Copywriting Versus Content Writing – What’s The Difference?

Written By Beth McDonough

On October 23, 2019

When it comes to spreading the word throughout the digital marketing world about your brand and what you offer, you likely already know that content is king. Writing that articulates your brand’s story, value, and solution to a problem your customer has is key to building a loyal customer base. What you might not know, is which kind of writing you actually need. 

Within sales and marketing, the words “copywriting” and “content writing” are tossed around seemingly interchangeably, but the two types of writing are not the same. The biggest distinction between copywriting and content writing lies in the purpose behind the words. Let’s break down copy, content, and when your brand might need each. 


Content is meant for a brand to create and distribute in order to build trust with an audience over time. The purpose of content writing is to engage readers enough so that they want to continue to interact with your brand. A slow-burn approach that informs and educates people through thought leadership and storytelling is the key to a solid content marketing strategy. 

Content writing is often more long form with calls to action that prompt further interest rather than a direct sale. The most common pieces of marketing that feature content writing are:

  • Blog posts 

  • Listicles

  • Employee profiles & interviews

  • eBooks

  • White papers

  • Regular email newsletters

  • Organic social media

Good content reaches your target audiences through rich, relevant, and thought-provoking pieces that build clout and bring brands to life. 


Copywriting is a form of content that’s explicitly executed and distributed in order to pitch your brand and your product to your target audience with the intention to prompt a quick response. The purpose of copywriting is to sell immediately rather than slowly generate interest over a period of time. 

This type of persuasive writing stems from the traditional marketing methods of concise, persuasive text that appeared on billboards, print ads, and direct mail pieces. Compelling, high-value copywriting is mostly often used in:

  • Sales email campaigns

  • PPC ads

  • Sell sheets

  • Landing pages

  • Promoted social media

Good copywriting elicits emotions using sales strategies and tactics to persuade customers to directly generate leads and seal the deal.

If you’re a football fan, let’s summarize this using a sports analogy. You use content writing to move the ball down the field, and you use copywriting to score the touchdown. Each has a different immediate focus with the same ultimate goal. So which kind of writing does your brand need to succeed in the digital marketing space? The answer, most often, is both. 

You’ve probably already figured out that this blog post you’re reading right now is content writing. And now is the part where we invite you to learn more. Sign up for our newsletter or contact an experienced content strategist at &Marketing to discuss your unique brand’s needs and how you can be leveraging content and copywriting.

About the Author:

As Content Manager at &Marketing (and for many of our clients!), Beth McDonough helps brands identify their unique voice, develop their engaging story, and execute compelling copy and thoughtful content that increase engagement and generate leads. Beth tailors a thoughtful and innovative approach to hone each brand partner’s strengths and articulate them to attract and retain customers. Beth graduated from Fairmont State University with a major in English and minors in Journalism and Technical Writing. She is currently earning her master’s degree in English at Gannon University.

About &Marketing

In today’s fast paced world, many growing businesses are struggling to modernize their marketing approaches because either they don’t have the expertise or the bandwidth to do it themselves.

&Marketing provides seasoned marketing strategy professionals and a nimble execution team to help our clients achieve their goals. Our unique partnership model allows us to augment our client’s existing teams or outsource the entire marketing function in an affordable, flexible, and transparent way.