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I was looking at marketing job advertisements, and I noticed 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?
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 act.
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. Copy gets you to 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 read the post.
Headlines that increase clicks should inform the reader of 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:
10 Tips to Write a Blog
10 Quick & Easy Tips to Write a Successful Blog Post
If you’re stuck coming up with strong 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 71 thanks to some more emotional and powerful language.
Persuasive headline copy influences people to read your content.
Many blogs also include copy. Blog copy 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 new knowledge, come to you for more, and follow through on your CTAs.
So, Copy vs Content, which do you need?
Although they may be separate entities and fine on their own, copy and content work better together.
Blog posts are excellent examples of content and copy working in harmony.
A headline featuring excellent copy draws in the targeted persona. The bulk of a blog post should be content, providing the reader with new information, tips, hints, news, or answering a question. It should contain 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 excellent content, and now they want to share their newfound knowledge.