Copywriting and content writing are two different types of writing that serve different purposes. It’s important to understand the difference between the two so that you can use them effectively when marketing your business or product. Here’s a quick overview of the key differences between copywriting and content writing:
- Copywriting is persuasive, while content writing is informative.
- Copywriting is focused on selling, while content writing is focused on providing value.
- Copywriting is direct, while content writing is more indirect.
- Copywriting uses active voice, while content writing uses the passive voice.
Now let’s take a more in-depth look at each of these key differences.
Copywriting vs Content Writing?
Difference #1: Copywriting is Persuasive, While Content Writing is Informative
The ultimate goal of copywriting is to get the reader to take some sort of action, such as buying a product, signing up for a newsletter, or clicking through to a landing page.
To do this, copywriters use language that is persuasive and actionable. They also focus on creating a sense of urgency so that readers feel compelled to act now rather than later.
Content writing, on the other hand, is all about providing value to the reader. The goal of content writing is not to sell but rather to educate or entertain. Content writers use language that is informative and easy to understand so that readers can learn something new or enjoy themselves while reading.
Difference #2: Copywriting is Focused on Selling, While Content Writing Is Focused on Providing Value
copywriters focus on creating persuasive content that will lead readers to take some sort of desired action, such as buying a product or clicking through to a landing page.
In order to do this effectively, copywriters must have a good understanding of what motivates their target audience and what drives them to make a purchase.
Content writers also need to understand their target audience but their focus is on providing value rather than selling. This means that they write content that educates, informs, or entertains rather than trying to sell something directly.
However, even though content writers are not selling anything directly, their ultimate goal is still to drive conversions by getting readers interested in what they do and encouraging them to take some sort of action such as visiting the company website or subscribing to a newsletter.
Difference #3: Copywriting Is Direct, While Content Writing Is More Indirect
Copywriters take a direct approach when trying to get readers to take some sort of action because they want readers to know exactly what they should do next (e., buy this product now).
To do this effectively, copywriters must be clear and concise in their language so that there is no confusion about what readers should do next.
Content writers take a more indirect approach when trying from readers because their ultimate goal is not necessarily to get them to take some sort of immediate action but rather just to keep them engaged with the brand.
As a result, content writers often use story-telling or other methods not traditionally associated with marketing material in order to keep readers engaged.
Difference #4: Copywriting Uses Active Voice, While Content Writing Uses Passive Voice
Another key difference between copywriting and content writing has to do with voice. In general, copywriting uses active voice while content writing uses the passive voice (although there are always exceptions).
The reason for this has everything to do with purpose; since the ultimate goal of copywriting is persuasion, using an active voice helps create a sense of urgency and immediacy that encourages readers to take action now rather than later.
In contrast, since the ultimate goal of content writing isn’t necessarily persuasion but rather engagement, using passive voice gives writers more flexibility in how they tell their stories and helps create a more relaxing tone that keeps readers engaged.
Difference #5: Length Copywriting vs Content Writing
Length: Copywriting is usually shorter than content writing; think social media posts, landing pages, email subject lines, etc. That’s not to say there’s never a long-form copy (there certainly is), but in general, a copy is shorter than content. On the other hand, content can be any length—from social media posts and blog articles all the way up to ebooks and whitepapers.
Difference #6: SEO Copywriting vs Content Writing
SEO: Both copywriting and content writing can be optimized for SEO purposes; however, because SEO copywriting has become its own distinct field within the writing world, we’re going to count it as its own separate thing here. For our purposes here today, we’ll just say that copywriting can be optimized for SEO but doesn’t have to be, whereas all content should be written with SEO in mind from the outset.
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Conclusion: Copywriting vs Content Writing
As you can see from the above discussion, there are several key differences between copywriting and content writing including purpose, tone, audience engagement, and even grammatical structure.
So which one should you use? It depends on your goals for each piece of writing as well as your overall marketing strategy. If you’re not sure which one would be best for your needs, feel free to contact Metric Marketing for expert advice!