What Are the Main Differences Between Content and Copy?

Elizabeth Reyn

From an initial glance, it seems like the words “content” and “copy” could be used interchangeably. Both terms are used readily to deliver information to website visitors and prospective clients on the web. Both types of writing are equally necessary for effective online marketing yet are both used for different purposes. So how do you tell the difference between content and copy?

Why Do You Need Both Copy and Content?

Both copy and content are essential in getting readers interested in your business. But writing is not just putting anything down on the page and hope it resonates; good writing needs to have a purpose. Writing fresh material for a website seems simple enough, however you need to set the tone for your readers. Are you trying to market the various products or services on your website?  Or are you informing them of something related to your business? The former is copy, the latter, content.

When To Use Copy

Copy is writing with the intent of selling visitors on your products or services. It should make them feel like they are in a store and talking to a salesperson. Copy is important to convince your target audience to stay on your pages and find out more information. It should lift the stuff on your website off the page so that they stand out to readers and keep them scrolling for more.

Copy should inform in a succinct way. If you want your copy to resonate with audiences, don’t hammer your audience repeatedly over the head with your products or services.  There are also only few things more unbearable and insufferable lengthy descriptions that go on for pages. Do your audience a favor and don’t include any of those things on your website.

When To Use Content

Content is writing that draws readers further into your website by way of blogposts, articles, press releases, or newsletters. Imagine content writing as being at a dinner table with your closest friends and you’re telling them about why the new refrigerator you just bought is so awesome.   Content is a story waiting to be shown, the story being all that you offer on your website.

The focal point of content is what you’re selling, even when you’re not directly selling. Content should always revolve around the products and services on your website. While content can be a great story, all stories, no matter how good, eventually must come to an end. Avoid telling a story that strays away from what you’re selling. Anecdotes are okay, so long as they go back to your website. Make sure the content adds value to your stuff; if it doesn’t, it has to go.

So basically, they’re not exactly interchangeable, but they are both essential to marketing your business. Think about this when you go back to your computer. Wishing you a happy and productive writing session!