that something can be valuable, insightful free content. How can you know if your content is valuable and insightful enough, though? If you feel somewhat uncomfortable about pushing it out into the world without a price tag on it, you know it must be good.
- Create fun and engaging content—when you only focus on copywriting, you only focus on promoting your offering. That can get a little annoying to your audience. But, when you incorporate content writing into the mix, you have the chance to show off more of your industry expertise and personality without being all about you, you, you. That makes it much more engaging to read and keeps people coming back for more!
- Build a strong community—yes, your product or service could be the bee’s knees. But, again, when you’re only focused on promoting and selling your offering, you close the doors to build a strong community for your brand. Good content writing—whether published on your blog, in your e-newsletter, and more—gives you the chance to inspire and resonate with your ideal customers, encouraging them to share and amplify your message. Therefore, helping you create a strong and loyal following.
Ultimately, I’m inviting you to combine the best of both worlds—copywriting and content writing—to get you and your business on the fast track to winning over your readers with your words (and reveling in greater conversions!).Combine #copywriting & #content #writing to win over readers with your words… Click To Tweet
Wishing you could transform into a real life Mad Men character or talented wordsmith overnight, making it a piece of cake to write sales copy?
Don’t we all. Unfortunately, we all can’t quickly become masters of copywriting. Yes, you can dish out buckets of money to join courses in an attempt to do so, or hire talented writers to take over your workload for you.
But, I found a much better solution to swiftly put an end to all of that—saving you plenty of time and money. And, that solution is ScriptDoll.
It’s a one-of-a-kind piece of software that helps entrepreneurs like you craft sales copy for any product or service offering. Plus, it takes all the guesswork out of the writing process so you can keep your head out of the weeds and focus on the success and growth of your business.
Here’s why ScriptDoll is so beneficial to entrepreneurs like you:
- Frees up your time to put focus towards more productive tasks—simply complete your product portfolio, answer a handful of painless questions regarding your product details, features and benefits, and more, and ScriptDoll turns your answers into engaging copy in a matter of minutes.
- Keeps your content fresh with an ever-growing, extensive library of templates—new templates are added on a monthly basis, from sales letters to email sequences, video sales scripts, native ads, and much more. You’ll avoid putting your audience into a zombie state-of-mind, steering clear of sharing the same thing over and over again.
- Saves you some serious moola by keeping your copywriting in-house—there’s no need to drop loads of money on outsourcing your writing tasks to copywriters. And, you can also avoid investing hours of your time trying to improve your skills in a copywriting course. That’s because ScriptDoll crafts its effective templates thanks to its connections with champion copywriters around the world!
- Decreases your workload to virtually nothing with pre-made product profiles—are you a dentist, plastic surgeon, or even a graphic designer? If so, you’re in luck because your product profile has already been completed for you. There are many more waiting to be used within the software engine, making it that much easier to push out content that converts.
Swipe Irresistible Sales Copy for Your Business in Minutes—Join ScriptDoll Now!
So, there you have it—you can now label yourself an expert on the differences between copywriting and content writing. Moving forward, you’ll see things in a much clearer lens, understanding that both are super important to the success of your business.
Not to mention, you’re now in the loop on a tool that can help you produce irresistible sales copy to actually get you the conversions you’ve been looking for.
Entrepreneurs like you are raving about ScriptDoll—relieving them from the struggles of ho-hum writing while kicking their conversions up a few notches with little to no effort. We hope you’ll join them and look forward to you getting the results you’ve been searching for. They’re ready and waiting for you.
Have questions or something to share on the topic of copywriting versus content writing? Drop us a note in the comments section below. We want to hear from you!