Copywriting vs. Content Writing: What’s the difference?

Although thousands, if not millions, of new content is produced daily, it’s not created equal for every brand. Many don’t know the difference between copywriting vs. content writing, but it’s important in order to know what style of content your brand needs.

Copywriting vs. Content Writing

Copywriting and content writing have different aims, but can be used similarly on the same platforms.


Copywriting is written content created for marketing, advertising and sales materials.

Its purpose is to convert readers into buyers by strategically using the right call to action phrases, SEO keywords and important information your targeted audience needs to be persuaded into a purchase.

The goal of copywriting is to convert readers into customers, even if it may not be right away.

The right call to action can collect emails for a newsletter list which can be used to promote a sale or a special discount later.

For example, a reader could’ve been eying your product, but something that day made them decide not to purchase. An email or newsletter with a reminder or discount could be the push they need to get them to finally hit the purchase button on your checkout page.

Copywriting can be used in blog posts, landing pages, newsletters, ads, pretty much any form of content used with the intention to promote or sell a product or service.

Businesses in e-commerce, consulting and hospitality use copywriting heavily, but every business in every industry should be using copywriting in some form in their marketing, advertising and sales strategies.

Content writing vs copywriting: there's a difference you need to know!
Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Content Writing

Content writing is written content produced for entertainment or insight.

The purpose in this style of writing is to engage with your targeted audience by giving them enjoyable yet informative content without the direct intention of promoting products or attempts to make readers buy something.

This type of content is great for building trust, credibility and community engagement with your audience.

Ways to use this type of content can be in blog posts, social media or about pages.

A hotel chain sharing the best places for drinks in a city their customers visit or a health and fitness brand recapping their visit to a popular industry conference can be valuable for target audiences. This content shows them that brands aren’t only invested in making money but that they care about the industry and their customers.

Brands that people can connect with find success not because of how great their product is but because they show they care about who is buying it.

An example of content writing can be a fashion brand sharing a blog post on five ways to wear the same pair of jeans for different occasions. This can build the brand’s credibility because it shares knowledge of trends for its targeted audience.

Another example could be a marketing or consulting firm posting a picture of its employees on social media with a caption about how much they enjoy working with its clients. The caption shares with the firm’s followers that they like the work they do and the people they work with. This gives insight into how the brand may feel about their customers and/or their industry.

Do you know the difference between content writing vs. copywriting?
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When to use copywriting or content writing

So, here’s the trick with content writing vs copywriting: it can be used interchangeably!

A blog can have great, engaging posts but have clever call-to-actions that lead readers to product pages or utilize SEO keywords so posts can show up higher in Google searches.

For example, the same blog post mentioned earlier about five ways to wear a pair of jeans could be about a pair the brand sells. A call to action button could link to the product page for those jeans. Now readers interested in buying a pair will be directed to a checkout page.

The social post with the caption about how the company enjoys working with clients could direct followers to a landing page with an email opt-in to create potential clients.

Have good judgment if you decide to use both styles of writing in a content piece. It may be better to choose one style over the other in certain situations. If done poorly, your content can come off tasteless and your audience will read right through your attempt to sell them something.

How is copywriting and content writing different from news writing?

For some brands, sharing news with your audience can be beneficial. But, news writing, or reporting, has a different delivery from copywriting or content writing.

News writing / Articles

News articles share unbiased information your targeted audience is interested in.

Becoming a resource of important information can also build trust and credibility to your readers as well as show that you’re up-to-date with your industry’s trends, innovation and breaking news.

An example of when to write a news article would be a technology brand sharing new information about facial recognition.

With the continuous developments of that technology, new, unbiased information about its advancements can show a brand’s audience how engaged they are within their industry.

Another example could be a new breakthrough in medicine a health and wellness company shares.

Consumers getting information through a brand they trust is a great way to build relationships and be remembered when they may need a service or product it offers.

Content writing vs. copywriting: when to use news
Photo by Julia Sabiniarz on Unsplash

Knowing when copywriting vs. content writing should be used to produce for your brand is key to building relationships, making sales and even staying creditable with consumers.

Your targeted audience is searching for the answers you already have. You just have to deliver them in ways you know they’ll receive, successfully.

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