Copywriting vs. Content Writing: What’s the difference? Which one is best for you?

Copywriting and content writing are the same, right?

No. They are not the same. Their differences are comparable to those between a turtle and a tortoise: similar characteristics, very different behaviours, motivations and purpose. 

Beginner writers need to look out for these differences and know the unique skills, challenges and workflow each one needs.

The main difference: Purpose

The biggest difference between copywriting and content writing is its purpose. 

Copywriting is the art of selling people on an idea, brand, way of thinking, etc.  The best copywriters can combine the product or service with a brand’s ideology to create branding. They sell ideas and emotions that are tied to a product rather than the product itself.

Content writing has the purpose of informing, educating or entertaining. Every content piece needs a reason behind it. A content writer needs to represent the brand’s voice and allow the readers to go through a quality editorial. Content writing aligns with strategic business and marketing objectives to attract audiences and prospects.

To put it in simpler terms: content writing provides information to your audience while copywriting projects what the brand is all about.

They do share their similarities. Both ultimately focus on converting a reader into a lead or a sale. They both need to be well-written pieces, as good writing, regardless of the purpose, keeps people interested.

In short:

  • Copywriting sells an idea through valuable content.
  • Content writing helps audiences understand a brand and generate interest.

Copywriter vs. Content Writer: What does the job title mean?

Copywriters write copy and content writers write content– duh!

Alright, that doesn’t really tell us anything, so let’s dive a bit deeper.

A copywriter is a professional writer that is dedicated to writing copy. This can come in many different forms (more on that below), but the idea is that copy is written with a marketing approach in mind. 

A content writer doesn’t necessarily have to be a pro writer. It can be someone that produces content. Anyone can write and post content on the internet. This content can be written by professionals, authors, bloggers, software developers, children, etc. This means that a content writer can be anyone producing content.

What do I write as a copywriter?

A copywriter writes marketing material. That much is clear.

However, copywriting was limited in the past before the internet changed the possibilities of what copywriters can achieve. Before, they proposed witty slogans and catchy phrases that connected people to a brand. Now, the list of what they can write is quite extensive:

  • Online and offline ads
  • Web page content
  • SEO content
  • Slogans
  • Taglines
  • Television or radio commercial scripts
  • Press releases
  • Sales letters and emails
  • Email campaigns/marketing
  • Billboards
  • Social Media posts
  • Video Scripts
  • Lyrics (Jingles)

The list can go on and on, but those are the first ones that brands are looking for when hiring a copywriter. While many of these may overlap with content writing, the copywriter will focus on selling you an idea.

What do I write as a content writer?

Content writing has its fair share of opportunities to write content pieces. They include but are not limited to:

  • Blogs
  • Newspaper articles
  • Email Newsletters
  • E-books
  • Web design
  • Books
  • Podcasts,
  • Television
  • Film
  • Radio
  • Magazine articles
  • Social media posts

There are some that overlap with copywriting, but remember that the focus is what makes the difference.

Should I use copywriting or content writing for my strategies?

We would ask back: Why not both?

In today’s digital age, brands need both copywriting and content writing to remain relevant. There are plenty of strategies that implement one or both of these. It all comes down to your focus.

Are you developing a marketing strategy? A copywriter might be the best one to handle it. Are you just informing your audiences about something without trying to sell them an idea or for the sake of entertainment? A content writer can try their hand at it better.

It’s a matter of what you need and what you need it for. Copywriting and content writing often go hand in hand, so be sure to use them both whenever possible.

We hope this information was of use to you. If you want to learn more about how you can use copywriting and content writing to boost your digital strategies and improve your brand’s presence on the internet, be sure to contact Mrkt360 for a free consultation!

Alex Zertuche

Alex is a copywriter from Monterrey, México. He graduated from the Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey with a degree in Communications in Digital Media, specializing in Project Management for Creative Industries and Digital Media Production. He is passionate about entertainment, creative writing and generating engaging content through his work.

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