Copywriting vs Content Writing: What’s the difference?

Copywriting, Creative Agency, Digital Copywriting, Digital Marketing, ECommerce, Marketing


When it comes to marketing a business, there’s no question that you need copy. Lots of it. Copy for your website, advertorials, social media accounts, blog posts, emailers, and more. 

However, did you know that there are actually two different kinds of digital marketing copy that do two totally different jobs?

For many, both are synonymous with writing persuasive messages that encourage potential customers to buy into the brand. But in actual fact, they do quite different things, and the two jobs require very different skillsets.

What is content writing?

Content writing involves the creation of text content to educate or entertain readers. It may drive sales as well, but that’s not its primary purpose. With content writing, you want to engage readers by creating high-quality and valuable content.

Examples of content writing include blog posts, white papers, e-books, tutorials, email newsletters, news articles, evergreen articles, case studies and social media posts.

What is copywriting?

Copywriting, on the other hand, involves the creation of text content to persuade readers to take some type of action related to your business’ sales process. If you are trying to sell a product, for instance, you will need to convince prospective customers that it’s worth buying. If you are trying to attract more calls, you will need to convince them that your business is worth calling. Digital copywriting is the art of persuading readers to take some type of sales-related action.

Examples of copywriting include Pay-Per-Click (PPC) landing pages and ads, Cost-per-mille (CPM) ads, social media ads, product pages, website sales copy and sales emails, among others. 

5 differences between the tasks of a copywriting and content writing

  • Copywriting creates a sense of urgency and inspires emotional responses

Copywriting urges people to take immediate action. For example, getting readers to download something, sign up for a newsletter, or buy a product.

Good digital copywriting that aims to win a click or a sale will not only hit the question of ‘why this’, but attempts to convince towards ‘why this now?’. Clever headline copies tread between urgency and scarcity, eliciting fast and speedy action from readers. 

Conversely, content writings build toward an engaged audience, creating and building a longer-term relationship. There’s the need to establish trust, and position the brand as a reliable source of information.

  • Content writing lay the groundwork for future sales

Even though content writing does not try to actively sell a product or service directly, they are still concerned with selling. Sales are an indirect result of producing valuable content.

Trust is a huge driver of buying decisions in any industry. Through content writing, such as blogging, trust can be built with the readers and users over time, before the big sale launches where things (and sales) move into proper gear. 

Online presence, generated through time using content published on blogs, will be able to drive referrals and new signups from new and potential customers.

  • Content writings are generally more focused on SEO

Content writing usually directs inbound traffic. Good content writers know their SEO (search engine optimisation) and how to get an uptick in audience and readership. It is all about choosing the best topics based on search terms that align with your business goals.

A focus keyword is the main search term a page is optimised for. This keyword should be included in the page title, the first header and throughout the body copy. It should also be distributed throughout subheadings. 

  • Content writing contributes to a long-term strategy

You should be able to tell pretty quickly when an awesome copy hits the right notes. Metrics like click-through rates and open rates are a good indication of an ad working out well.

However, long-form content performance isn’t always easy to measure in the short term. Good content strategy (like search engine optimisation strategies) takes time to pay-off, and can swing from month to month.

Good content writing ultimately builds towards a better user experience. 

If this hard truth tests your patience, consider that the value gained from blogs and articles has a longer shelf-life. Unlike an ad or email, blogs and articles have staying power that continues to pay off over a long duration of time.

  • Content writing drives organic traffic, good copywriting turn that traffic into useful leads

While the two types of writing may have an overlap, they both result in productivity and sales for the company. There comes a time to convince, persuade, and convert people. But, it’s definitely not all the time. Allocate time to delivering value with no strings attached. 

Looking for content and writing that essentially sells? You’ve got to work on it and then let it work for you. Content is like karma — you’ve got to give, to get.

Leave your digital marketing worries to the experts

Wanting to dive into digital marketing for your brand but not sure to hire a specialised copywriter or a content writer? Still unsure about the whole digital copywriting business? Or do you need a hand in dealing with your brand’s digital marketing efforts? Let the team at I Concept Singapore help you with it. Our team of copywriters and content writers can assist you in crafting quality digital copywriting material that’s appropriate for both campaigns and long-term. We can also help you with other factors of your digital marketing efforts. 

I Concept, your choice leading creative agency in Singapore, specialises in helping to build and develop brand narratives, with dedicated digital writers and designers who’ll make your work tick. Be in touch with us today.

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