Copy vs. Content: The Big Difference and Why You Need Both

Copy vs. Content: The Big Difference and Why You Need Both

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By: 321

April 20, 2016

In the digital marketing world, copy and content are often used synonymously to simply mean adding words to a piece, whether that’s a short blurb on an ad, navigational directions on a website, or a full blog post or article connected to your company. Many times we perform “content audits” that include everything from imagery to infographics, video, words, and more. In this case, content includes both the visual and verbal aspects. However, it’s important to understand that copy and content are far from the same thing, although they both are absolutely essential to your marketing efforts.


Definition: In publishing, art, and communication, content is the information and experience(s) directed toward an end-user or audience. Content is ‘something that is to be expressed through some medium, as speech, writing, or any of the various arts.’”

Time and time again we stress the importance of building your brand’s story. While visuals like photos and videos are also considered content, written content and content marketing is a prime way to share your narrative and be authentic. GOOD content touches the heart of your readers and gets them thinking about your brand’s story. Even more important than your ROI, content makes you a brand worth reading about and buying from. It’s also an essential building block to your SEO efforts, as Google favors long content with relevant keywords.

The purpose of writing web content is to get attention to your website through interesting, informative pieces that are relevant to your industry and on the minds of your audience. Your hope is that if your content is fascinating enough it will be shared across all social media networks by readers and generate leads to your site. Isn’t that what it’s all about in the end? Furthermore, content like blogs and press releases can be posted on other websites as sponsored posts that link back to your website.


Definition: Copywriting is written content conveyed through online media and print materials. Copy content is primarily used for the purpose of advertising or marketing. This type of written material is often used to persuade a person or group as well as raise brand awareness.”

Copywriting can be considered as text that serves as a call to action, whether that’s a slogan, advertisement, or a simple guide through your website. Copywriting sells, and it’s the core text that provides vital information about your company or topic. It’s on your homepage, your social media posts, your products and services pages, and everywhere else where words are necessary to draw in your audience. Even more so than content, copy is meant to sell your business and it needs to do so quickly in as few characters as possible. If a potential customer is not drawn to the initial copy he or she reads, chances are they won’t make it far enough to even check out your content.


In many ways copywriting can be more difficult than content writing. While content in the form of blogs and articles allow a high word count to elaborate on your topic, copy has to deliver an equally powerful message in just a few words. While copy provides the guide to learn about your business, content lets them delve a little deeper. Copy is meant to stick to the mind of the audience, like Nike’s slogan “Just Do It.” Content develops the relationship between brand and consumer, like a Nike blog about a new product.  

One thing is for sure, your marketing efforts absolutely need to incorporate both copy and content as they work in unison and support the other to drive home your message. At 321 we value the importance of copy and content in your digital strategy and passionately create written work that will grasp your audience and keep them coming back for more. To learn more about how content marketing can benefit your business, let us show you what we’ve got.

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