What’s The Difference Between Content, Copy & Content Marketing?

If you’re working in the marketing department of a small business, you’ve probably been asked to produce lots of different types of content. One day, your boss might ask you to write a blog post; another day, she might tell you to create a series of email newsletters. 

Since these two requests seem similar on the surface (or even identical), it can be hard to know when one applies and when the other doesn’t apply. Or worse: You might accidentally use copywriting techniques with content that really should be kept strictly as “content.” So what’s the difference between content and copy?

Copywriting vs. Content Writing – What’s The Difference?
1. Understand the Distinctions:
Learn the key differences between content, copy, and content marketing to tailor your strategies effectively.
2. Content vs. Copy: Unique Roles:
Grasp the distinct purposes of content and copywriting, each contributing to successful audience engagement.
3. Persuasion vs. Value:
Recognize how copywriting focuses on persuasion, while content marketing provides value and builds brand authority.
4. Impact on Conversions:
Explore how effective copywriting can significantly boost conversion rates on websites and other marketing materials.
5. Diversifying Content Formats:
Embrace various content formats, such as blogs, videos, infographics, and podcasts, to engage audiences across platforms.
6. Synergy of Copywriting in Content Marketing:
Understand how incorporating copywriting in content marketing enhances engagement with compelling CTAs and messages.
7. Content Marketing and SEO:
Discover how content marketing plays a crucial role in SEO by attracting organic traffic and earning valuable backlinks.

Content And Copy Are Often Used Interchangeably In The Marketing Industry, But They’re Not The Same Thing

Content, copy, and content marketing are all related terms in the marketing world. The difference is that each of them has a different use case and purpose:

Content is what you produce for your audience to consume. It doesn’t have to be long or in-depth it can be short articles, videos, infographics, or even just blog posts on your website. Regardless of length or format, it’s designed to start a relationship between the marketer (sender) and the prospect (receiver).

Copy refers specifically to words you use when selling products or services directly to potential customers through email blasts, landing pages, or other digital media.

Content marketing is how you create and distribute content across multiple channels to build loyalty among existing customers while attracting new ones at scale over time. Content marketing often contains both copywriting (the writing part) as well as messaging (the message itself), but not always!

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Content Is A Message That’s Intended To Start A Relationship Between The Marketer (Sender) And The Prospect (Receiver)

Content is a message that’s intended to start a relationship between the marketer (sender) and the prospect (receiver). Content is the message, not the medium. 

Content is what you’re trying to get across. It’s not your Twitter feed or Facebook page or Instagram account those are just channels through which you share your content with prospects who may or may not be interested in it.

Copy Is A Message From You To Your Customer

Copy is a message from you to your customer. It’s the main part of content marketing, and it’s what defines it as different from other types of marketing.

Copy is intended to sell, and therefore it must be read and understood by your customers to be effective. It can take many forms: an email campaign; a landing page on your website; an ad on social media; a blog post; etc., but at its core, all copy has one goal: get people to act by purchasing whatever product or service you’re offering them.

This means that copy should be written in such a way that readers are compelled (and even excited!) about taking action now rather than later. 

The best way we know how to do this is through storytelling: crafting stories around what happens when someone uses our product or service for themselves, whether it’s getting rid of acne scars or starting their own business as an entrepreneur.”

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Content Is Something That Your Audience Can Consume And Take Away From You

Content is something that your audience can consume and take away from you. It’s the thing they’ll read, listen to, watch or interact with when they visit your website or social media channels.

Content marketing is all about the creation of content (which may include videos and infographics) while copywriting refers specifically to the words used within that content the writing itself.

Copywriters write so that people will do what they want them to do buy a product or service, hire someone for work, or sign up for an email list. The list goes on!

Copy Is Intended For An Immediate Sale

Copy is intended to sell a product or service. Copy is written for the web and targeted toward your specific audience. It’s used to guide readers through a website, explain what you do, and convince them that your company is worth their time and money.

Copy Has A Narrow Focus On A Single Objective

Copy has a narrow focus on a single objective. Copy isn’t meant to educate or inform, and it doesn’t have the same broad appeal as content marketing. It’s a message from you to your customer that is intended for an immediate sale. 

You’re trying to get them to click, buy now or sign up right away and that’s all copy does: it gets your audience to take action by getting them excited about what they are buying right now.

Copy Has No Other Purpose But To Sell

Copywriting is a form of marketing. It’s communication that serves a purpose, and it’s persuasion at its core. That’s why copywriting is so effective at making connections with your audience and getting them to take an action whether it’s buying something from you or just learning more about what you have to offer.

