Content and copy are not the same, but a quick Google confirms that people aren’t quite getting it.

To make matters worse, copy is content, but content is not copy.

Making sense so far?

The main difference between copy and content lies in its purpose.

Copy Vs Content

Copy is written to persuade – think landing pages and ads. It aims to trigger the reader to take direct action.

On the flipside, content is produced to engage and inform. It is information communicated to the reader through a variety of media, including videos, podcasts and infographics. 

Is that helping?

No?

Hold your breath, we’re going in.

Copy Is A Form Of Content

You might see the term ‘copy content’ used in place of ‘copy’. It’s the same thing, albeit a tad confusing.

The whole point of copy is to sell.

Copy changes its reader’s point of view and leverages it to make a sale. It’s what’s used for launch emails, sales pages and offer campaigns. All direct marketing communications and full-frontal sales pages and campaigns are designed to get the reader to buy

Copy is the no-nonsense cold-caller of the written word.

Long (e.g. sales pages) or short (e.g. advert) in form, copywriters make every word of their writing work hard, from direct headlines to punchy, emotive sentences and strong language choices. The words are designed to grab attention in a noisy market and every line needs to propel the reader to the next.

Copy conveys urgency, wanting the reader to take direct and immediate action. It’s designed to lead a prospect from window shopping to sale. Copy elicits an emotional response because emotion drives human decision making.

Copy Vs Content

And Content?

The yin to copy’s yang, content is the softer touch. 

Yes, you’re right, we are always selling. Content included. But content’s purpose is to nurture readers and build relationships. The sale isn’t the focus, it’s just happening in the background.

In fact, the reader shouldn’t even know they’re being sold to…

Copy Vs Content

Content is interest and education-based, and is typically longer in form. Blogs, ebooks, articles, and social media posts are all examples of content that offer the reader advice, demonstrate technical know-how and build brand awareness

Content marketing is the sharing of valuable information and insight to readers. It positions the seller in a friendly light, building a relationship with the prospect so that they will buy when the time is right

(Usually when face to face with a great piece of copywriting).

Copy Vs Content

Unlike copy, with its one strict focus, content has many objectives. 

Content:

  • Tells stories
  • Entertains
  • Gathers empathy
  • Answers questions and addresses issues
  • Demonstrates your ability to solve a customer’s problem.

Content is quieter, and gentler. It might take up more physical space on a page but it isn’t in your face. 

While you won’t see an immediate sale being pushed, content will still feature a call to action. The difference lies in the reader’s perception. Content writing doesn’t seem to hold any expectation of its audience. 

It plays the long game. 

So, Which Wins?

Which wins?

Neither. Both.

Both types of content demand different skills and are effective when used for the correct purpose

Both content and copy are integral to successful marketing.

Content gets your reader on side and positions you, the seller, as trusted and worthy. It builds a relationship with your prospects, educating them and preparing them for a future sale. 

Copy is the home run. Use copywriting when you want to close the deal. For powerfully persuasive landing pages, ads and sales email campaigns – copy is what you need.

Copy Vs Content

Businesses that understand both types are the winners. A successful marketing strategy uses content to nurture, engage and build a relationship – and copy to close the sale.  

Yin and yang.

If you want help with your copy or content, book a call with us. We know what we’re talking about.

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Lucinda Dawes

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