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Content Writing vs. Copywriting: What’s the Difference?

Content Writing vs. Copywriting

Content creation is a vital part of digital marketing for any business regardless of its size or the industry they operate in. As the driving force behind all successful digital marketing campaigns such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns, and social media marketing (SMM), written content is vital for growing your business through additional leads and conversions. While each piece of content provides a new opportunity for your business to connect with prospective customers, not all forms of content creation are the same.

When it comes to writing for your business, content writing and copywriting are vital. While both are used in digital marketing campaigns, they have distinct purposes and characteristics that set them apart. If you use digital marketing to promote your business, it is worth knowing what the difference between content writing vs. copywriting is to ensure that you are striking the right balance between the two. As experts in search engine optimization and conversion rate optimization, the team at FirstPage Marketing knows how important it is for a business to invest in quality content wiring and copywriting. That’s why we’ve written a guide to help you understand the differences between each and what they can do for your business.

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4 Key Differences Between Content Writers and Copywriters

While both types of writers are focused on creating content that enhances your business, they differ in the following ways:

1. Copywriters Sell, Content Writers Inform

Content writing and copywriting are primarily distinguished from each other by their purpose. While content writing is designed to educate or entertain, copywriting—also abbreviated as “copy”—is designed to persuade. In short, a copywriter sells your brand and your products/services to your target audience while a content writer informs, educates, entertains, or instructs readers on a particular topic.

To word it differently, copy is what you will use to advertise, persuade, and make a sale. It’s essentially a sales pitch in writing. Content, on the other hand, does everything else. It attracts new readers through quality SEO practices, builds an audience, demonstrates your knowledge, builds trust in your brand, and lays the foundation for an eventual purchase.

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2. Short-Form Copy vs. Long-Form Copy

Since it focuses on educating or entertaining, content writing typically results in longer content than copywriting. While you might be able to persuade readers to act by using just one or two sentences, educating or entertaining them will likely require a longer length. Depending on the topic, you may need to use anywhere from 500 to 2,500 words to provide all the information needed.
Copywriters write copy for:

  • Online and hard-copy ads
  • Slogans and taglines
  • Email campaigns
  • Television or radio advertising scripts
  • Video scripts
  • Catalogues
  • Billboards
  • Postcards
  • Sales letters
  • Direct mail letters
  • Jingle lyrics
  • Social media

Content writers write longer-form content like:

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Web content
  • Newspaper pieces
  • Magazine features
  • Press Releases
  • White papers
  • Email newsletters
  • E-books
  • Books
  • Print magazines
  • Podcast scripts
  • Television scripts
  • Film scripts

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3. Content Writers Focus on Increasing Organic Traffic

Content writing is designed to adhere to best SEO practices and increase your readership by improving your search rankings and overall visibility. Content writing is better for SEO than copywriting as it offers high value to readers and it doesn’t express commercial intent. Readers tend to enjoy consuming and sharing content as it can be extremely informative or helpful to a certain audience. Another reason content writing is better for SEO is the increased length and use of keywords. Long-form content generally ranks for more keywords than short-form content, attracting more views and building your website’s authority.

Unlike copy, content isn’t always easy to measure in the short term. Good content strategies (like white hat SEO strategies) can take time to produce quantifiable results. While this may be difficult to accept and invest in, consider that the value gained content from blogs and articles has a longer shelf life. Unlike an ad or email, blogs and articles have staying power that continues to pay off years after they’re written and posted to your site.

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4. Copywriters Turn This Organic Traffic into Leads

While it is important to drive traffic and build your audience, these additional readers won’t mean much if you do not get them to contact you or make a purchase. A skilled copywriter strives to evoke emotion in a reader that compels them to take immediate action. For example, they’ll want readers to download something, sign up for a newsletter, or buy a product. FOMO (fear of missing out) is just one of many emotions frequently invoked in copywriting. Others include security, pride, comfort, a sense of belonging, and instant gratification. Savvy marketers leverage these emotions in copywriting to persuade readers to act and utilize the audience built by your content to its full potential.

When it comes to content creation and strategy, both types of writing are vital for the success and continued growth of your business. Knowing when to inform and when to push for a sale is crucial for building a strong customer base and establishing your brand as trustworthy and reliable. On the other hand, too much information without a call to action or too much sales pressure without enough information can be detrimental for your business.

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To learn how to strike the perfect balance for your business, get in touch with the experts at FirstPage Marketing. We can be reached through our online contact form or by phone at 604-866-2230 and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about content or other areas of your online marketing goals.

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