Updated: Dec 18, 2018
(3 key differences between copywriting & content writing)
We often misunderstand the actual meaning of Copywriting & Content writing. These two are the same thing, right? Well, not exactly. The difference is not that of an apple and orange rather that of an orange and tangerine. There is a thin line but it is there.
Hence it is extremely important for all the budding writers, businesses to understand the difference between the two roles.
Let’s begin with understanding what a copywriter & content writer does.
Who is a Copywriter?
A person who writes the text of advertisements or publicity material is a copywriter. Copywriting is done with the purpose of advertising or other branches of marketing. The content written by a copywriter is called ‘Copy’ and its major purpose is to create brand awareness and eventually sales.
Who is a Content Writer?
A person who writes relevant content for websites and other platforms. He/she creates a range of different content types using written word; usually long-form, rich-content that is search engine optimized.
3 key differences between copywriting & content writing
Telling & Advertising
Content writing is all about telling. You’re telling people about a specific topic or issue. It either informs, educates or entertains; it has a clear purpose and/or reason behind the piece; it represents the brand’s voice; it has to be a good read.
Whereas copywriting is all about advertising. It comes with some sort of call to action. It is the art of selling people on an idea, brand or ideology. Its major purpose is to create brand awareness and eventually sales.
Promotion & Knowledge
The sheer purpose of content writing is to give knowledge to the readers. Pick any blog. Read it. And observe. The sole purpose of every blog is to make its reader more knowledgeable and never sales. Content writing is about the things the target audience wants to know, it's a response to the market's interests, which rarely include the product or service.
On the other hand, copywriting is all about promotion. Although the copy may speak to what matters to the reads, it's ultimately about the product, which may or may not be of interest. A copy is never to make you knowledgeable rather sales or promotion.
Short-term Sales & Long-term Engagement
A copywriter may tell a brand story over several marketing channels, but in the end all the messages are focused on one thing: branding or sales. The call to action and the emphasis on the product or service are part of an effort to generate a one-time sales, whether it's a direct sale or a request for more information.
While content writer produces several blogs or articles before even mentioning the product. The purpose isn't to facilitate a one-time sale rather to keep readers engaged long enough and deeply enough that they're motivated to share the content with their social media contacts, stay in touch with the business and, eventually, invest in the product or service.
In the end, a copywriter’s job is to sell an idea whereas a content writer aims to create valuable content.