Copywriter and Content Writer – Key Similarities and Differences

Copywriter and content writer…are they one and the same, or are they different? Even if you don’t know the answer to that question, chances are you’ve come across examples of work from both, either across the internet or even walking down the street.

You might have seen an interesting headline on a billboard while waiting for the bus. You might have casually scrolled on social media one morning and couldn’t help but click on a banner because the text was so clever it piqued your interest, even if the product advertised didn’t. Better yet, you might even have your go-to source for informative articles.

Who exactly is responsible for crafting each of these eye-catching and click-stealing words? How can you benefit from collaborating with a copywriter, content writer, or, better yet, both?

Copywriter and content writer – the short story

If you think the word magicians responsible for the above examples are a marketing agency or a team of professional writers, you are not far off. However, professional writing for online marketing purposes or the advertising field is a bit more complex than that. As you probably guessed, both types of professionals can be found either online (web content writers and copywriters) or in the advertising field – think famous copywriters such as David Ogilvy or think of the authors behind iconic slogans such as “Think Different” (Apple) or “I’m Lovin’ It” (McDonald’s).

Copywriter and content writer – who do I choose?

Because there are key similarities and differences between copywriting and content writing – from their purpose to what each type of writing entails, it’s apparent that each service offers distinct advantages. Which is why, when you pick a professional, remember that the decision is entirely dependent on your unique business needs and your marketing strategy as a whole. Content is only a small part of it.

You should know your objectives clearly, whether they are to sell more via words, to increase your brand awareness, to promote your services and products better to your target audiences, or attract new audiences altogether.

To help you out, here are some questions you should ask yourself before seeking any of the two:

  • Do I need a text that creates conversions today or six months from now?
  • Am I seeking to improve my existing client base or draw new customers?
  • Do I need a stream of content for my business (weekly blog posts, a time-oriented social media strategy, etc.) or only the occasional written materials? (Promotional brochures, pamphlets, etc.)

Copywriter and content writer – what does each professional do?

To make the right distinction, it’s important to note that, when we say content marketing as a whole, what we really mean is creating and sharing any online material. Everything is content, from videos to social media posts to personal blog entries. When it comes to text, however, there are two main categories of professionals – the copywriter and the content writer.

Why is it essential to know the key differences and similarities between them?

If you are interested in a career as a professional writer, you will know what your options are. At the opposite end of the spectrum, if you own a business or a brand and you need texts that increase awareness, create conversions or even build communities, you will know which writing service fits your needs better.

To cut to the chase, the similarities between a copywriter and content writer are:

  • They both work with words. Whether it’s building a brand identity, increasing sales, or creating an online presence, both professionals do it via written means.
  • They can both work either directly with clients (in the case of freelance copywriters or content writers) or as part of a specialized content writing/copywriting agency. They can also be found in advertising agencies or as part of creative departments.
  • The writing process is similar, but the end result is different. Both professionals use research, brainstorming techniques, and content management tools to create and perfect their craft, whether it’s choosing article ideas, implementing content strategies for businesses, or writing SEO-optimized materials. However, the end result can also be influenced by subjective factors such as the writer’s skills or experience level.

Some important differences to note are:

  • The purpose of the writing is different – most often, content writers aim to educate or inform, whereas copywriters aim to sell and persuade
  • The length of the writing is not the same, either – content writers usually deal with longer pieces such as articles and editorials. Copywriters, on the other hand, have a rather limited space to work with – a headline, a catchphrase, or a banner text are all examples of copywriting.
  • Pricing varies – copywriters don’t produce as much (volume-wise), but their texts need to create immediate impact, which is why the price is sometimes higher as opposed to the content writer who has more space to deliver the message.

Copywriter and content writer – do they clash against each other?

When we say copywriting, we refer to a type of creative writing whose ultimate purpose is persuasion and increasing sales. Common copywriting materials include newsletters, landing pages, headlines, banner texts, and, as a general rule, the texts are rather shorter in nature, aiming to create immediate results.

On the other hand, content writing is part of a long-term strategy, and its most common goal is to educate or inform customers or other intended audiences – common examples here include blog posts, About Us/Our Story pages.

Which is why the answer to the question above is most definitely not, quite the opposite – copywriting and content writing don’t clash against each other; they complete each other.

So….copywriter AND copywriter? Yes, please!

To conclude, if you want to sell now, a copywriter is your best bet. If you want texts that don’t create an immediate impact but will yield results in time (create a community of people with direct interest in your business, draw possible leads), a content writer’s services are the right answer.

However, on a long-term basis and, if the budget allows, a good content marketing strategy should include a little bit of both.

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