It’s easy to think that copywriting only applies to marketers who work in-house as a part of their job description (or as freelancers), but anyone can write copy! 

Copywriting skills are transferrable across many industries: salespeople, customer service reps, journalists, and bloggers all need good copywriting skills for their jobs to be successful.

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The Content That You Create Must Be Tailored For Each Channel Where It Will Appear

If you have a blog, you know that each article has to be written differently for each channel where it will appear. In addition, your headlines need to include basic information about your post for readers to understand what they’re looking at without having to click through.

For example, if I’m writing on my blog about how I made my cousin’s wedding cake and plan on sharing it with my Facebook followers and Twitter followers, then all of these posts will have different titles (or headlines). 

On my Instagram profile, however, I would simply use the hashtag #cake because that’s how people search Instagram photos by topic. Each platform has its own rules of engagement and learning them is essential if you want to avoid sounding like an amateur at content marketing!

Content Marketing And Copywriting Aren’t Interchangeable Terms, But They’re Related

Copywriting is a subset of content marketing.

The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they aren’t the same thing. Copywriting refers to the process of creating written content that fits within the context of your overall marketing strategy. 

Content marketing describes the overarching approach you take to create and distribute valuable information to your audience to drive sales or leads.

Content Marketing Uses Content To Create Long-Term Customer Relationships

Content marketing uses content to create long-term customer relationships. It’s a way to build trust with your audience and position yourself as an authority in your industry. Content marketing is about creating something of value for your customers, whether that’s through blog posts, videos, or podcasts.

Content marketing can also help you reach new audiences by ranking higher on search engines with optimized keywords, which brings more traffic to your site and attracts organic links from other sites (these are important because they pass link juice). 

These strategies help improve the visibility of your brand online so you can gain more followers or subscribers over time and ultimately get more customers!

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Copywriting Uses Content To Sell A Product Or Service Immediately

Copywriting is the art of generating copy that sells a product or service immediately. Copywriters use content to accomplish this task.

Copywriting has many components: it’s intended for a specific audience, channel, purpose, and time frame. Copywriters should also consider the medium in which their final product will live—for example, an ad on Facebook or Twitter versus an article on Medium.

When You Begin Working On Your Content, You’ll Have One Or More Objectives That You’d Like To Achieve With It

At this point, you’ll have one or more objectives that you’d like to achieve with your content. These objectives will change depending on the type and size of your business and where it is in its lifecycle.

For example: If you’re a small startup with limited resources, you might want to focus on increasing brand awareness or driving traffic to your site to build traffic first. Once you’ve done that, then maybe the next objective would be increasing sales.

If you’re an established business with lots of customers already buying from you regularly, then those objectives might focus on helping customers decide whether or not they should buy from you again (such as by providing the information), or building trust in your brand through customer testimonials and reviews.

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As you can see, content marketing and copywriting are two very different things. Content marketing is a long-term strategy that involves creating valuable information for your audience. 

Copywriting is an immediate attempt to sell something by using certain words, phrases, or ideas. It’s important to understand the differences between these two disciplines so that you don’t confuse them as interchangeable terms!

Further Reading

Copywriting vs. Content Marketing: Understand the distinctions between copywriting and content marketing and how they contribute to effective digital strategies.

Content vs. Copy: Is There a Difference?: Discover the nuances between content and copy and how they play unique roles in engaging audiences.

Copy vs. Content: Unraveling the Confusion: Delve into the depths of copywriting and content writing to better comprehend their purposes and applications.


What is the main difference between copywriting and content marketing?

Copywriting primarily focuses on persuasive and compelling language to promote products or services, while content marketing aims to provide valuable information and build brand authority.

How does copywriting impact conversions on websites?

Effective copywriting can significantly boost conversion rates by crafting convincing calls-to-action and engaging copy that motivates users to take action.

Is content marketing limited to written content?

No, content marketing encompasses various forms of content, including blogs, videos, infographics, podcasts, and more, to engage audiences on different platforms.

Can copywriting be used in content marketing strategies?

Yes, copywriting plays a crucial role in content marketing by crafting attention-grabbing headlines, engaging social media posts, and compelling email campaigns.

How does content marketing contribute to SEO?

Content marketing contributes to SEO by creating valuable, relevant, and shareable content that attracts organic traffic and earns backlinks from authoritative sources.