Several differences exist between copy writing and content writing which many get confused about so don’t worry, you’re not alone. Both content and copy are essential elements needed in digital marketing and on your website but make no mistake they are not one in the same. So how do you know which one to pick to do the job you need?
Both content writing and copy writing share the task of improving your goal of improving your business’ sales. The two main differences are in the methods that they use.
What is Copy Writing?
Copy writing, in a nutshell is the writing of intriguing advertising copy. Ironically you need great copywriting to get readers to open and read your copy to begin with so if you have ineffective copywriting that’s a problem.
Think of yourself perusing a variety of restaurant menus. The descriptions of the dishes, the preparation, the enticing images, and the Pavlovian dog condition you start to experience is all the work of a good copywriter. However, if the food is described in a dull, boring text that does nothing to appeal to your palate you’re probably moving on to the next restaurant.
A copy writer’s goal quite simply is to be persuasive and coax the reader towards taking an action. Effective copywriting should immediately grab the reader’s attention, clearly promote the product or idea, and convinces the reader to take action such as clicking on a link to find out more information or making a purchase. It is a term in advertising to mean any text that is intended to sell a product or service.
Examples of Copy writing
“I’m worth it” , “Does she or doesn’t she” “Maybe she’s born with it” Just Do It” You get the drift….
For example the text on a landing page that encourages the visitor to sign up for a free report is considered copy writing. Here are some other examples:
- Conventional forms of advertising such as brochures, posters, direct mail
- Website landing pages
- Sales emails are sent to people already subscribed to a company’s mailing list
- Paid Facebook ads that appears in a user’s feed is a copy
- Indirect copy on a social media quote leading to a company link to sign up
- PPC ads targeted to a specific demographics
- Classified ads etc.
A Copy Writer’s Skills
The goal of copy writing is to persuade as mentioned above. A copy writer uses emotion to compel the reader to action. People don’t sell products and services, they buy ‘better versions of themselves’.
Or puppies do. No seriously, more people are interested in looking at an image of a cute dog or kitten than a regular person and that is why dogs and animals sell so many products.
If you’re hoping to sell something through your website through advertisements, email or direct response material then you definitely need a copy writer.
A copy writer has a background in understanding psychology and human behavior, and uses this ability to create content that grabs your attention, whether it’s based on humor, fear, awe, compassion, value, imitation, justification or just plain controversy.
Copy writer’s use emotion-based, short form text that grab attention and directs consumer behavior.
Copy writers also master the skill of brevity. Remember in the Hamlet Polonious’ “Brevity is the soul of wit” quote?
In other words, make your point. But do it in a way that makes me feel something!
The goal of copy writing is to grab you, intrigue you and make it’s mark, with a concise limited number of words, as well as convince the consumer in a short time to complete a desired action, whether that be to click a link or make a phone call.
What is Content Writing?
While copy writing is in your face unconcealed in its sales tactics, content writing is a bit more tactful and enchanting.
Using the restaurant example again, once you receive the food from the establishment that had the intriguing menu you find that it doesn’t match up at all. There’s a clear and disappointing difference between the enticing description of the ‘headline’ versus the ‘content’ of the actual order.
Ideally the two should match up.
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Content writing’s purpose is still to provoke an action, but the big difference is that the text is much more in depth, informative and useful to the reader.
Effective content engages the reader, entices the reader to learn more and educates readers to help them make informed purchasing decisions.
In short order it has more complexity and substance.
For example, a 15 page digital white paper on the current benefits of the Cannabinoid oil may have the intent of selling and promoting a specific company’s CBD products, but it does so by providing valuable information that a potential consumer has sought out.
By creating useful information people can use, a company uses content writing to inspire, build authority to draw in their targeted audience of potential customers.
Aside from digital content there are many other types of content out there.
Blogs are an excellent way to draw traffic to business. Their purpose is ideally to inform, educate and entertain a reader.
According to The Content Marketing Institute companies that have blogs bring in 3.5x more traffic than those that don’t.
If each post is simply an ad for a new product, then it qualifies as copy writing.
E-books, pdf files are another good example of content writing. They can inform the reader on longer subjects that can’t be covered in an article or blog post.
Social media posts provide an example of content writing, working to generate leads at a targeted audience.
What Is a Content Writer?
The goal of a content writer is to inform, entertain and engage. A content writer uses information and education to connect with the reader and built trust.
If you’re seeking to build brand awareness, create educational materials for your customers or establish thought leadership or industry expertise then you want to hire a content writer.
Content writers craft long-form, rich content that is search engine optimized. They tend to be skilled researchers as well as excellent writers. Content writers have the ability to weave stories into compelling and relatable content designed to connect on some level with the reader.
Choosing Copy Writer vs. Content Writer?
Remember in the beginning of this post the restaurant analogy.
I mentioned how one would never get to the meat of the content if no one ever clicked on the headline. Good copywriting goes hand in hand with good content writing. You can’t have one without the other.
Overall, finding someone who is willing to get into the minds of your audience and knowing the product and services inside and out is the key to expressing great content and writing viral copy.
Well written, relevant content expands your audience. Great content keeps your readers coming back for more, same in the way that a deliriously enticing menu keeps intriguing and enchanting your palate.
Copy pushes your readers to take action at the given moment and it’s more time limited and specific.
The interplay between the two forms a crux of a winning online marketing campaign.
Interested in Becoming a Copy Writer or Content Writer?
Great content and copy writers are in need more than ever! It is heading towards becoming a 400 billion dollar industry in 2020! If you’re looking to get into it now is a perfect time.
Freelance writers can find both copy writing and content writing assignments on platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, Scripted and others.
Read this post that contains a massive resource on 50+ sites that pay writers $100+ and more per post!