Copywriting vs Content Writing: What’s the Difference?
So, What Do You Do?
As a fairly new-ish copywriter and content writer, I’ve found myself in a new situation that I haven’t had to deal with before—introducing myself.
Now, you might be thinking um….Danielle, what do you mean you’ve never introduced yourself before?
Well…as of a year ago, I was a teacher. For 13 years, whenever I had to introduce myself, the conversation turned to the typical “So, what do you do?” My answer was simple—I’m a teacher.
And that’s usually where the conversation ended. I mean, everyone knows what a teacher is, right? Sure, sometimes people would ask me what subject and grade level I taught, but aside from that, there wasn’t much left to say.
But now…I’m a B2B and B2C copywriter and content writer, managing editor, and brand messaging specialist. Try saying that 10x fast.
As you can imagine, the conversation has suddenly become more involved. I now have to explain what it is I do, describe the value of my services, and give examples. One of the most common questions I get is—what is the difference between copywriting and content writing?
If you’ve wondered the same thing, I’m here to break down the key differences for you. And no, copywriting is not the same as copyright law.
First Things First
Before we even get into the nitty-gritty of copywriting and content writing, there is one important thing you need to understand—the term “copy” refers to any written word crafted to convey a message. Yep, it’s as simple as that.
Written content will always be essential for businesses regardless of what industry you are in or what audience you serve. In fact, you may be familiar with the saying “content is king.” While that may sound a little cliché, it’s true. Written content is one of the most integral forms of communication, especially when it comes to marketing, advertising, and increasing conversions.
What is Copywriting?
A copywriter’s main goal is to write content that converts (sells). It conveys the benefits and features of certain products or services and is written in alignment with a specific brand’s voice and tone to maintain consistency across all marketing touch points.
Good copy is short, punchy, and memorable, urging the reader to take action. Copywriting is all about persuasion, so it is essential that copywriters understand who the target audience is, what their values are, and what makes them tick.
Copywriters often produce short-form content like the following:
- Social media
- Landing pages
- Sales pages
- Marketing emails
- Radio/Podcast scripts
- Magazine ads
- Short Message Service (SMS) campaigns
- Pay-Per-Click Marketing (PPC)
What is Content Writing?
Unlike copywriting, the main goal of content writing isn’t to persuade an audience to buy a product or service. Instead, content writing involves writing long-form content that educates, informs, or entertains the reader.
Examples of content writing can include:
- Social media posts
- Case studies
- Website content
- How-To Guides
- Press releases
- E-commerce product descriptions
- Reviews (books, movies, products or services)
Content writing focuses on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and analyzing customer behavior to provide high-quality digital content that is relevant and meaningful to the reader.
Copywriting vs Content Writing: A Quick Comparison
The most important thing is to recognize that both types of writing are valuable and play a critical role in a business’s marketing strategy.
Here is a quick comparison that will highlight each writing style’s key features.
- Usually short-form content
- Direct, focused on converting/generating sales
- Goal-driven persuades the reader to take action in some way
- Sell a specific product, service, or idea
- Mostly long-form content
- Builds brand awareness
- Focused on informing, educating, or inspiring the reader —share-worthy content that demonstrates expertise
- Lays the groundwork for future sales
Not a wordy person? That’s okay—I am! Schedule a discovery call today to explore how Sip of Copy can help you with your copywriting or content writing needs.