Copywriting vs. Content Writing – And Why You Need Both!

What are all those words on your web page called — copy or content? Most startup consulting businesses use them interchangeably, but they’re NOT the same and the difference DOES matter. Otherwise, why would we need two different terms for essentially the same thing?

The main difference between copy and content is intent. Yes, they’re both collections of words designed to convey an idea, or even build your SEO value. But it’s how they’re used that will impact the success of your website design.

Simply put, you need both content and copy for an effective website, and knowing when and how to use each one could be the single best thing that sets you apart from your competitors.

Let’s dive into the big copywriting versus content debate so that you can optimize your Costa Rica website design for maximum results.

Copywriting vs. Content: A Brief Overview

Let’s get straight to it: content is designed to inform. Copywriting is designed to sell.

Content is the information that’s on your website (e.g. product descriptions, infographics, SEO, etc.) or in your marketing, such as blog articles, social media posts, email marketing, or brochures. Each of these items relies on text to convey ideas, so the primary goal here is to create content that will attract potential customers to tell them about your services.

Copywriting is a form of content writing, but has deeper intentions. Copy is usually tailored to create a specific action or reaction (i.e. to sell the prospective customer on an idea or product). This is the core text within your content that guide people on their decision-making journey. It’s also the key piece of your branding messages that help prospects get to know your company, your mission, your values, and what you do better than anyone else.

There’s clearly a lot of overlap between the two. Much of your content will have copywriting injected into it. In its simplest definition, all copywriting is content, but not all content is copywriting.

Why the Difference Matters

There are a few important reasons why you need to know the difference between content vs
copywriting, and it’s not just so you can sound smart to all of your colleagues. Knowing when and how to use the two will ultimately impact the effectiveness of your writing in helping you to achieve your goals.

It Affects How You Sell

Content without copywriting may not be enough to grow your conversions. For example, if you’re trying to sell a product, content marketing will help you raise awareness, but copywriting will create the desire and actions from your audience.
Content and copy are both powerful forces, but they’re even more potent when combined. If your goal is to sell, whether you’re selling a product, service, idea, or even your brand voice, you simply can’t have content without copy and expect to get the results you want.

It Determines Who You Hire

Since there’s a difference between copy and content, there’s also a difference between a copywriter and a content writer.
The two formats overlap, but copywriters and content writers don’t completely share the same skillset. Content writers excel at blog posts and web pages, but many of them lack the skill to infuse desire, conviction, engagement, and emotion into their writing that will encourage audience members to act. Copywriters can write good content, but their talent lies in creating effective copy and will usually charge more for their services. You could get away with hiring a content writer for certain projects and save some money if you knew you didn’t need a copywriter.

Attributes of Content Writing

In its purest form, content writing is marketing. Every piece of content you create speaks to your audience, whether or not you realize it. Here’s what good content writing looks like:

  •  It’s designed to reflect your brand voice and connect with your audience
  •  It’s well-structured for easy reading (e.g. proper headings, clear purpose, etc.)
  •  It backs up your claims with facts, stats, or data
  •  It builds trust with your audience
  •  It’s informative and engaging
  •  It promotes something valuable to your audience

Any time you write a piece of content, you’re giving your readers an impression of your business. The goal isn’t to get them to convert on the spot, but rather foster an ongoing relationship with them and build an image of your business so that you become the go-to choice whenever they need what you can offer.

Attributes of Copywriting

Much of your content will include copywriting. Your copy supports your branding and marketing and encourages your readers to learn more or take action. Landing pages in particular thrive on strong copywriting because they’re designed to convert.

In general, copywriting includes all of the following:

  • Captivating headlines
  • Direct language
  • Conversational tone
  • Trust and confidence in your brand
  • No jargon or pompous verbiage
  • A clear call to action

Wrapping Up the Copywriting vs. Content Debate

It’s important to remember that even though copywriting is the catalyst in the content strategy, it’s not enough on its own. You don’t exist simply to advertise and brand yourself. You truly need both content and copy to create an impactful, believable, valuable experience to your customers that will encourage them not only to buy from you, but also to stick with you.

Peak Integrated Marketing can help empower Costa Rica startup consulting firm with the right balance of content and copywriting. Reach out today for a consultation and discover how to make the right words work for your business!