Copywriting vs. Content Writing: How are they different and when should you use them?

Copywriting and Content Writing

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Copywriting and content writing are both widely popular terms in digital marketing. Many even go as far as using them interchangeably on the assumption that they mean the same thing. 

In reality, however, there are some marked differences between them. A successful content marketing strategy is one in which copywriting and content writing are used to drive results. Recent statistics show that content generates 54% more leads than traditional marketing. 

If you’re a writer who’s new in the business and looking for employment opportunities or a business owner who’s planning on using content marketing to fuel your sales, here are some of what you need to know about copywriting and content writing.

Is copywriting the same as content writing?

Not at all. Copywriting and content writing may be related, and some of their tasks can sometimes overlap, but their end purpose essentially sets them apart. 

Copywriting’s goal is to sell. It uses the customer’s emotions and pressure points to persuade them to buy. On the other hand, content writing aims to deliver information and entertain, which builds trust and converts the audience in the long run. 

Copywriting’s approach is more direct, while content writing is more subtle on what they want their audience to do.

What is the difference between content marketing and copywriting?

Content marketing is creating content to subtly market your products or services, often without mentioning your brand, products, or service. That can be done through blog posts, emails, or even podcasts. Content marketing aims to attract more customers through what you post by establishing your brand as an insider expert in a given field or topic. 

Through consistent content marketing, you’ll be able to gain the audience’s trust and encourage them to try your brand. Copywriting is direct. It’s offering a straight-forward sales pitch to encourage your audience to convert.

Since these two can be found under the marketing umbrella, they can sometimes overlap and help each other. You can produce content with bits of copywriting embedded in it. You can employ effective copywriting in your content to drive more traffic to your site. 

That means your content can utilize a broader audience reach. On the other hand, when your copywriting comes across your audience as a hard sell, they may ignore your ad or avoid your brand altogether. Creating copies with entertaining content that’s hard to ignore can make prospective customers warm up to your sales pitch.

What is a content writer?

As the name implies, a content writer is someone who writes content. These content types can have a broad range, from blog posts, social media posts, video scripts, and web pages. A content writer aims to create content that educates, informs, and entertains their audience. 

A good content writer can create content that piques their audience’s interest and keeps them wanting to read more. It’s like telling a story where each line pushes the reader deeper into the plot, and their imagination starts to recreate those scenes in their minds. 

For this reason, content writing requires proper research and serious attention to detail. If you cannot carry your readers along, then your content piece is just taking up space on the internet. 

A content writer is also consistent with their output. Regularly posting quality content about specific topics can build your brand’s online reputation as one of the experts in that field. 

The content they produce can encourage prospective customers to engage with what you post, that in time, you can gain your audience’s trust, and they’ll eventually become your customers.

What is copywriting?

Copywriting is a form of writing which aims to sell an idea or a brand. Copywriting ranges from ads, sales emails, and sales letters. Copywriters stir the emotions of the audience to persuade them to commit to a call-of-action after every write-up. 

It’s more straightforward compared to content writing since its short-term goal is to drive up sales. Copywriting’s topics would almost always be the brand’s products or services and its culture to make a sales pitch to the audience.

What makes a good copywriter?

Aside from the skills mentioned above, a good copywriter can create something new, refreshing, and interesting, even if the topic is mundane or boring. The aim is to catch the attention and persuade the audience to make an action, after all. 

Above all, a copywriter must possess a certain level of empathy. If you’re attempting to sell something, you must first be able to sell it to yourself. It is through your understanding of that product or service that allows you to copy-write compelling content. 

Understanding the customers’ needs and writing with empathy to create a positive user experience also sets a good copywriter from the rest. Being in touch with your audience’s experiences, emotions, and beliefs will make your copy relatable and has a higher possibility of encouraging them to take action.

What skills do you need to be a copywriter?

Copywriting is an art that requires specific skillsets for any aspiring copywriter to flourish and do their job well. Although the more skills you have, the better, some of those skills can be honed through practice as you delve more into copywriting. However, the skills given below are a foundational must-have to stand out in a sea of copywriters.

  • Research skills —  Writing compelling copy starts with having excellent research skills. Conducting research will give you on-hand knowledge to help you write easier about a particular topic, product, service, or brand.
  • Learning from feedback — Sometimes, what you write will not hit the bull’s eye. You’ll have to be open to learning from feedback coming from editors, clients, and colleagues, so you can improve your writing skills as you go on.
  • Knowing when to stop — Often, we fall into the loop of making everything perfect and ready before we do something. You should know when to stop researching and start writing; when to stop editing and start publishing. Knowing when to stop will help you produce more copy instead of being stuck in the process. 
  • Good command of English (or whatever language the copy is in) —  Every marketing copy you send out to your audience is intended to build trust and eventual conversion. Poorly written copies with grammatical mistakes will make people doubt your brand’s credibility. Having a wide range of vocabulary will also ensure that you use the right words to connect with your audience. 

Conclusion

Copywriting and content writing may differ in their purpose, how they work, and how they engage your audience, but they share a common goal — to position your business for more success. “Which one is the best for you?” is a question only you can answer because you alone know what your business needs at the time. 

If you’d like to take advantage of both copywriting and content writing simultaneously, RxMedia can help! Our content marketing services are designed to help your business stand out across the web, reinforce brand recognition, and ultimately improve your revenues. 

Call us today at 503-974-3297 or reach us through our contact form to get started with a FREE strategic consultation. 

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