Have you heard someone use the term “copywriting” before and thought someone was referring to this:
or maybe this:
It’s okay, you’re not the only one. But what we do here at Crafted Communications isn’t about determining intellectual property (copyright licensing). We write words that sell things (copywriting). A couple letters make a big difference in this case!
If you don’t already know this about us, we are NOT big fans of jargon, so we wanted to take some time to talk about copywriting, content writing and why knowing the difference between these two things will help you craft more memorable words for your brand.
Neuroscientist Rick Hanson discovered that for a person to really take in a good experience, they need to savour it for 30-seconds . After 30 seconds of soaking in something good, an ordinary moment can turn into something rich, beautiful and even better, memorable 🙂
People experience your business through your brand. In other words, if you want repeat customers, you need to give them a meaningful, memorable experience.
Creating a memorable brand experience is no easy feat in a world of information overload and rising bounce rates when most people spend less than 15 seconds on a company’s website. However, if you can create compelling content that holds your visitors’ attention for 30 seconds or longer, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll stick around for longer than 2 minutes!
Content writing + Copywriting = memorable content. The material you write for your business’s marketing platforms should be a strategic combination of both content writing and copywriting. To do this, you need to know the difference between both these techniques.
Here’s a quick way to understand the difference:
It’s your traditional sales pitch. Copywriting is a form of writing used in “outbound marketing” to tell and sell – let audiences know about your business and sell them your product/service. Copywriting uses persuasive language and calls-to-action (like “Buy now” or “sign up today.”) It can also be the part that a lot of business owners are most self-conscious about because not all of us love talking about ourselves.
Examples of Copywriting:
When copywriting, you are going OUT into the world and telling them “Meet our product/service. Here’s how it will make your life better. Here’s how you can buy it today!” It’s essential to a sale, but it’s only a part of the picture.
Consumers have bigger expectations of brands today. They don’t just want to be sold to, they want to feel seen, valued and most importantly, understood. Enter content writing…
Content writing (or more broadly, content marketing) is a form of marketing that focuses more on forming deep connections with audiences by solving their problems and captivating them in great stories (rather than interrupting their Google searches, or listening experiences with ads). You might hear the term content writing alongside the term inbound marketing sometimes. This is because content marketing is a way of executing inbound marketing that uses content like videos, blog stories or social media content to provide value to a customer (rather than give call to actions).
Storytelling is the most powerful way we can communicate. Our brains are always looking to keep us safe while minimizing output so that we reserve energy in case of a dangerous scenario that launches our fight-or-flight instinct. When we read something that is confusing or jumbled, it takes our brain longer to find the necessary information. It doesn’t take long for our brains to start to preserve energy… and that is when we lose customers!
The most effective way to understand information is when it’s presented as a story.
If your brand has a story that can make someone’s life better, people will listen!
Why? When you write your marketing material as stories, you have the ability to position the consumer as the main character in that story, not your business! People will care about stories that help them navigate their own journies through life. It will require some different strategies than the formulas you follow for copywriting. It will require more interactive opportunities, more imagination and setting stakes – after all, no story is interesting if you know there’s nothing to lose.
Examples of Content Writing:
Okay, quick reminder:
Content is about providing value and telling stories to help audiences develop a connection with your brand.
Copy is about asking audiences to buy, telling them how/where to buy it and how it will make their lives better.
So, if content writing is about writing stories, and copywriting is about using language that sells, then the best marketing content will know how, where and when to use each form of writing appropriately.
Before you go and write your next piece of material for your business, remember this strategy:
You should always be giving more than you’re asking for. This doesn’t mean we get to avoid the hard (and yes, vulnerable) work of selling – after all, you believe in what you make or do, you should get to receive compensation for it! It does however, mean that you need to make sure that when someone visits your Instagram page, they aren’t only bombarded with information about your products, sales, or even your brand. Make sure that 75% of the content you’re creating is helping them unconditionally, empathizing with them, listening to them and engaging with them. Then, find the right words to ask them to take your relationship to the next step, which is buying, signing up or calling.
Let us know if you have any questions about how to balance copywriting and content writing in your marketing material. We’re always here to help. Or if you need a few writing warmups before you get started, we have the perfect exercises right here to get you thinking about your audience and how your business can help them!