Content Vs. Copy: What’s The Difference?

Content Vs. Copy What's The Difference

The terms content writing and copywriting are frequently used interchangeably despite the fact that there are some rather fundamental differences between the two. In this article, we’re going to highlight those important distinctions.

What is content writing?

This article is a great example of what content writing looks like. Content typically refers to longer-form blogs and articles, eBooks, and other informational pieces. The purpose of content is to educate, inform, and entertain – as opposed to inspire a specific action.

Yes, you can include a CTA with links to various products and/or services in your content, however, the primary function is to provide high-value, authoritative content.

Today, with Google’s recent algorithm update (people-first), they are looking to rank websites that have the most relevant, clear, and well-written content writing. They rank pages that successfully cover specific subjects thoroughly, thus providing their users with the best possible on-page experience ultimately leaving them satisfied with their original search.

In essence: content is the product – in that the only thing you are selling is your authority and in-depth knowledge on a subject.

What is copywriting?

Copywriting is typically short and sweet and written with consumer-psychology in mind. This style of writing tends to be found on website landing pages, social media ads, and billboards.

The purpose of copywriting is not to educate or inform, however, it can be entertaining. That said, its primary function is to persuade; ultimately driving your readers towards making a purchase or taking some other form of action such as signing up to a seminar or scheduling a consultation.

Here are some great examples of copywriting at its best:

  • Volkswagen – “Think Small” (promoting the Beetle).
  • De Beers – “How can you make two month’s salary last forever?” (promoting diamond engagement rings).
  • Oatly – “It’s like milk but made for humans” (promoting plant-based milk).
  • The Economist – “Money talks but sometimes it needs an interpreter” (promoting their Newspaper).
  • Old Spice – “The man your man could smell like” (promoting their male cologne).

What is the difference between content and copywriting?

As you can see, the major difference between content and copywriting is purpose.

  • Content: educate and entertain.
  • Copywriting: persuade and inspire.

Interestingly, despite being much shorter in length, copywriting often takes the most amount of time and is typically more expensive than content as well.

If you take some of the copywriting examples listed above, while they are only short sentences and statements, they make a huge impact – and there is zero fat. Each word matters!

When copywriting is done right, it can yield powerful results!


So, let’s have a quick recap:

  • Content is the product: you are providing free value to your audience in the way of quality content that educates and entertains, thus demonstrating your authority. For example, an SEO agency in Singapore may have geo-targeted service area pages to help improve their local SEO, and a blog that is populated with dozens and dozens of informative articles on SEO and digital marketing in general (these articles will be designed to attract more traffic to their website and confirm their authenticity).
  • Copy promotes the product: the purpose is to persuade your audience and inspire them to take positive action with your brand, whether it be buying a product or signing up for one of your services. Using the same SEO agency example, their homepage may adopt persuasive language to encourage website visitors to book a free consultation / website audit.

And that about sums it all up! Both styles of writing are very important and understanding the distinction between the two is critical in business – especially when it comes to optimising your website.

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About the Author: John Vick

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