Did you know that the content marketing industry worldwide is expected to grow by $417 billion from 2020 to 2025?
No wonder content is king.
In today’s fast-paced digital world, everyone has a voice. Whatever the topic, people and organizations are constantly sharing their views through social media, email, blogs, podcasts, and websites.
In this sea of voices, high-quality content stands tall. It is the backbone of any successful business and brand.
Copywriting and content writing are two diverse but vital aspects of effective digital marketing. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a clear difference between both.
Let’s take a look.
What is content writing?
Content writing is the process of creating informative, useful, and educational written material for publication on digital platforms such as websites, blogs, and social media.
The goal of content writing is to inform readers about a subject matter.
For example, if your company sells insurance products, you might publish a blog post to educate customers about the benefits of insuring their property.
The best content writers can create authoritative content in a way that is both educative and engaging without sacrificing one for the other.
Content Writing Examples
- Press releases
- Social media posts
- White papers
- Magazine pieces
- Technical writing
What is copywriting?
Copywriting is the art of crafting compelling messages that persuade people to take a specific action, such as visiting a website, buying a product, or signing up for an email list.
It is a form of communication that combines the art of writing with the science of marketing.
The ultimate goal of copywriting is influence and persuasion. This can be accomplished by appealing to different human emotions, including humor, fear, trustworthiness, authority, and empathy.
Let’s take the same example of a company that sells insurance products. They can create a Facebook ad campaign that connects to people’s fears. A fear of losing their home could lead prospects to visit a landing page that advertises property insurance against natural disasters.
Copywriters should have a deep understanding of the target audience and their needs, values, motivations, and behaviors to create effective copy. It’s essential to convey the right message to the right person at the right time to get them to convert.
- Web copy
- Landing pages
- Sales letters
- Digital ad copy (e.g., Google ads, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads)
- Advertising scripts
- Slogans and taglines
- Direct response copy
- Product descriptions
- Email marketing
- Traditional advertising copy (e.g., print, billboards, direct mail)
Content Writing vs Copywriting: The Key Differences
Content writing and copywriting both involve language, but they are different forms of communication.
Let’s take a look at the significant differences between the two:
- Information vs Persuasion
The primary difference between these two concepts is that content writing emphasizes information, value, and knowledge transfer while copywriting focuses on persuasion and influence.
The job of a content writer is to provide informative content to readers in an engaging way. You want them to learn something new or be inspired by a topic.
On the other hand, copywriting is used to persuade people to buy or do something. The purpose of the writing is to convince readers to take action.
Successful copywriters understand the psychology of human behavior and the principles of persuasion. They use this to write compelling copy that convinces potential customers that they want to purchase the product or service.
- Long-term vs Short-term strategy
Content writing has a long-term focus. As the content is informative in nature, it’ll still be valuable months or years down the road and will benefit continue to benefit audiences over time.
In contrast, copywriting has a more short-term objective focused on persuading someone to act immediately.
- Lengthier vs Shorter Copy
Content writing is more likely to be lengthy, offering detailed coverage of a particular topic. Each piece usually contains multiple sections with numerous paragraphs, pictures, infographics, and videos. This allows readers to become immersed in the subject matter.
Copywriting tends to be shorter and punchy as it needs to quickly grab the reader’s attention. It usually focuses on one central point with a call to action towards the end of the copy.
- Ration vs Emotion
Content writers emphasize facts and figures, while copywriters rely heavily on emotion and rhetoric.
Content writers usually write about topics that appeal to information and knowledge. On the other hand, copywriters try to connect emotionally with their audience through language and imagery.
This is even visible through the words used. Copywriting uses more attention-grabbing and emotionally-charged language while content writing maintains a relatively neutral and objective tone.
- Traffic vs Conversion
Aside from providing information, content writing aims to drive organic traffic and eyeballs to your website. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an important consideration here.
Conversely, copywriting strives to improve conversions by converting leads into customers.
- Top of the funnel vs Bottom of the funnel
Does your audience require knowledge and education? Or are they looking for a push to purchase a product or sign up for a service?
This marks the difference between the top and bottom of the funnel content.
If a person is new to the industry or product, they’ll be looking for in-depth informative and educational content to familiarize themselves with the general topic. This is where content writing (e.g. blogs) comes in (top of the funnel content).
Alternatively, a consumer familiar with the product and close to making a purchase decision is at the bottom of the funnel. They need a nudge to click the ‘buy’ button, where copywriting shines.
The two disciplines have different objectives but both play an essential role in driving business growth. Content writing lets you reach out to people who might not otherwise visit your site. And copywriting helps you convert them into paying customers.
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