Copywriting Vs Content Writing: Key Insights For Hiring The Right Talent

If you’re a business owner or a marketing head, you’ve probably heard the terms ‘copywriting‘ and ‘content writing’ thrown around interchangeably. However, deciphering the difference between the two is crucial if you want to hire a writer to enhance your online presence. Choosing the right one can significantly impact your brand’s communication strategy and ultimately, your sales and engagement.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The distinct roles and goals of copywriters and content writers
  • How to identify what your business needs (a copywriter, a content writer, or both)
  • Tips for effectively hiring and utilising writers to achieve your business’s goals.
A magnifying glass looking over a line of 7 applicants for writing jobs, deciding on the right person to hire.

Understanding Copywriting

Copywriting is a form of writing specifically for marketing or advertising. It’s the persuasive language you see in advertisements, promotional materials, and online content that motivates people to take action—whether that’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or any other action beneficial to your business.

At its core, copywriting is about understanding the psychology of your target audience and using the right words to tap into their desires, fears, and other driving factors. By combining creativity with market research, copywriters produce content that resonates and converts.

Typically, you might hire a copywriter when you need:

Copywriters can help shape the voice of your brand across all assets and ensure you get higher conversion rates.

Understanding Content Writing

Content writers focus on creating content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. However, unlike copywriting, which is typically shorter and more focused on persuading or selling, content writing aims to build a relationship with the audience over time. The goal is to establish trust and authority, instead of directly promoting a specific product or service.

Content writing encompasses a variety of formats, all aimed at providing useful information that answers questions, educates, or entertains, thereby engaging the reader and keeping them interested in your brand. This type of writing is fundamental in content marketing strategies and is crucial for SEO, social media engagement, and establishing thought leadership.

You might hire a content writer for:

  • Blog posts
  • Articles
  • Whitepapers
  • Ebooks
  • Infographics
  • Case studies
  • Newsletters
  • Educational videos

Consistent and high-quality work from a content writer will help you communicate your expertise, strengthen your brand, and build a loyal customer base.

Key Differences Between Copywriting and Content Writing

Here’s a simple table to summarise the main differences:

AspectCopywritingContent Writing
PurposePersuade and drive immediate action.Inform, educate or entertain to build a relationship with the audience.
Style and toneDirect and compelling.Informational and conversational.
LengthOften shorter and to the point, concentrating on headlines.Typically longer and more in-depth.
SEO focusWhile it can be optimized for SEO, the primary focus is on converting the reader.Usually heavily optimized for SEO to attract organic traffic.
OutcomeMeasured by conversion rates, sales numbers, and direct response metrics.Measured by engagement metrics like time on page, shares, and long-term ROI from customer relationships.
CostOften more expensive because the stakes are higher when you’re spending money on ads and every conversion counts.Generally more affordable, but slower to generate ROI and also harder to measure its direct impact.
Copywriting vs content writing

Why Does This Distinction Matter?

Understanding the difference between copywriting and content writing isn’t just a matter of semantics; it’s a crucial aspect of creating an effective marketing strategy. Here’s why distinguishing between the two is important if you’re looking to hire a writer:

  1. Targeted Strategy: Tailor your hiring approach to suit your specific business goals.
  2. Cost-Effectiveness: Investing in the right type of writer prevents wasting resources on mismatched skills.
  3. Consistent Message: Ensure your brand’s message is delivered consistently across all platforms, whether it’s a sales page or an informative blog post.
  4. Meeting Audience Expectations: Your audience has different expectations when reading copy, so aligning with their expectations delivers better results.
  5. Maximizing Results: Generating results in line with your goals will deliver greater returns on your marketing investment.

Example: E-commerce Brand Aiming to Increase Sales and Improve SEO

To help you better understand the difference, let’s look at a hypothetical example.

Scenario

An emerging e-commerce brand, Little Pups, specialises in dog products. The brand owner, Jim, wants to increase online sales and establish itself as an industry leader. Jim knows he needs to attract and convert customers while building their brand reputation and search engine visibility.

Copywriter’s Role

Jim hires a copywriter to craft compelling product descriptions, website copy, email campaigns and social media ads to convert viewers into buyers.

A copywriter sitting at a laptop, producing icons that represent paid ads, product descriptions, and emails.

Content Writer’s Role

Jim also hires a content writer. They’re charged with developing a series of blog articles and how-to guides, all optimised for search engines to rank higher in the SERPs, attract organic traffic and provide value to potential customers.

A content writer sitting at a desk with pen and paper, producing icons that represent blog posts, SEO, and how-to guides.

Outcome

Little Pups see an increase in direct sales attributed to the engaging copy and targeted ad campaigns. At the same time, their website becomes a helpful resource for pet parents and ranks higher in Google search results, which gives them more organic traffic.

Choosing the Right Writer for Your Needs

Still not sure who to hire? Here is a 6-step process to help you make the right choice:

  1. Define Your Goals: What are you aiming to achieve with your writing project? If you’re looking to drive immediate sales or actions, a copywriter might be what you need. If you’re aiming to educate, inform, or nurture your audience over time, then a content writer is your best bet.
  2. Consider Your Audience: Who are you trying to reach, and what kind of message will resonate with them? Copywriters are skilled in crafting messages directed at specific audiences, while content writers can create helpful content to build a relationship.
  3. Assess Your Content Strategy: Look at your overall content strategy. Do you need a series of blog posts to boost your SEO and provide value, or compelling ad copy that converts? Your broader strategy will guide which type of writing and writer you need.
  4. Budget and ROI: Consider your budget and the expected return on investment. A copywriter might demand a higher upfront cost due to its direct impact on sales, but more immediate and measurable results could mean it is worth the investment.
  5. Ask for Samples or a Portfolio: This will give you an insight into the copywriter’s style and effectiveness. Testimonials can also give you an idea of their success with previous clients.
  6. Trial Project: If possible, I recommend you consider starting with a smaller project or trial period. This will allow you to gauge the writer’s fit with your business before you commit to a larger project.

Remember, the right words can significantly impact your brand and business, so taking the time to choose the right writer is an investment that will pay off.

Decided you need to hire a copywriter?

Hopefully you now have more clarity on the difference between copywriting and content writing, and which one is right for your business goals. If you’ve decided that you need a copywriter, The Copy Brothers can help. Simply send us a message or book a complimentary 30-minute consultation to get started.