At some point, you have come across the terms content writing, copywriting, and copyediting. All three are relevant because your business needs written materials, especially for digital marketing. While they might seem similar, they’re quite specific terms with specific uses. Let us explain the different purposes for content writing, copywriting, and copyediting. That way you’ll know when and why you need content, copy, or editing.
Content writing is exactly what the name suggests: it’s writing content. However, that doesn’t really clear anything up. Content writing creates written materials that are designed to either entertain or educate its readers. This includes social media posts, blog posts, email newsletters, tutorials, tips, articles, and more. You might be surprised by how much content you’re already making. The purpose and goal of content writing is to create materials that help your business form relationships with its audience and potential customers or clients. By providing text that entertains or educates, content writing creates positive associations to your business and brand. Its strength is not in turning into direct sales, but creating prolonged relationships and attachments that keep people mentally and emotionally tied to your business.
Content that educates, like this blog, demonstrates your business’ expertise and familiarity within an industry and its specialized knowledge. Writing that information into easily digested content also demonstrates your willingness to share that knowledge and that you have the communication skills needed to do that. Your brand becomes a friendly teacher. Entertaining content creates positive attachment to your business through emotional associations. It demonstrates human and personal elements of your brand that people can identify and engage with. As a result, it can be an essential part of your human-to-human marketing strategy.
While content writing produces written material designed to educate and entertain, copywriting makes text that persuades readers to perform an action. Sometimes, copy will describe a product or service to make it appealing to potential customers. Other times, it might convince a reader to contact you. This will depend on your business and the specific context for the copy, but often that action is related to generating sales. Therefore, copywriting is for landing pages, ads, product pages, your business’ website, promotional emails or social media, and any other text trying to convince a reader to take a certain action. You might be surprised how much copy your business is already producing.
This is the crucial element where copy and content are different. Content writing aims at text that keeps people's attention and forms positive associations. Its job is to keep people close and coming back. Copywriting also produces text that attracts attention and can even be entertaining. Think about all the ads that have made you laugh, like the famous Betty White Snickers ad or the classic Old Spice one. However, it always has the goal that the reader goes on to take the appropriate action. Content asks you to keep reading, copy tells you to stop and go do something! Content creates a following, while copy creates customers/clients.
As a result, copy is often shorter than content, especially when it comes to blogs or articles. That isn’t always going to be true though. For example, product or service description as copy will likely be longer than a short, humorous post on Instagram. Instead, the main difference will be in tone. Because of copywriting’s persuasive purpose, it needs to use motivating and descriptive words that efficiently informs, entices, and persuades the reader. A key component of that convincing is being concise. When being persuaded about a product or service, people’s interests can more easily stray with time. That’s why you need to inform and persuade in the time you have their attention. This will also depend on the copy’s context. For example, a service description on your website will be longer than the copy for a Google Ad, where being concise is essential because of the format. Both, however, have to fulfill that same function of trying to drive sales.
That need to create writing that is descriptive and persuasive, means copywriting needs to be highly tailored to its function and context. To truly hone that text, copyediting ensures every bit of the text is perfectly manicured. Copyediting is more than just proofreading, which is a final edit that looks at any final grammar, punctuation, spelling, or formatting errors. Copyediting does this as well, but also refines the quality of the writing itself. It looks for tone and style inconsistencies, confusing wording or syntax, wordiness, awkward transitions, misused words, and even more. This is why, just like writing, editing is a skill that requires experience and expertise. Most people can feel something is wrong with a piece of writing, but an editor can hone in on what that exact issue is and fix it.
Thus, copyediting pores over your copy to make the text perfectly suited for the purpose of motivating its reader, while also being accurately representative of your brand. Without it, the text could be less effective, misrepresentative of your business or brand, or contain errors that undermine your reputation and image.
Copy and Content
Now you should have a better understanding of the differences and the importance of content writing, copywriting, and copyediting for your business. They’re defined by their specific purposes, and each plays an essential role in the strategies of your digital marketing and branding. If you’re considering how you can expand or refine your content and copywriting, feel some of your copy needs editing, or want to strategize, be sure to contact us at Creative Solutions. See? Sometimes content can even end with a little copy.