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Show Notes

Have you ever wondered about the subtle difference between copy and content? Because many writers and marketers – myself included – don’t consider them the same thing.

What’s The Difference Between Copywriting and Content Writing?

Copy generally refers to text that has been created for explicitly promotional purposes, largely to urge the audience to take some kind of action (like a sales conversion) or to build solid brand awareness. Copywriters use their literary eloquence to meld marketing nous and elements of psychology into text that promotes and persuades.

Think about all of the ads you’ve seen or heard in your life – actually don’t, that’d take far too long – but every piece of spoken or written promotional text has had to be painstakingly constructed for maximum persuasiveness and impact. Someone has had to sit down and put pen to paper every time; whether it’s for pithy, impactful taglines like “just do it” or “I’m lovin’ it”, or for longer-form sales copy that takes you on a journey towards a sale or towards strong brand awareness.

And it’s not just the big dogs like McDonalds or Nike that need copy – it’s smaller businesses too. I’d argue that smaller organisations are more in need of good copy because achieving solid brand awareness is more of a battle for them.

Some examples of copy include sales landing pages, static website copy, brochure copy, broadcast ad copy, taglines, sales letter copy, and so on.

Content on the other hand is a little more editorial, at least in my view. Content includes shareable, informative, and sometimes entertaining pieces; like blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, and so on. Content’s job – at least in business – is to build a rapport with the audience, to build brand trust, and to generally raise a company’s standing online. It’s there to get you on a buyer’s radar, and to encourage them ever closer to a sale by proving your expertise in a given field. It can also play a part in helping a brand be found in relevant places like search and social media too.

Content therefore can get away with being a bit more conversational and candid. Any concepts in your content need to be explained skilfully, of course, but content can get away with being less carefully engineered and psychologically attuned compared to copy.

Content strategy is often a completely different ballgame compared to the preliminary research and strategy that may prop up copy, but that’s a ramble for another day!

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