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Copy and Content: What's the Difference?

Do you need copy or content? What’s the difference and how can both help your business?
Copy and content both feature heavily in marketing and many businesses use a mixture of both. Whether you choose to outsource or write your own it’s important to understand the difference.
What is copy?
Copy is written in order to persuade someone to take an action and is often used in sales and advertising. It can be short and sweet like a tagline or slogan or it can be longer and more in depth such as copy on a website.
We come across obvious examples of copy every day; direct mail letters, brochures, websites, adverts, leaflets and posters. There are also some more subtle examples of copy such as the blurb on the back of a book, designed to make you want to read that book. Persuasive text on the back of a beauty product convincing you it will give you the result you’re looking for. Eloquently written menu descriptions that encourage you to order a specific dish. Quite simply copy is text that encourages you to buy, order, donate, visit, sign up, test, try, subscribe, watch, click here or take any other kind of action.
The benefits of good copy in marketing are pretty obvious. If you want to sell a product or service then creating persuasive, engaging sales copy will help you do that, whether on your website or through other marketing campaigns.
There are a few easy rules to follow when writing sales copy. Keep it simple, highlight the benefits and write for your target audience. Most importantly make sure you remember to include the call to action; tell the reader what action you want them to take next.
What is content?
Unlike copy, the main purpose of content is not to sell. Of course it can help you do this in an indirect way, but the primary purpose is to inform or entertain your readers. Content is used in newsletters, magazines, blogs, articles, e-books and white papers.
Content marketing is huge and many businesses are using content marketing to generate more leads and sales.
Providing good content will help you establish a relationship with your reader. You’ll be helping them, giving them useful advice or entertaining them and this will help you build brand awareness and loyalty.
Blogging is a great way of showing your expertise in a field and establishing a relationship with your reader. When your reader is in the market for your product or service, they will already know about your brand and you’ll have already built up some trust with them.
Blogging is also good for search engine optimisation (SEO) because search engines like websites that add fresh content regularly. Your content will probably naturally contain lots of keywords too. Guest blogging can also help with SEO as you’ll usually get a link back to your own site.
When you’re writing content it is important to remember that you aren’t trying to sell. Readers won’t appreciate being tricked into reading a sales pitch. You can include links back to sales pages, or make references to a product or service, if it fits with the copy but avoid direct selling. Make your content interesting; make it something that your target audience wants to read. Most of all make sure you remember to share it. People won’t read it if they don’t know it is there.
Why use both?
Both copy and content have a place in business, especially when it comes to online marketing. Content will raise awareness of your brand, establish you as knowledgeable in your field and bring more visitors to your website. Having great copy on your site will help you convert those visitors into customers. 
If you’d like any further information on writing for your website, blogging for business or the benefits of outsourcing then pop over to my website to find out more.