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Copywriting Vs. Content Writing: What's The Difference?

copywriting vs content writing
Updated: | Content Creation coral ouellette wordagents author Coral Ouellette

What's the difference between copywriting vs content writing? They're the same things, aren't they?

Wrong!

They're not the same.

It's not exactly the difference between apples and oranges — more like mandarins and oranges — but close enough.

For a business looking to hire a writer with skill, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of the role each plays. They both dip into different categories and are used in different situations, driving different results for businesses.

Without further ado, let's reveal the purpose of both, so you don't make the mistake of hiring a copywriter when you need a content writer and vice versa.

What Is a Copywriter?

Copywriters write content with the primary objective of converting traffic into leads and sales. This can be called a sales copy. Unlike blog posts and newspapers (which exist to give information), copywriting's purpose is all about persuasion, so readers take action. That action might be to purchase, opt-in, or engage with products, services, or companies.

There's a wide range of types of jobs copywriters do for clients. Here's a list with some examples:

  • Emails
  • Internet ad copy: LinkedIn, Twitter, Google/PPC ads
  • Social media posts: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube
  • Marketing copy
  • Sales letters and landing pages
  • Video scripts
  • Sales pitches
  • Sales pages
  • Brochures and advertisements
  • Ebooks
  • Newsletters, bios
  • Case studies
  • Advertorials for magazines
  • Headline story report and taglines
  • Advertising content
  • Sales emails
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Postcards
  • Products advertising
  • Website copy

Whatever the topic is, the copywriter can piece it together with the intent of converting customers and making money.

The bottom line is, as a business owner, your marketing strategy needs a copywriter. Hiring a copywriter has some valuable points:

  • Present quality content to your client.
  • Give readers a sense of urgency.
  • Make your brand stand out.
  • Promote a product the right way.
  • Give your brand a unique style/voice.

Mastering the challenges the type of work copywriters face comes with time and experience. Some of the most well-known marketing campaigns in the world have come from the skills and creativity of writing copy.

An example of off-the-charts copywriting begins with Nike's first "Just Do it" campaign.

Nike Just Do It Campaign

Nike now holds its place as one of the best professional ads in the world thanks to someone doing a well done copywriting job.

Modern Just Do It campaign from Nike with Colin Kaepernick
Source

What Is Copywriting in Marketing?

There's no big contrast between regular copywriting and copywriting marketing. The thing is, companies use a copywriter's service to reach marketing goals.

As always, the copywriter's job is to make professional materials mainly for advertisements for topics buyers have an interest in. Part of the process is including resources so consumers can get ideas on a sale, advertisement, product, or whatever the company is proposing to their audience.

When you hire a copywriter, there shouldn't be a need to set expectations that the pieces are specifically for a marketing matter.

Content Marketing vs Copywriting

So, what about content marketing and copywriting? If your head is spinning right now, we need to get these definitions in order. There is a word for everything but not a bit of space for confusion. Hang in there to get the idea.

Content marketing is a strategic art in marketing focused on sharing valuable content in the form of a blog post, a newsletter post, stories, or another type of informational content consistently to attract others and retain a clearly defined audience.

While copywriting is also considered as content, there aren't many similarities between the two. One way they overlap, however, is content marketing is the act of promoting words written by a copywriter.

What Is a Content Writer?

The difference in content writing vs copywriting is that content writers craft with the approach of generating organic traffic via searches on platforms. Savvy blog owners know content writing is the best way to reach marketing goals as content helps create brand awareness and can show authority in a subject if you show your expertise.

Content can help you with lead generation, attract a new buyer, use certain language to bring emotions to prospects and customers, and, ultimately, make money. Content writing can also be very lengthy (10,000 words plus) and even require a team. A content writer may have different time needs than a copywriter.

While there's sometimes an overlap of the kind of work copywriters and content writers do, the tactics, language, and purposes the content serves are entirely different.

The kinds of jobs content writers do are:

In a nutshell, the goal of content writing is to provide education by breaking down a complicated concept using simplified terms and phrases. Someone who has never heard of the matter should be able to understand. The topics the author writes about should give visitors a clear idea of the answer to their questions and solutions to problems.

Good content will result in grabbing the reader's attention, getting more people to subscribe, and serve a target audience. Blogging is also one of the few ways your site can gain trust and build branding.

Key Differences Between Content Writing and Copywriting

To recap what we just learned, let's go over the significant differences between copywriting and content writing.

Copywriting

For projects that have a goal of immediate action. With copy services, the brand will often see conversions on a product. Advertisement in the form of copy holds a lot of power. After the visitor reads the copy, they'll be led to the next step, which is usually the call to action.

Content writing

On the other hand, content like blogs gives the reader the best information. Blog posts are a great way to get more people to subscribe or gain loyalty. The experience a person has can give them a level of insights they need.

SEO Content Writing vs SEO Copywriting

Is there a difference between just an everyday content writer or copywriter and an SEO content writer or copywriter?

Yes.

The fact is, there is a particular distinction between the two. They have a different business focus, and you'll hire each for a different situation. Before you hire a writer (freelancer or through an agency), it's important to assess what your agency needs.

Content Writing and SEO Content Writing

SEO content writing's nature is to craft articles with specific keywords in mind to increase visibility in search engines. The content writer uses words the website needs to attract more traffic by writing meta descriptions, using keywords in headlines, including tailored descriptions, alt tags in images, etc. On page SEO is something they'll do best.

They're also familiar with Yoast SEO and filling out all the essential forms.

Different fields to fill out in Yoast SEO - SEO title, slug, meta description

They may have the ability to use websites like Surfer SEO, which has a thousand features to help your projects get more engagement. It shows writers precisely the things they must include for the article to reach success.

Surfer SEO's content structure showing the number of words. headings, images, etc to use.

The reason companies hire SEO content writers as opposed to regular content writers is so search engines can recognize the relevance and credibility of your brand to the consumer. Another kind of writer, however, may not possess these skills.

Copywriting and SEO Copywriting

The similarity between regular and SEO copywriting is about using methods to optimize content, so it includes a lot of keyphrases, drives qualified traffic, and a variety of other SEO benefits.

SEO copywriting is quality writing. The keyphrases shouldn't ruin the tone, conversion results, or answers to the text.

The world enters thousands of keywords into Google each day. Having SEO optimized sales copy can make a difference in personas your content gets shown to — people who can become a client or people who're just looking for a solution to a question.

Conclusion

Copywriting, content writing, SEO copywriting, and SEO content writing are all entirely different worlds. Every time you want to hire someone, the best thing to do is to consider every point. These three, especially: What do you want to accomplish? What is the best path? Is SEO necessary?

In most cases, SEO is vital. Especially with today's cut-throat competition. We hope this helped you name the many differences between all the types of writing. As well as which option is best for you.

Thanks for reading!

coral ouellette wordagents author Coral Ouellette

Coral Ouellette is a writer who specializes in digital marketing and travel. In her spare time, you can find her planning trips and playing fetch with her Aussiedoodle, Elliot.


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