You’ve probably heard content writing and copywriting as two terms thrown around a lot – often interchangeably. This can definitely cause some confusion about how they differ. The important thing to know is that there is a difference, and it does matter.
The one thing they have in common? They’re both essential.
They’re both important to running a successful business. When it comes to marketing your business, knowing the difference between the two and where to use them will help you know where to fit each one in.
So what’s the difference?
Copy is any writing that you’re doing with the direct goal of making a sale.
This could look like a statement that has “buy now,” or “subscribe, or “sign up” in it.
Some examples might be:
- Sales pages
- Sales email sequences
- Social media posts with a clear “buy now” instruction
Essentially, copy is anything with a call-to-action to buy goods or services, or something that requires selling. It’s also the text you use in your marketing materials, such as ads, brochures, and static website pages.
Content writing is anything you’re doing to inform, educate, engage or nurture.
Content is the information on your website that provides valuable insights for your customers about your area of expertise. It helps build trust, brand loyalty, and makes you top of mind.
Some examples of this are:
- Blog posts
- Educational social media posts
Knowing the difference between copy and content can also help you get to the root of why it matters.
Connecting the two together is a powerful way to create trust from your target audience and makes them more likely to be interested in what you’re selling.
Having good quality content and a strong content plan is the foundation to the structure of your business.
Strong content = strong engagement
Ensuring your have high quality content and copy is paramount to effectively communicating your brand message, educating your audience and guiding them along the journey of purchasing your products and services – all while standing out.
Good quality content means giving your audience what they want. Producing content that’s high-quality requires an investment in understanding your audience and tailoring your content to their needs. Importantly, good content sells!
How to produce high-quality content
High quality content is engaging, interesting, and simple.
Like I said above, understanding your audience will require some research. This means keeping a few things in mind before creating your content:
- Define: Start by defining your audience. Who do you want to speak to? What about your offering will resonate with them? Content should be written with their needs in mind.
- Trust: Creating value-first content facilitates trust as does offering them a solution to something they feel is missing. This also means speaking in sincere, authentic language.
- Research: Ditch the jargon and buzzwords. When learning about your audience, speak their language and stick to words that will ring true to them and resonate.
This is not a place you want to cut corners – knowing your audience will help you tune in to delivering them exactly what they need. Not taking the time to properly research and write content will reveal itself very easily – and even a small turn off course can lower your results and the audience’s perception of you.
Now that you’ve done the research, you may be wondering:
How do I turn these insights into great content?
A great example of where all of this will comes together is your website – the face of your business. When it comes to writing for your audiences, and creating the content that ultimately represents the face of your business, there’s a few things you want to keep in mind.
9 tips for creating great website content
- Remember who your audience is: write your content with them in mind.
- Know your purpose: what do you want your audience to do on your blog? The flow needs to follow the specific journey you’d like them to take. Perhaps you want them to sign up for your newsletter after reading an article. Make sure you’ve added an appropriate pop-up, sidebar, or in-text call to action to sign up.
- What are your competitors doing?: Looking at competitor content and evaluating some key things like what’s missing can help you fill that gap.
- Simplicity is your friend: keep your writing concise and to the point. Most web writing is done at a Grade Four level to make it as digestible as possible, so try to keep this in mind when writing your content.
- Prioritize: Your most impactful messages should be at the top of any blog post. Nobody wants to scroll to find a buried message that you actually think is the most important one.
- Keyword research: remember to cut the jargon and research keywords that resonate. They should be words your audience would type into Google or use when speaking to a friend.
- SEO: investing in someone who can help you with this (if you don’t have the expertise) will take your website content miles farther. It helps with ranking and website traffic–just to name a few benefits.
- Make it visual: mixing your copy with images, or laying it out with lists or bold text helps capture the reader’s attention for longer.
- Active voice: use language that is direct, action-driven and intentional.
Bonus tip: keep it fresh: this goes beyond just the creation stage, but try to commit to taking inventory of your content a few times a year. Doing so will give you the opportunity to revisit your brand voice and ensure it still resonates as both you and your business grow.
Another essential element of your content strategy is the value blog posts can bring to your business and knowing how to use them to reach your audience. The great thing about blogs is they’re multipurpose and can be repurposed into other content (think: podcasts, videos, social media posts, or even a book!). Another benefit? They’re a great tool to establish yourself as a thought leader and drive even more traffic to your website.
Whether you’ve been writing blog post for years, or are thinking of getting started, here are some things to consider if you want to get the most out of your blog.
My favourite ways to improve your blog posts:
- Have a good hook: keep your reader interested by providing a compelling fact up front, or even a pain point felt by your audience. Give them information that makes them want to keep scrolling.
- Consider what your call-to-action is: when writing your copy, think of a solid call-to-action and a tangible lesson or practice they can take away from the blog.
- Keep it conversational: when writing your blog copy, keep your authentic voice in mind, and keep it friendly and informal. Give readers a flavour of your personality.
- SEO: this tip is not to be overlooked. This goes beyond just keyword research, but can also be relevant images and keywords and often a solid length of up to 2,400 words.
By understanding the difference between copy and content, you can create more effective marketing materials that will help you achieve your business goals. Website content and blog posts are just two ways to acknowledge your ideal clients exactly at their starting point
The value you can bring by truly connecting to your clients and understanding their needs will help you create both strong copy and content that get results.