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What You Need to Know About Copywriting vs. Content Writing

What You Need to Know About Copywriting vs. Content Writing

To shed light on the key differences between copywriting and content writing, we reached out to content professionals from various backgrounds. From connecting vs. selling to marketing vs. information, here are seven unique insights shared by experts such as freelance writers, CEOs, and digital marketing managers.

  • Content Writing Connects vs. Copywriting Sells

  • Educating Consumers vs. Urging Action

  • Persuasive Copywriting, Informative Content

  • Selling Brands vs. Versatile Goals

  • Contrasting Metrics: Conversion vs. Engagement

  • Sales-Driven Copy vs. Educational Content

  • Marketing Objectives vs. Information Value

Content Writing Connects vs. Copywriting Sells

Content writing refers to top-of-the-funnel content like blog posts geared towards educating and building initial connections with a reader and potential customer. This content offers value and answers the reader's questions, building trust and positioning the company as an expert. This type of content tells the reader, "We know the answer to your problem, and we are here to help."

On the other hand, copywriting is more of a middle-of-the-funnel content whose main aim is to lead the reader to a sale. It sells a product or service.

Shalom Kamau, Freelance Parenting Writer, Active Little Feet

Educating Consumers vs. Urging Action

Content writing is laser-focused on educating consumers. Its various styles, such as newsletters and blogs, are developed to engage both old and new consumers. Whereas copywriting urges you to take action, one of its features is also a call-to-action (CTA). It is to drive potential buyers to make a decision as quickly as possible.

Both writing styles do their part by adhering to various criteria. Without meeting those criteria, the effectiveness of the content or copy diminishes. Content writing can afford to elaborate, but copywriting has to be precise with its words.

Persuasive Copywriting vs. Informative Content

One important distinction between copywriting and content writing is seen in the main goals and voices of each. Copywriting is similar to the slick-talking salesperson who wants to persuade you to act right away. It focuses on creating strong messages that encourage conversions, like buying something or signing up for a service.

Contrarily, content writing is similar to a helpful, entertaining guide who wants to instruct, amuse, and establish a long-term relationship with the audience. It emphasizes providing useful information, finding solutions to issues, and encouraging interaction.

While copywriting frequently employs more forceful language and has an emphasis on a call to action, content writing has a tendency to have a more casual, conversational tone.

Kevin Le Gall, Owner and Lead Editor, Climbing House

Selling Brands vs. Versatile Goals

There is one main difference between a copywriter and a content writer—the goal of the content they're putting out.

In my experience, a copywriter is someone who is trying to sell your brand to a target audience, while a content writer is a bit more versatile and is usually looking to create content that informs, educates, etc. rather than trying to push an agenda.

Conversion vs. Engagement

There are different goals and purposes behind the two, therefore there are different metrics used to measure the effectiveness of each campaign. Copywriting aims to increase conversion and click-through rates.

Meanwhile, content writing aims to build engagement and reach. Where copywriting speaks to an audience with the goal to make a sale, content writing speaks to readers with the goal to educate or entertain. Therefore, different metrics are used to gauge the success of each respective campaign.

Khris Steven, Owner and Marketer, KhrisDigital

Sales-Driven Copy vs. Educational Content

Copywriting is primarily sales-driven; it's designed to persuade the reader or viewer to take a specific action, like purchasing a product or signing up for a newsletter. The language used in copywriting is typically direct and compelling and aims to trigger an immediate response. It's often found in advertising materials, email campaigns, landing pages, and sales letters.

On the other hand, content writing is informational and educational. The main goal here is to provide value to the reader through engaging and relevant information. This can take the form of blog posts, articles, guides, or white papers. Content writing aims to build a relationship with the audience, increase brand awareness, and establish the company or individual as a thought leader in the industry.

Madhurima Halder, Content Manager, Recruit CRM

Marketing Objectives vs. Information Value

Copywriting focuses on a marketing objective, like communication or persuasion. It is malleable because the content needs to fit the form, whether it is an ad, an article, or a booklet. Making words fit is important because the final marketing product is what matters.

On the other hand, content writing focuses on the value of the information itself: breaking down concepts, sharing points of view, or even storytelling. Content writing is closer to journalism than copywriting because content writing needs to be backed by research, observation, experience, or expertise. It can be long-form—from a 2,000-word SEO article to a story for a magazine.

In summary, content writing provides value by itself, while copywriting is just the means to a marketing end.

Isabel Villarreal, Digital Marketing Manager, Base22 LLC


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