Google the difference between copywriting and content writing, and you’ll be faced with 6,900,000 search results.
It’s a valid question and a hot topic, as the difference between the two is often misunderstood.
So, here’s what I hope is a straightforward answer to save you having to wade through the other 6,899,000 offered on Google.
Both disciplines centre around the art of persuasive writing, but each one has a purpose of its own.
What is copywriting?
The term copywriting refers to short-medium form copy that uses words and phrases specifically crafted to encourage a reader to take action.
Examples of this include website copy, brochure copy, email campaigns, direct mail, adverts, etc.
That action might be to purchase a product or service, register for an event or sign up to a mailing list.
Whatever your goal, copywriting is about crafting marketing copy that will resonate with your target audience and make them act in a certain way.
What is content writing?
Content writing is about creating something that adds value for your target audience – it’s interesting, informative, educational or entertaining - and importantly, it’s relatable.
Written content is typically produced in the form of blog posts, articles, eBooks/whitepapers and social media posts.
These should address the needs, desires, pain points or knowledge gaps that your target audience might have.
Think about what you can you teach them that they didn’t already know.
What insights can you provide that will make their lives that little bit easier?
This will build your brand’s authority in your field of expertise, and it builds trust because let's be honest, we’re all turned off by a constant hard sell.
Done well, content writing should also take into consideration basic search engine optimisation (SEO) principles, using appropriate keywords and phrases that will boost your content in search engines.
Similar, but different
Copywriting is the production of marketing copy that instigates action.
Content writing aims to entertain, inform and engage – and doesn’t always sell.
They’re similar, but each has a different purpose.
Achieving the right balance between the two as part of your marketing strategy will help you nurture your audience and give them a friendly nudge towards becoming a paying customer.