- Copywriting and content writing are sometimes used interchangeably, but they’re not the same. In fact, the two serve different purposes.
- Content writing is longer form, and helps establish expertise and drive traffic.
- Copywriting is shorter, and exists on product or landing pages. It aims to drive conversions.
Some words and terms are interchangeable, and language is a lot of fun because of it. Ask a person in different parts of the world what they call a metal basket you use at the grocery store, and you’ll certainly get different answers. A cart? A trolly? A buggy? A carriage? A trundler, if you’re in New Zealand? All of these are correct depending on who you’re asking and where you’re asking about it – this New York Times Quiz will even try to guess where you’re from based on what interchangeable terms you use for things.
However, there are also erroneously interchangeable terms – things like jealousy and envy, venomous and poisonous, and others that many of us commonly get wrong. Such is the case for copywriting and content writing.
What is the difference between copywriting and content writing, though? They’re often conflated and, accidentally, used interchangeably. While content writing and copywriting have areas where the necessary skills overlap, they’re not the same. Let’s dissect the difference between content writing and copywriting, and see where each can fit into your overall SEO and organic growth strategy.
What is the difference between copywriting and content writing?
The difference between copywriting and content writing is that they serve entirely different purposes on a site. Copywriters use text on any given webpage to drive conversion. Content writers tend to write longer-form, valuable content for use in blogs, case studies, whitepapers, and ebooks – to name a few.
The most popular way to encounter content writing is on a blog. The typical length, at least that we and most other content experts suggest, is at least 500 words. However, they can span even longer, pushing word counts into the thousands. A rule of thumb is that it should be as long as it needs to be to answer a reader’s questions and provide value.
Content writing usually has a longer lifespan, too. While copywriting might change within a few months, depending on ad campaigns or messaging, content writing has a bit of staying power. If a blog performs well, remains relevant, and is well maintained with occasional updates and refreshes, nothing is saying it can’t keep adding value to the site for years to come – just being old does not mean it should be subject to content pruning! If you know where to look, you might find articles that were posted far in the early days of the net that are now old enough to have graduated high school.
In fact, 76% of content marketers are harnessing content writing for lead generation – it’s not something any website should skip out on.
When a copywriter sits down to fill a landing page or e-commerce shopping site with text, they need to approach the task with a strategic eye. Product pages can be convenient for SEO, and a copywriter should take extra care to ensure that the on-page copy is polished, concise, and optimized.
It’s not just product pages, though. Everything a copywriter comes up with should be in service of doing two things:
- Providing clear, digestible information
- Driving a conversion of some kind
Copywriting is found in much shorter form than content writing. As mentioned above, copywriting is considerably more fleeting as well. A marketing campaign or product listing might not last forever – it might not even last a year. However, copywriters still strive to make those words count.
Is copywriting or content writing better for your brand?
Which is better for your brand or business depends on your current business leads. If you’ve got an audience but are struggling to net leads or sales, you may need to hone in on copywriting. If you want to establish expertise and a relationship with your ideal target audience, you’ll need to look into content writing.
In truth, a solid strategy would be to harness the power of both. Content writing will help search engines determine whether a website is an expert in their subject, drive traffic, and foster organic growth. Copywriting will help once that audience has moved on to product and service pages, telling them more about what to expect, and how they can get what they’re looking for, convince them to follow a call to action, and help them make an informed decision.
Content written by people who love it
While copywriting and content writing are sometimes confused with one another, knowing the difference will make a massive difference if you’re trying to decide what direction to take your site. No matter what, the words on your site should be written by a team that’s knowledgeable, experienced, and excited about what they do.
At Redefine Marketing Group, we’re enthusiastic about content marketing as a whole, and how it can help a business meet and exceed its organic growth goals. We know that every blog and website is different, and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to content. When we partner with you, we’ll meet one-on-one to discover the best direction for your marketing strategy. Get in touch with Redefine Marketing Group today to start your digital growth journey!