It is fairly common these days to hear terms like “copywriting” and “content writing” being interchanged. And it’s easy to understand the confusion – especially because of the fact that these two different styles of writing are sometimes even used together. But the fact is – there is a difference. And if you’re posting blogs and articles to your website, it is important to understand the difference.
Both styles rely on each other and can fit into the same marketing plan. The biggest distinction between content writing and copywriting is the purpose behind the writing.
Content writing is composing content for a specific purpose, such as brand awareness, product education or industry information. For example, if your business wants to attract and educate potential customers about their products or services, a blog or web article is a great way to accomplish this goal. Blogs, articles, and press releases are all examples of content writing.
How to Write Effective Content
Content writing is meant to educate and inform – not to sell. Content writing should not be a comparison of your product or service against competitors in the industry, but rather a way to tell the audience who you are, what you offer, and how your product will benefit the customer. The most effective content writing is achieved when you follow general content writing guidelines, such as:
- Write within a formal style (i.e. structure of paragraphs, identify a purpose)
- Build trust with the audience by being genuine
- Offer the reader an experience through your writing
- Provide help to the reader; do not sell them anything with content writing
- Be clear and precise with content writing, always support your thoughts with evidence
Copywriting is compelling writing designed to illicit a specific action or response from the reader. The goal of copywriting is to sell a product or service, sign up for your newsletter or schedule a consultation. For example, if your business wants readers to purchase a product or opt-in to your email campaigns, a branded sales sheet or well-crafted landing page content can accomplish this marketing goal. Direct mailers (or emailers), branded marketing or sales documents, and infomercials are all examples of copywriting.
How to Write Effective Copy
Copywriting is all about branding and ensuring you relay why your brand matters. Copywriting takes content writing one step further; content writing draws the reader in and copywriting entices the reader to perform your desired action.
- Write eye-catching headlines
- Take a personable approach in your writing, build trust with the readers
- Use direct words that inspire the reader to take action
- Never use industry jargon, slangs, or clichés; avoid confusion and keep the copy simple
- Always leave the readers wanting to know more about your product or service; this gets the customer interested in taking action
Copywriting and Content Writing Work Together
You cannot have one without the other. In fact, content writing without copywriting (and vice versa) is an unfortunate waste. If your site is generating good traffic but few conversions, the issue may be ineffective copywriting. But if you don’t see much return traffic to your site, you may not be providing enough value with your content writing.
In order to provide exceptional content to potential and current customers, you need a well balanced mix of copywriting and content writing. Combine the best of both worlds to ensure successful content and copy to your readers and customers.