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Comparing the Objectives of Writing Web Content and Web Copy

In the world of internet marketing, the terms “content” and “copy” are sometimes used interchangeably to refer to written text found on just about any page or post on the web. In most cases, it is the term “copy” that is used to describe what would more accurately be referred to as “content”. So what is content and how exactly does it differ from copy ? Let’s compare the styles and objectives associated with both.

Writing to Tell vs. Writing to Sell

The primary difference between web content and copy is in their objectives. Content is written to be informative, not necessarily to make a sale (although that might be the desired outcome further down the line). Before a potential customer even thinks about whether or not they want to make a purchase or any other type of transaction with your business, they want answers. They want to find answers to their questions and answers to their problems. That is where content comes into play.

Effective content will not only answer the who, what, where, when, and how of your business, but it should also provide a wealth of information on your industry, products, and areas of expertise. Additionally, the regular publishing of informative content to the web in the form of blog posts (such as this one) can also help with search engine optimization (SEO), allowing your business to be found more easily on the Internet.

Copy, on the other hand, is written expressly for the purpose of selling a product or service. Although the lines between what is content and what is considered copy can sometimes be blurred, copy is primarily written to persuade an action. In general, copy should be well-crafted and describe not only the unique benefits and features of the product or service your business offers, but it should also give customers a compelling reason as to why they need it. The most effective marketing and advertising copy is both persuasive and creative.

Short-term vs. Long-term Goals: The roles of content and copy in your overall content marketing strategy

The relationship between copy and content can also be thought of in terms of their respective roles in your business’s overall online marketing strategy. Web content can be an effective tool for raising awareness of your brand or business as well as for cultivating a loyal following of readers, followers, and subscribers. Informative and/or entertaining content such as website content, blog posts, videos, etc., can serve to attract attention and awareness to your business and lead potential customers further down the marketing funnel where persuasive copy can be used to sell them on the product or service your business offers.

In this sense, quality, informative content will work to attract eyeballs to your product, and copy will work to sell your product once people find it. Effective content and copy work hand-in-hand with each other and are both crucial elements to reaching your overall content marketing objectives.

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Darrin Moret, Content Specialist
About the Author

Darrin is a Content Specialist at OMNI who enjoys sipping ginger beer and bodysurfing.

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