I was trawling through media and marketing job advertisements and I began to notice the apparent interchangeability of “copy” and “content”. Were these companies looking for a copywriter or a content writer? Both?
Then came the big question – are copy and content the same?
Whether you’re starting out in business, blogging, or marketing, you may have also asked the same question.
After some research, I’m here to tell you that no, they aren’t.
While some companies use “copywriter” and “content writer” interchangeably there is one huge difference.
Copy is traditional marketing. It’s designed to get the reader to perform an action. That action might be buying a specific bottle of wine, ringing you for a service, or signing up for an email list. It can even be something as simple as reading a blog post.
An example of copy is the title (or headline) of a blog post; it’s meant to make the reader click.
Many people fall into the trap of crafting a catchy and smart headline. It sounds good, but it doesn’t convince the reader to actually read the post.
Headlines that increase clicks should inform the reader exactly what they will get out of the blog post. If your blog post features a list of tips, add how many into the headline. Are they simple, easy or quick tips? Add that too.
How likely would you be to click on this:
Probably a lot more likely!
If you’re stuck coming up with successful headlines, try CoSchedule’s headline analyser.
This great tool rated the first headline at just 59; it relied on common language and lacked emotion and power. The second example scores a 71 thanks to some more emotional and powerful language.
Powerful headline copy influences the action of reading your content.
Many blogs also include copy. This can be a prompt to share on social media, join an emailing list, or comment. If your content leaves the reader feeling more knowledgeable, better about themselves, or affects their worldview, they will want to take your proposed action – no hard sell needed.
Your content should speak for itself.
I’m sure most people can agree that nobody likes pushy marketers. Not every sentence needs to be a sales pitch!
Smart content marketers create content to build rapport with their target audience.
A reader should come to your blog to enjoy what you have to offer, to grow a connection with you and begin to see you as an authority in your industry.
Rather than tell your readers to do something, arm them with information about the topics you both care about. They will want to share their great new knowledge, come to you for more, and follow through on your CTAs.
Although they may be separate entities and fine on their own (like coffee and cake), copy and content work better together (yes, like coffee and cake). Blog posts are excellent examples of content and copy working in harmony.
A headline featuring excellent copy draws the targeted persona in.
The bulk of a blog post should be content; providing the reader with new information, tips, hints, news, or answering a question. It should provide what the headline offered.
Some more copy may make an appearance, perhaps in the form of a Twitter CTA. It shouldn’t be a hard sell – you provided the reader with some awesome content and now they want to share their newfound knowledge.