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Copywriting vs Content Writing: What is the Difference?

Updated: Jan 24, 2023

When it comes to any marketing strategy, your written material will come in two forms: copywriting or content writing. Most digital and content marketers will understand the differences between the two.

But if you are new to the world of digital marketing, then it's really important to understand the functions of copy and content writing and how they are used in different strategies. This is especially for startups and new businesses because you want to hit the ground running with your marketing plan. This is where copywriting and content writing come into play.

For example, if you're looking for a short-term marketing strategy, then copywriting will be essential for a quick turnaround. But if you want to nurture and grow your audience steadily, then content writing will be the better strategy. These can be applied to any B2B or B2C industry, so no matter your business they will always be relevant.

I have created a handy infographic that includes definitions, key differences, and types of content the strategies can be used for. I have summarised the key points of the infographic below that and explained why each point is relevant to your digital marketing strategy.


The Differences Between Copywriting and Content Writing

What This Means For You and Your Business

The primary goal of copywriting is to create an immediate response from potential leads and buyers. This means that it is used as a direct and short-term marketing strategy. You need to use copywriting in important sales areas of your business. What I mean by this is to use the copy in marketing areas where readers will be most likely to make a purchase or take action.

For example:

  • Landing pages

  • Marketing emails

  • Social media

  • Advertisements (magazines, billboards, T.V., etc.)

Lots of people are going to see this type of content (not to be confused with content writing), and so the audience is arguably wider-ranging. However, with email and social media campaigns, this wider audience can be narrowed down to a select few subscribers.

Content writing on the other hand is a long-term marketing strategy because it aims to grow and nurture a niche audience who are interested in what you and your business have to say. This is why many content writing and content marketing strategies involve blog posts (an easily consumable form of content) and eBooks.

These types of content are designed to be educational and informative, encouraging readers to return time and again to view more content. This creates brand loyalty, as you will gain a loyal audience of readers who will then take the next step to buy your products or services. Hence, this is a long-term marketing strategy.

For more information on the differences between copywriting and content writing, freelance writer Elna Cain has a fabulous video covering the subject down below. Note that her content is geared towards new freelance writers getting into the business, but I find that it's still worth watching to get a thorough understanding of the two writing strategies.


Summing Up

So those are the key differences between copywriting and content writing. To summarise this:

  • Copywriting is used for a short-term marketing strategy where the goal is to get an immediate response from an audience

  • Content writing is part of a long-term marketing strategy where the goal is to nurture and grow a loyal audience over time

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