Difference between Content Writing and Copywriting

For the majority of the people, Content Writing and Copywriting is the same thing. However, there lies a vast difference between the two. It is true to say that both ways of writing focus on enhancing the marketing and branding strategies of a business by providing valuable information to the readers. Nonetheless, there are subtle and important differences in their objectives and each faces a unique set of challenges. Both forms of writing can be regarded at the different sides of the same coin with various points of intersectionalities and differences.

Listed below are a few important areas where content writing differs from copywriting:

What is Content Writing?

Content writing is a technique of formulating an informative and relevant content that educates and entertains the readers. The content writers are aware of several online marketing strategies and are versatile when it comes to creating content for blogs, press releases, websites, email marketing, and social media marketing.  One of the most important roles they play is to create SEO optimized content with relevant keywords that further boosts the SERP ranking of a brand.

Content writing means creating content that sells. A content writer needs to have a good idea of the targeted audience and create content that ensures higher readership.  A good content boosts your content marketing strategy by outreaching the targeted audience and hence, assist in marketing your brand. The fundamental aim of content writing is to pass on the information about your brand’s product and services among the readers and simultaneously, strengthen the relationship between both parties.

Tips to be followed while content writing:

Command over Language:  A content writer should have an impeccable command over the English language and knowledge of correct grammar and punctuation is a must. A badly written and unstructured content is a major turn off for the readers and it adversely affects the readership for your brand. Use appropriate language to create a long, informative, and engaging content.

Incorporate Keywords: A writer should structure the content in such a manner that the keywords align perfectly with the topic. The systematic inclusion of keywords will enhance search engine visibility of the brand.  It should not seem as though you have forcefully stuffed in the keywords. This form of content writing is called SEO Content Writing.

Originality is the key to success:  Your content should be fresh and original. Use crisp sentences and a clear language to deliver your brand’s objectives. The readers find it easier to engage with simple and straightforward content. However, do not assume that the readers comprehend everything you write, therefore, elaborate on the topics that are ambiguous.

What is Copywriting?

Unlike content writing, copywriting is more oriented towards enhancing the brand image by converting potential readers/visitors to customers or subscribers. The basic idea behind copywriting is to create high valued and compelling content that subtly engages the readers to take a call of action.  Copywriting pertains to the business of persuasion that entails using appropriate words and language to convince them to buy a product, subscribe or download a report or to engage with a brand in the long run.

It is a promotional and advertising activity that is especially used in advertisements, sales copy, brochures, digital ads, print ads, etc.  A good copywriting is short and crisp, prominent, and compels the readers to take prompt calls to action. A few examples of copywriting are “sign up for a free trial”, “click now to talk to our expert”, etc. In addition to calls to action, copywriting is also used for SEO purposes.  Just like a well-optimized content with relevant keywords boosts the brand’s SERP, copywriting assist in creating an attractive headline for your content, thereby assisting the content to appear more prominently in the search results.

Tips to be followed while copywriting:

A good copywriter should have a completed understanding of the latest market trends, products, and the targeted audience. Unlike content writing, copywriting should be short and succinct combined with persuasive language to entice the reader to take action.

A well-formulated content writing does the work of engaging and simultaneously building a relationship with the targeted audience. However, copywriting is needed to take those readers to further levels of the buyer’s journey by providing the option of CTAs.

Copywriting includes a conversational tone that should be able to convey the brand’s voice and ensure an interactive session with the readers.  Try to weave a story that stirs the emotions in the readers. Use simple and direct sentences and avoid using jargon and clichéd words. The goal is to inspire the audience to reciprocate so try not to be pretentious.

Content writing and Copywriting complement each other.

The major difference between copywriting and content writing lies in the purpose for which each of these activities is undertaken. Content writing aims at providing information about the brand’s services and products to its readers; however, copywriting is more about enhancing the brand’s image and voice by creating compelling content that creates sales leads.

However, either of these writing techniques cannot exist in isolation.  You cannot just focus on copywriting (advertising and branding) at the cost of content writing. Today, the consumers have good internet connectivity and at the same time have access to myriad forms of information at their fingertips.

The consumers want to understand what the brand is trying to convey and hence, it becomes important to engage them in interesting and informative content and simultaneously, build their trust in the brand. For this reason, we cannot emphasis on copywriting and become ignorant about the content. In fact, once an attractive headline catches the attention of the readers, they would next look for relevant content. Any disappointment at this stage would lead to a higher bounce rate on your website.

Of all the promotional techniques available, writing is the best way to present and convey your brand’s image. In this context, copywriting and content writing form the best pair in assisting the branding and marketing strategies of the brand. However, it becomes crucial to understand the differences between them and incorporate the same to enhance your brand’s image.

Author's Bio


Pooja is the head of operations at italics, a content marketing agency based in India. She manages content development and marketing for clients belonging to a wide range of industries. She is more than 8 years of experience in SEO content writing, copywriting, thought leadership and article writing. She is also a certified psychologist and an expert in analysing consumer behaviour to generate winning content

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