Copywriting vs. Content Marketing: Main Differences and Commonalities
Frequently confused, Copywriting and Content Marketing truly share the same genes. Yet they differ in their core and purposes.
With the constantly growing need for qualified specialists in both of these areas, we have decided to clarify the differences and commonalities between these two concepts to help young specialists understand what skills and qualifications they need in order to become experts in either or both of these areas.
Without further ado, let’s go over different aspects of both copywriting and content marketing to identify what each of these two things aim for.
First and foremost, we need to identify what goals copywriting, and content marketing pursue.
Copywriting as an elder brother of content marketing tends to sell goods and services. Texts are typically very straight-forward, yet tasteful. Copywriters never lose the sight of their goal -- conversion rates.
Meanwhile, the younger brother of copywriting, content marketing, is not as straightforward. The goal of content marketing is to inform, provide value and share a passing mention of the goods and services on offer.
To reiterate in the words of Marge Holden from NerdyMates, “It is important to remember that copywriting aims to sell a product while content marketing aims to solve informational needs of the user, without outright sale pitching.
While copywriting sells, content marketing works on branding.”
The bottom line is that copywriting focuses on creating quality “copies” which market particular goods. And though a lot of people believe that it is all about writing slogans, the real scope of writing types is quite huge.
- Sales emails;
- Jingles (aka ad songs and slogans);
- SEO content;
- Video scripts;
- Web page content;
- TV and radio commercials;
- Drip campaigns;
- Press releases, etc.
The list of possible content marketing writing forms is just as lengthy. Specialists state that Content Marketing centers around the creation of:
- Blog articles;
- Radio shows;
- Magazine articles;
- Social media posts;
- White papers;
- Newspaper pieces, etc.
As can be observed, the written pieces written by copywriters are much shorter. The primary goal is evident right away, ‘ copies’ motivate the customer to part ways with their cash.
Content marketing is often viewed as a way to market one’s services in a less “pushy” way: the potential customer is first offered some high-quality content for free. And only once they are happy to make that purchase, content marketer is there to show the ropes and how they can do that.
These two jobs require a different level of professionalism. We are not saying that Content Marketers are less educated or need no experience in the area. No, knowledge and expertise are essential for proper content creation.
However, anyone producing good content can be considered a content marketer while only a top-notch professional can create truly fantastic copies as a copywriter. Hence why copywriters, especially B2B ones, will always be in demand.
Bloggers, Instagram and Snapchat users can be all qualified as content marketers as long as their content promotes some goods or services. Of course, content works best when it is written by true experts also known as opinion leaders. But even those of us not skilled enough as of yet can contribute to some low-profile magazines and resources for starters.
On the other hand, crafting high-quality content without necessarily promoting anything with it is harder than it sounds. The natural instinct would tell you to sell things, but common sense would put that to a stop and suggest you take a content marketing approach as a long-term strategy.
Finally, copywriters and content marketers write in a slightly different style.
The former aim for concise writing. Most slogans, video scripts and other pieces of content copywriters develop have symbol and word count limits. Therefore, it is vital to strengthen the most important parts and make them loud and clear without having to use too many words.
Content marketers, on the other hand, do not feel as pressured with limits as copywriters. They speak in a friendly way aiming to make the customers “addicted” to their content, feel their need in the product standing behind it, and come back to make their purchase. They build up a good name for the brand with quality, entertaining or educational content. And they are allowed to write more than just a slogan for that.
That’s the basic gist of it. As you see, copywriting and content Marketing are a bit different. Though their main goal is to sell things, they achieve this in different ways. If you are willing to start your career as either one of these two professionals, make sure you understand what requirements there are and what steps you are to take to become a real pro in the area.
About the Author: John Obstander is a content marketing geek specializing in IT, FinTech, and creative writing. He is a member of the EssayClick blog team.