This is Chapter 1, Part 3 from the Copywriting for Social Media guide.
If you are wondering what’s the difference between content writing and copywriting, this article will help you correctly define the two terms and find out how to use them more efficiently to achieve your business goals.
There still seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to correctly defining copywriting, content writing, and the difference between them. Let’s make things clear from the very beginning: the two terms should not be used interchangeably.
The main difference between content writing and copywriting lies in the very purpose of writing it.
So, what are your writing goals and what are the outcomes that you seek to achieve? This is the first thing that you want to ask yourself before you start writing. To support you in this endeavor, let’s explore the definitions of content writing and copywriting so that you can get an idea of the main purpose of each.
What Is Content Writing
Content writing implies creating and sharing valuable free content to attract prospects and eventually turn them into customers.
The purpose of content writing is to engage potential customers and educate them about your brand’s products and services. As a result, you build positive relationships with your audience and you can move them down the sales funnel. You can do this by writing blog posts, articles, press releases, newsletters (when it’s sent out for educational purposes), guides, etc.
Why Invest in Content Writing
1. Improve Your Search Rankings
If you post weekly, you have 52 more chances for your articles to get picked up by Google in the first year.
2. Complement Your Social Media Strategy
Use content to improve your social media engagement and drive brand awareness and trust.
3. Build a Solid Audience Around Your Business
Great content is all about aligning your experience with the needs of your audience.
What Is Copywriting
The primary role of copywriting is to trigger the reader to take action. What kind of action?
You may want users to make a purchase, subscribe to your email list, book a call with you, share your social media posts, or… you name it. Its role can also be simply to inspire your reader to get in touch with you for more information on your services or a particular specific product you are trying to sell. 😀
So, basically, copywriting is any writing that tries to convince people to take a particular action.
Although copywriting involves content writing, it’s actually content in an attractive form — short, concise, and engaging — meant to catch the attention of the reader.
Copywriting is generally used for landing pages, product pages, ads, direct mail, and social media.
What Are the Main Components of Copywriting
Now, let’s see what are the main ingredients for great copywriting:
The art side of copywriting appeals to emotions. It’s memorable. It’s creative. It’s about telling a compelling story in a way that evokes strong emotions from your audience.
To this end, great copywriters understand a little bit about human psychology and are able to tap into the words that are more likely to trigger a favorable emotional response.
Besides art, you also need science. Just ask Leonardo Da Vinci.
The science part of copywriting refers to writing something that makes sense (not something funny or emotional, but something that appeals to reason). It is practical and testable, and it’s also able to tell you what you should choose and give you the reasons why.
You will not be able to really connect with the reader just by using the science part of copywriting. That’s why it’s best to bring art and science together. This way, you can come up with something that combines the practical with the emotional.
Practical (part of copywriting) 🤓 + Emotional (part of copywriting) 😊 = Best results 😎
But it’s not enough to just make the readers feel it. You also need to convince them.
It’s not enough to just give them an argument. You also need to make them feel compelled to care.
No copy is complete without a purpose. The copy’s general goal is to persuade the user to take action to sell a product or an idea.
In order to succeed with this, you need to be able to get people’s attention fast and make them get past the headline. Unfortunately, 8 out of 10 people won’t.
The ultimate goal is to get the reader to perform some sort of specific action (click here, download now, go to your website, keep watching a video, and so on).
Good copy contains all three copywriting components. Bad copy leaves one, if not two, out.
And if you leave all three out, that’s just … well… blank copy. 😛
There may be many formulas out there about how to write a good copy or a headline. And many opinions about how to write content that sells. But it’s essential to keep these 3 aspects in mind if you want to write good copy… and take it from there.
Whether you want to learn how to write better landing pages, product pages, or direct mails, finding the right mix between art, science, and persuasion will set the foundation for your copywriting success.
If you want to take your digital marketing to the next level, read our social media Copywriting Tips or download our guide below.