A content writer and a copywriter are just one and the same thing, right? They both string words together to entice people to buy and keep the wheels of commerce turning. So why not just simplify the whole copywriter vs. content writer debate and say ‘writer’?
Because, there is one very important difference: purpose. While both know how to write, their intention is different. A copywriter writes to sell the brand – they use emotive language to hook the reader in and inspire desire.
Content writers are up to something else entirely. They are in the business of creating content that informs, educates or entertains: each piece needs to be worth reading, watching or listening to. A content writer starts off by acknowledging the reader’s personal or professional frustrations, and then offers some relevant advice and/ or solutions. Content marketing is not as hard-salesy as advertising campaigns. It takes a more discursive or conversational approach to supporting the brand’s strategic business goals.
Copywriter or content writer?
Of course, both are in the business of commercial writing which means they do share some similarities. For one thing, they both need to produce great copy that converts a reader into a sale or lead.
Whether short and snappy, or long and chatty, the writing has to be good enough to engage the reader and win them over.
What you can expect from a copywriter
Creative copywriters are typically hired by agencies to develop advertising concepts and copy based on a client’s brief. They are the wordsmiths, working in close partnerships with art directors, and responsible for generating the words, slogans and audio scripts that accompany advertising visuals. Some copywriters specialise in a certain sector like IT or finance – but most are generalists.
Copywriters work across a variety of media to promote brands: above-the-line channels including TV, cinema, interactive media, posters and radio scripts. And, below-the-line advertising methods that focus on direct means of communication such as brochures, leaflets, press advertisements and direct mail.
A good copywriter is:
A team player
Able to spot a typo a mile off
Unafraid of pressure
Interested in popular culture and global trends
What you can expect from a content writer:
Content writers produce a wide variety of marketing content from web copy such as ebooks, landing pages and blogs, to traditional PR content including thought leadership articles and commentary. The role involves a lot of research combining online sources, interviews and studies. They have a strategic understanding of how to promote content to a specific audience and makes use of promotional tools such as social media and tactics like SEO.
The content’s aim is to pull people in; attract new customers and boost brand awareness – it does this by offering the target audience something they need.
A good content writer is:
A thorough researcher
Consistent in style and tone (per client)
Understands the social media landscape
Wears a PR hat
Comfortable with writing long and short copy
A bit of a journalist
A problem solver, identifying customer needs and offering a solution
Able to write really well!
As a content marketing agency that specialises in traditional PR and digital marketing services, the similarities between the two writers are more important to us than the differences. The internet, and subsequent explosion of content, has somewhat blurred the copywriter vs content writer roles. Our team of inhouse writers are just as comfortable with an email campaign or video script, as they are with an ebook or magazine feature.
Traditionally speaking, the copywriter’s main aim is to sell an idea. Whereas the content writer is creating content to generate interest that results in action. As far as we’re concerned, a good piece of well-written marketing content does both.
Why even worry about copywriter vs content writer? We can give your marketing efforts the best of both. Get in touch with us today, to find out more.