A study conducted by The New York Times revealed that the biggest reasons why people share content are because they find value in it, think it relates to their lives in some way, and want to spread the word of certain brands.
Whether you’re running a web design agency or a restaurant, it should be no surprise to hear that every business needs both copywriting and content writing in their online marketing efforts– regardless of the industry they’re in. However, telling the difference between these two terms can be a bit difficult to the untrained person as they both pertain to the marketing aspect of a business. This is why we’ve put together this comprehensive article which goes into what copywriting and content writing are, why they’re important for your business, and the differences between them.
What Is Copywriting?
Copywriting is the act of writing content that aims to sell something. It is written in such a way that entices the reader to take action on a particular product of your brand. Copywriting is typically implemented into ads and landing pages, as they are built around the idea of reaching sales goals in a short time frame.
Some examples of copywriting are CTAs (Call To Action), sales emails, and landing pages. CTAs are part of copywriting because as their name suggests, they “call” the reader into acting, whether it is purchasing a product or subscribing to an email newsletter. Sales emails are also part of copywriting as they also prompt the reader to buy a product—sometimes by making the product look so interesting that they are tempted to purchase the product.
By now, I think it becomes apparent that copywriting only has one goal: to sell, or rather, make the reader want the product that is being advertised to them.
How Can Copywriting Help My Business?
If you haven’t implemented copywriting techniques into your business yet, you may be missing out on potential sales. Since copywriting revolves around pitching your brand to customers and motivating them to buy your products, not having content that is built on copywriting could seriously harm your business. For example, you may have great products and your brand may be great in general, but if the readers aren’t motivated to buy the products or learn about your brand, you’re not going to get any purchases or future customers.
What Is Content Writing?
Unlike copywriting, content writing is all about providing value to the reader. It takes a long-term approach when it comes to sales, as the value provided through the content aims to build trust with the customer rather than to sell by educating the reader on the brand.
Examples of content writing include blog posts, newsletters, eBooks, and other types of informational media. These forms of content aim to teach rather than sell, although some people manage to add bits of promotion while still keeping the “I don’t want to sell you something” vibe by referencing articles that are also written by them that have some sort of CTA to make the conversion.
How Can Content Writing Help My Business?
Content writing is usually considered the backbone of a business, along with copywriting. However, without content writing, copywriting is futile. Think of it this way: would you buy something from a brand you aren’t familiar with and only floods your inbox with promotions? The answer is likely no. This is what content writing prevents: it allows customers to build a relationship with a brand while also establishing a more casual tone with it. This is so that customers don’t feel “pressured” to purchase, but rather inclined to. Content writing can not only increase sales in your business, but it can also help build your brand’s image, bringing even more customers and earning you a “place” in the industry.
Tips for Good Copywriting and Content Writing in Your Business
Now that you know what content writing and copywriting are and how they can benefit your business, there are some things you need to keep in mind when implementing either of these two techniques into your business.
Starting with content writing, we already know it’s all about providing value to the customer. However, this doesn’t mean that you can simply set up a blog and call it a day. Contrary to popular belief, content writing can greatly benefit your business when done right, as it often serves as a pathway to copywriting. Think about it this way: wouldn’t you rather buy from a brand you trust? With this question in mind, here are a few things you can do to ensure your content writing material builds the trust you’re looking for with your customers:
- Use proper grammar and punctuation. A 2013 UK study shows that 59% of people who notice bad grammar in a website said that they wouldn’t buy from said website. No wonder Nigerian prince scams are so rare today, right?
- Include statistics. In court, cases aren’t built based on “he-said-she-said” arguments. Well, people’s trust isn’t either. Including statistics will back up any claims you make in your content and help people trust you.
- Avoid bias, but be humorous. Content writing should be professional and informative, mostly non-opinion-based. Of course, you can sprinkle your brand here and there, but save the promotions for copywriting.
As previously mentioned, copywriting is the art of pitching your brand or product to the reader, so that they are enticed to purchase something. What this means is that copywriting is essentially in charge of making the conversion after the value is provided by content writing. However, this does not mean that your copywriting-based page (e.g. landing page) should only have a big red “buy now” button with no other information. That’s not going to get you any sales. Here are a few rules of thumb you should follow when creating copywriting material:
- Describe what you’re selling. Customers that lands on one of your landing pages are likely already interested in the product, but many like to be as informed as possible on what they’re purchasing. That’s why you should describe the product thoroughly as possible, making the main selling points stand out through the use of bolding or colors.
- Explain how this product will make the reader’s life better. Although copywriting is all about selling and conversions, that doesn’t mean your copywriting content shouldn’t have some value proposition in it. To keep the customer’s attention, make sure you include what the reader will get out of the product being copywritten. This will make them see the product as a positive addition in their life rather than just a product they’ll use.
- Offer discounts in CTAs. When it comes to copywriting, it’s all about getting the conversion—and discounts greatly increase the odds that a customer purchases a product. Something as simple as “get ____ product up to 80% off!” on a CTA can make the difference between a customer making a purchase or leaving the page.
There are further differences between copywriting and content writing, but by now you should have an overall understanding of what the basic differences are and how they can both benefit your website when used efficiently. For more information on how you can improve marketing on your website, feel free to take at our blog, which covers topics ranging from SEO to Website Design!