Content writing vs Copy writing

In this modern age, the information is flowing across border and time like never before. And if you are one with a product, if you are one who want to sell or create a brand or even an awareness about you or your brand then you need to write, write to inform people and to persuade them  or share any information because creating content is an integral part of digital marketing. In that context of writing we often hear 2 similar terms, Content writer and copy writer, both seems so close in meaning, after all a writer would be a writer on the online platform. This confusion occurred to me as well when I first heard them years ago, before I quickly clarified my doubts to calm my curious mind. Yes both refers to writing and are used in digital marketing, but with difference purposes and hence possess different mindset and expertise.

Although there has been ongoing debate over who is more important for business and product, who is more challenging and where is the fine lines of boundary, there are striking similarities and differences. We’ll look at both the terms and once we are done you will be more than equipped to understand the differences between Copywriting and Content-writing, and what they mean.

We’ll see the difference between Copywriting and Content-writing over some parameter :

  1. Meaning – Contentwriting is mainly used to share information, that is, for the purpose of educating, informing, sharing news or even entertaining. While, Copy writing is used to persuade people to buy the products or services on offer. Yet both falls under the umbrella of marketing.
  • Relation – You can create marketing content without copy, but all marketing copy is content.
  • Time Scale – Since Copywriting is used for advertising and mostly its life is of short-term On the contrary, Content writing has a longer lifecycle.
  • Goals for writing – This is major difference between Copy and Content marketing. Copy writing has main goal to persuade the potential clients, while purpose of Content-writing is to educate.  Example – Copywriters write for ads (like social media ads), online & offline, slogans & taglines, landing pages (product page) etc; and Contentwriter does write articles, blogs, newsletters, ebooks, whitepapers, reports, case studies, emails etc.
  • SEO – A content writer should be well versed at advance level with the SEO, should have excellent knowledge for keywords, their use & efficiency, backlinking, hyperlinking and all forms of SEO marketing, so that the content appears in the search engine.
  • Emotions – Emotion is another difference which is an area of Copywriting. Like Fear of missing out (FOMO), is one of ways to compel a consumer to buy a product immediately so that they don’t miss out on its benefits. It is just one of many emotions frequently invoked in copywriting and others may also be present (pride, comfort, security, sense of belonging, instant gratification), while Content-writing may invoke emotions through writing but not with urgency or to sell product. Savvy marketers leverage these emotions in copywriting to persuade readers to take action.
  • Length – due to writing for ads, the Copywriter has to write much shorted message than what is normally used in Content-writing.

On the similarity basis, Both copywriting and content marketing

  • Target a specific audience
  • Are created to convey a message to an audience
  • Require good quality writing

It is seen that great copywriters may not necessarily be good content writers and vice versa, as both needs similar foundation yet different mindset and skills. However, most writers can develop the skills required with time and practice.