Marketing pros need to develop a number of skills to prosper, and being able to write succinct, engaging copy is close to the top of the list.
Today the concept of content writing is talked about interchangeably with copywriting, which can be confusing if you’re not up to speed with the specifics of what each involves.
Whether you’re planning to do the writing yourself, hire a freelance SEO content writer, or rely on a modern AI article writer, knowing the difference between copywriting and content writing is crucial.
Let’s explore this in detail, and determine whether one should take precedence over the other.
The basicsSimply put, copywriting is all-encompassing, and can include whatever type of copy you need to produce for the purposes of marketing.
In contrast, content writing is a more targeted example of copywriting, and has specific aims in mind, without necessarily being overly promotional in nature.
So if you read the product description printed on packaging, or hear a voiceover accompanying a video ad, that’s an example of copywriting in the wild. Conversely if you read an article online which includes interesting information and also covers certain aspects relevant to a specific brand, that’s content writing in action.
Essentially, content writing is a subset of copywriting, but not every piece of copy can be considered content in this context.
The benefitsCopywriting aims to engage with prospective customers and sell them on the concept of a brand or service, ideally with a view to getting them to convert there and then. If done well, it can boost sales and win more people over to a business.
Content writing, by contrast, might be longer and less explicitly sales-focused, yet still be produced with the intent of leading to conversions further down the line.
With content writing, one of the main advantages is to be able to produce a piece which keeps generating momentum over time. This in turn means that if it is hosted on a brand’s website, the domain itself will become more authoritative and trustworthy in the eyes of visitors as well as search engines, which will allow it to gain further traction going forward.
In a sense, content writing is a slow burning alternative to some other marketing techniques, but one which promises a wide-ranging payoff in terms of how a brand is perceived. When used well, content marketing and other copywriting efforts can feed into one another and perpetuate the success of a business.
The importance of unityIt’s not helpful to think of copywriting and content writing as in some way opposed to one another, or to consider one as more significant than the other. The better approach is to see how these two areas overlap, and use this to your advantage.
Having a united front when it comes to writing ad copy and general content is key. You need to build up a brand identity that is recognizable and consistent, and keeping a cohesive tone across all types of copy you produce is part of this.
You can also find new ways to form partnerships with other brands, businesses and platforms through content writing, with entertaining and relevant copy making it easier to spread the word about your products and services without paying for outright ads.