How is content writing different from copywriting?
From the initial intent of copywriting to informing vs. persuading, here are eight answers to the question, “How is content writing different from copywriting?”
- Others Dictate a Copywriter’s Content
- Writers Pick Words, Copywriters Pick Handy Words
- Creative vs. Analytical
- Content Writing Tells a Story, Copywriting Is a Spoiler
- Two Different Worlds
- Two Distinct Disciplines With Different Objectives
- Creative Differences
- Content Writing Informs, Copywriting Persuades
Others Dictate a Copywriter’s Content
If you’re a content writer, it’s assumed that you have more creative freedom. Generally, a writer’s unique flair and perspective come out in anything they write which is designated “content writing.”
By comparison, if you’re a copywriter, you have many more restrictions. You’re writing copy on behalf of a brand. There are boundaries to obey and you have to write with a brand-first mentality. You won’t have much room to flash your creativity and you won’t have anything resembling carte blanche if you’re a copywriter.
That arrangement is perfectly fine if you’re a believer in the brand and if you’re well compensated—and copywriters are compensated better than content writers.
Writers Pick Words, Copywriters Pick Handy Words
Content writing is all about crafting content that educates and informs readers while copywriting is focused on creating persuasive content that drives people to take action. Content writers carefully pick words to create pieces that are easy-to-understand and helpful. Copywriters, on the other hand, use catchy phrases, emotional appeals, and other tactics to encourage people to click, purchase, or sign up for something.
Creative vs. Analytical
Content writing is more creative, while copywriting is more analytical. For instance, content writing involves taking someone’s idea and thinking creatively to turn it into content that is ready for public consumption. Alternatively, copywriting typically involves taking some sort of content that already exists and re-working it to make it understandable for whoever the audience may be, whether internal or external.
Content Writing Tells a Story, Copywriting Is a Spoiler
Good content writing tells a complete story, placing the reader in the center of the story as the hero. As in most well-told stories, the hero experiences a problem or conflict and is searching for a solution.
The brand’s product or service is that solution. The story ends with the hero winning the battle over the problem thanks to assistance from the solution. The reader experiences the entire journey, including details about the hero’s problem, how the solution enhanced the hero’s life (benefits), and exactly how the solution addressed it (features).
In copywriting, there is not enough space or time to tell the entire story; just the ending is revealed. Copywriting is based on an outcome and a call-to-action, not an explanation of features and benefits.
Two Different Worlds
Content writing and copywriting may seem like the same or similar activities in marketing, but there’s a vast difference between the end products—words that a reader consumes. The end product of content writing as a practice is a product used for purposes such as posts on blogs or social media.
This practice features basic requirements for the end product to be consumed properly—title, headings, paragraphs, images, formatting, etc. Copy comes from a highly detailed, in-depth process that requires a significant effort in preparation before the first draft comes into place.
Copy speaks to the end consumer with nuance, a deeply researched and prepared tone of voice, and, most importantly—a mission. Copywriting influences, educates, and provides strategic value to a business, while content writing fulfills a specific (less important) role in marketing.
Two Distinct Disciplines With Different Objectives
Copywriting and content writing are two distinct disciplines with different objectives. Content writing generally aims to provide useful information to readers or viewers, while copywriting is more focused on persuading people to take action or purchase a product or service.
Content writers create content for websites, blogs, social media posts, articles, and other platforms. They typically research topics thoroughly before drafting their work so that it is accurate and informative. Copywriters craft persuasive messages designed to appeal to an audience’s emotions to get them to take action. This could involve using catchy headlines, emotionally charged language, or creative metaphors.
Content writing and copywriting are similar in that they both involve creating written content to promote a product, service, or idea. However, there are some key differences between the two.
Content writing focuses on creating informative, educational, and entertaining materials that represent a brand through several creative aspects and features. This form of content is typically done through websites, blogs, social media, or print and focuses on brand identity and value.
Copywriting, on the other hand, focuses more on selling and persuading readers, using more direct techniques and language. We identify this content type through advertisements, sales pitches, and marketing emails, with the main purpose of selling and promoting.
Content Writing Informs, Copywriting Persuades
While content writing and copywriting are often used interchangeably, there are quite a few key differentiating factors between the two.
Copywriting is a form of writing that is intended to persuade a target audience and gain more support for a specific brand, product, or service. Copywriters often write shorter, more informal work, including content for main landing pages for company websites, slogans, ads, and more.
Copywriters are often given more flexibility in their writing methods and may use more creativity in their work to ensure the words on the page impact readers’ emotions, preferences, or buying habits. Content writing is a style of content intended to inform readers, and it is usually offered in the form of articles, blogs, and newsletters.
It is usually longer and includes more detailed information than shorter writing copy. Content marketers use informative, yet engaging language to improve web traffic and increase customer engagement.
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