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Content Marketing vs. Copywriting: What’s the Difference?

Updated on January 11, 2014

Content marketing and copywriting play important roles in a definitive content marketing strategy. The two are so interdependent that one will fail to function efficiently without the other. Below are the differences between them and the roles they play in an effective marketing strategy.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the production of useful, educational information focused on solving the problem of a target audience, while subtly marketing a product or service. The quality of the content will help convert potential customers into buyers. That is why it is essential to focus on producing value in any piece of information used in a content marketing plan. The following are some of the important functions of content marketing.

For providing value: Content that helps a target audience resolve an issue or improve their quality of life is valuable. For example, if you are a personal trainer or coach, ideally, you help people get into good shape to improve their physical appearance, right? This is the value that you provide to your target audience. You can educate them about this through a comprehensive content marketing strategy.

For showcasing expertise: The quality of content you produce on a regular basis will show your level of expertise in your industry. Keeping up with industrial news, trends and innovations in your niche, and communicating them to potential clients in a simple language that they can understand will help position you as a thought leader, and motivate prospective customers to do business with you.

For building relationships and trust: The quality and consistency of information you provide will help build a strong relationship and trust with your target audience. If you make the effort to nurture them with frequent, valuable content on a regular basis, they will become loyal followers and customers.

For converting traffic into followers or buyers: One thing that will convert visitors into buyers or subscribers when they first land on your site is the quality of information they find. If they find your content valuable and useful enough, they will want to stay updated with your site or blog by subscribing to newsletters or buying your product or service.


Copywriting is the use of persuasive and compelling language to motivate people to take a specific action including buying a product or service, subscribing to a program, clicking a link, or calling a certain phone number for information. Unlike content marketing, copywriting does not provide any value for your target audience, but it is used to attract visitors to the valuable content itself. Below are the functions of copywriting in an effective content marketing initiative.

For attracting targeted audience: Your content must attract the ideal audience it was designed for. This is one of the areas where copywriting is used in content marketing. A weak and irrelevant title will leave the most valuable content untouched. The headlines must resonate with the target audience’s problem, encourage them to click through to consume the rest of the content, and promise a solution for the predicament.

For driving targeted traffic: Ideally, you use various platforms to market your business for the purpose of driving traffic onto your website, right? Incorporating persuasive and compelling descriptions of your product or service on any marketing platform will help drive targeted traffic to your site.

For example, in social media marketing, a persuasive and compelling snippet of information about content on the website is written on your networking site’s account, with a link back to the main web page where target audience can consume it. Also, in a newsletter article, a compelling title is used with a persuasive description about the content on the blog to motivate subscribers to click through to the main website where they can read more.

Additionally, when your website ranks high on Google and other search engines like Yahoo and Bing for your target keywords, one thing that will make it stand apart on search result pages is how magnetic and persuasive the title and meta descriptions are, so be sure that it is engaging to your audience.

For providing call to action: To encourage prospective customers to take specific actions, you need a strong call to action. This is another area where copywriting is very important in content marketing. The call to action can be anything from subscribing to newsletters, to sharing the information on their preferred networking platforms, to clicking a link to a designated page or requesting for more information about a product or service.

Content marketing and copywriting play different but very important roles in a content marketing strategy. Content marketing is used to provide value, establish a strong relationship and trust, and to build brand recognition and credibility. Copywriting, on the other hand, is used to attract your target audience to the content, drive traffic to a website or blog, and encourage prospective clients to take specific actions.


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