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C is for: Copy and content

What is the difference between copywriting and content? Are they the same thing? How can you tell the difference?


Copywriting has been around for years. Hundreds of years to be truthful. For as long as people have needed to sell something to another and needed to write about it in some way, copywriting has existed. As a profession and recognised practice, copywriting as we know it today was forged by some of the advertising greats in the early part of the last century.


Copywriting is sales. Copywriting has an ask. Copywriting has an offer. Copywriting has a call to action – whether direct or indirect. Copywriting serves the purpose of conveying a product or service with the intention to make the reader purchase or otherwise connect with the brand.



Content on the other hand is what you are reading now. Content is that which conveys information to the reader. It does not necessarily have an ask or call to action within it – or at least this is not it’s main purpose. It says ‘come, take a look, stay a while. We think this may be interesting for you.’ Content is blog posts, social media, commentary, opinion pieces, research, infographics and any other item which gives content to the reader on a particular subject. Content is important especially in today’s digital marketing world where SEO algorithms rank useful, up-to-date content high in the search results. Content is also useful for sharing and widening your audience reach through social media. It is the left hand of the brand to the right hand which is copywriting.



So in a nutshell, there you have it. Copywriting and content serve two very different purposes but are intrinsically linked. They both form part of a brand. One is the tone of voice (TOV) that aims to make the sale. The other aims to give authority to the brand positioning through useful, sometimes specialist, information. Do you need them both? Most definitely.


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