Copy vs Content
A Primer on Copy and Content Writing
Predominantly copy and content is a specific style of writing used in advertising or marketing. Copywriting is written content conveyed through online media and print materials. Content meaning can be summed up as – written material used to persuade a person or group to change views and raise brand awareness.
Writing, in general, is a very effective way to develop critical thinking skills; learning how to write, think, and speak effectively, will make all the difference between being ordinary and extraordinary.
Learning to write a compelling copy is one of the most powerful components of marketing and business strategy.
Whenever in doubt, take shelter at the feet of original masters of copywriting art.
Aristotle, the founding father of the art of rhetoric, says that a persuasive message has three critical elements:
- Ethos – the credibility of the speaker
- Logos – the strength of the argument
- Pathos – the communicator’s ability to move an audience emotionally
Of course, we live in an entirely different world than they did – they were not particularly worried about the conversion rates or SEO. Yet, they were experts at influencing readers and listeners, changing habits and opinions on a grand scale.
Copy vs Content
What are the key differences between copy and content?
- A simplified traditional definition of copy would be the words we use to make the sale.
- Copy is salesmanship in print, which encourages consumers to buy goods or services. The result is to persuade and compel a reader to take a specific action
- In contrast, content means creating and sharing valuable information to attract and engage an audience, demonstrate the ability to solve their problems and create the type of trust that could eventually lead to a purchase.
Even if a blog showcases excellent content without gathering any interest from readers, a dash of classic copywriting may be in order.
Few issues may arise here; headlines are too clever and playful – without showing the reader any benefits, or vice versa. The headline is attractive, but the content is without any value.
It is common knowledge that five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.
The third possibility could be that call to action may be unclear and confusing.
How to write captivating blog?
Cleverly weaving copywriting techniques into a blog creating rich and engaging content will compel the audience to subscribe, opt-in and hopefully share content, and help build a loyal and large audience that will become fans, thus improving the brand perception.
Must be remembered, improved brand perception creates value and increases the desirability of the product or service.
The habitual misapprehension about copywriting – is that it is a form of creative wordsmithing.
We all have many examples of friends and colleagues who aspired one time or another of becoming a copywriter and make an enchanted and easy living.
Having a way with words, being creative with witty wordplay, having an extensive vocabulary and eloquence will not necessarily make a good copywriter.
Moreover, no matter how highly Miss Petunia praised creative school essays or how wonderfully charming poetry one wrote in misspent youth, being clever and sexy with words will not help much become a copywriter.
Great listeners make excellent copywriters.
The secret to great copywriting is – research! Research results should inspire sales copy as well as blog posts.
The five essential elements to consider in content strategy:
- What goal is content trying to achieve
- Who is the audience?
- What is a unique brand story?
- Which content formats are used?
- Which distribution channels to choose?
Importance of a catchy headline
In short, the importance of a catchy headline can not be over-emphasised.
If the headline is weak or vague, the content will not get read – even if it is the best content the world has ever seen.
That is why Dedicating time to creating a captivating headline is an excellent investment of writers time – it can make or break an article.
The first sentence of the article should be derived from the headline.
When writing a headline, start with the famous four U’s.
- Useful: answer the enquiry immediately
- Urgent: tell them why they should read it now
- Unique: make it clear that this is a new perspective on the subject
- Ultra-specific: tell the reader exactly what to expect
Following the 4 U principle will do a lot to increase engagement from quality leads.
The Most Important Information Comes First
Almost every single essay ever written follows the same basic structure:
- Body paragraphs
Structuring information like this on the Web is an absolute no-no.
For good Web content, altogether different rules apply. The inverted pyramid model ( commonly used by journalists ) is applied instead, where the essential information comes first.
Good copy is like reading a murder mystery and finding out “who did it” in the first sentence.
To that end, in any newspaper, most newsworthy information comes; first details and background information come second.
By reading the headline and the introductory paragraph only, you will get the gist of the article.
The same rule relates to website or blog content; readers first want to know the big picture. Even If they are not interested, they will read on to get more detail.