Content VS Copy: What You Need to Know

Copy and content: both of these ideas are important to websites, ads, landing pages, and blog posts. You may have heard these terms being used in reference to internet marketing or marketing in general. If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably heard them from your marketing team or agency. While the two terms may be used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. What you need to know:
– The difference between copy and content.
– What makes content and copy good.
– The difference between a content and copywriter.

What is Copy?

There are several different types of copy, but we’re going to be talking about the three that Content Specialists work with primarily at Oozle.
– Website copy
– Ad copy
– Landing page copy

Website copy is something I define as “static” writing on a site. Meaning, the likelihood of it changing is very small. The information on your website is copy. This includes the writing on your homepage, about pages, services pages, and so on, EXCLUDING your blog (which you should have).

Copy on your site doesn’t need to be updated very often. Your company’s history and mission statement isn’t likely to change frequently. Copy is the foundation of your website. Your copy is one way that your customers can get to know you.

Copy is also used to define writing on ads for FB, PPC, print, the whole shabang. Ad copy is highly effective in testing the way that your audience reacts to what you have to sell.

The last type of copy is landing page copy. Landing page copy is static, like the other types of copy, but it has a much harder job to do than site copy, and they have to work in conjunction with ad copy. Landing pages are usually the end point of an ad or a conversion opportunity.

What Makes Copy Good?

Let’s talk about what makes these three different types of copy “good”.

Good site copy will vary from business to business. What is effective for a car dealership isn’t going to be good for a hair salon.

In all cases of copy, it should:
– Inform the reader.
– Entice the reader.
– Have calls to action.
– Remain in context.
– Fit the purpose and end goal of the website/business.
– Lead the reader through the website or landing page (not applicable to ads).
– Be SEO friendly. (This does not apply to landing pages or ads.)

Ad copy that is successful will do all of the above, but it won’t be hosted on your site. So, not only do you have to entice the reader to look at your ad, you have to make them want to click on it and go to your website or landing page.

Landing page copy is effective when you get a phone call, form fill out, download, or a sign up on your email list, whatever your conversion is on that landing page. Like discussed above, a landing page is an end point to an ad that someone clicked on. Landing page copy has all of the qualities from above but it is shorter than most website copy, and works with ad copy to create a cohesive idea.

There are a lot of factors that make a landing page, website, or ad successful, and copy plays a large part in that. Of course, you first have to have a functional ad, site, or landing page, but that should come FIRST! Copy should happen after all things are working otherwise, and copy is NOT the only thing that could make or break your goals, but we will talk about that later.

What is Content?

We think of content as the ongoing storytelling your brand does, through written and visual mediums. Content, in this case, refers to blog posts, infographics, video copy, and social media writing. The content specialists at Oozle work primarily with blog posts (our awesome social team handles social media).

Content can change. You might have a blog post that updates with the newest information. A salon might have a post on the newest way to curl hair, but this trend might be constantly changing. They may have to go back and add more information to keep this content relevant.

Content is also meant to be shared like places such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and other social media. Copy on the other hand, won’t do so well. While people may be interested to learn about you and your company, no one is browsing Pinterest to find out when you opened!

What Makes Content Good?

The type of content we’re talking about are blog posts, they can be text, video, or images. Your blog should be a page on your website. Good content:
– Should be SEO friendly.
– Has appropriate keywords that are used correctly.
– Is easy to read.
– Is informative.
– Is relevant to your niche and to your readers.
– Has a call to action.
– Has images and/or videos.

Like site copy, content that is good for one business might not be good for others. (Content is king in context, people.)

Keeping in mind the differences between copy and content, can one person write both? The short answer is maybe.

What is a Copywriter?

A copywriter is someone who can write ad, landing page, or website copy. Not all writers can write both content and copy. That is not a problem. It is usually easy enough to find someone who specializes in one or the other, but what makes a copy or content writer good?

What Makes a Copywriter Good?

A good copywriter should know:
– Proper grammar.
– Proper spelling.
– Proper punctuation.
– Proper SEO tactics. (In the case of a site copywriter.)
– How to represent your company online the way you want.
– Basically, they love writing and English.

Good copywriters know how to profile an audience. A copywriter will take the time to create personas about your target audience. They will ask you about your most dedicated customers and your surrounding population; from their yearly income to their gender. They know how to sell.

Remember how I mentioned that we would talk about copy making or breaking your website? A good copywriter should be able to help you troubleshoot whether or not their copy is heavily influencing the effectiveness of your ad, landing page, or site. They should work easily with your ads team or with your web dev team to fix any problem they see their copy could be causing.

What is a Content Writer?

A good content writer should know:
– Proper grammar.
– Proper spelling.
– Proper punctuation.
– Proper SEO tactics.
– How to cite and use facts and information properly.
– How to represent your company online the way you want.
– Basically, they love writing and English.

Good content writers also know how to profile your target audience. Much in the way that a good copywriter does. Content writers are also up to date on the latest trends in your niche, or they will be when they write your next blog post.

You Need Both

If you are lucky enough to find someone that is amazing at writing all copy and content, you are one of the few. Not many writers can do both, and not many writers WANT to do both. That is what makes the industry great. People can specialize in what they know and do best. This is a win-win situation for both you and writers. You want the best of the best, right?

Content and copywriters can and should work together harmoniously with each other and with other aspects of your marketing.

Does reading about content give you the warm fuzzies? Check out more of our blog posts:

How Does Google Judge Content Quality?
Content Tips for Business

Shae Henrie Dec 16 2016
Categories: Blogging | Content
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