True copy-writing happened way before the age of social media posts. The Volkswagen ads of the 50s and 60s are the best examples of the kind of long copy favored by stalwarts of the Mad Men era. You really don’t see all that anymore! What you find today are landing pages, pop-up screens with text, product descriptions and various other forms of writing for brand websites. And what’s even worse is that all of it gets clubbed under the generic term “website content”. As a writer, it just makes my blood boil to hear someone use those two words to describe every form of brand communication. It is high time we understand website copy vs. website content.
So why don’t brands spend a little time understanding the difference?
It’s really not that hard! It will help your brand a lot if you understand the kind of writing needed for a certain platform. Also try to assess how it all ties together with your brand’s perception and online presence.
Let us begin by understanding what ‘copy’ means
Copy refers to any written communication that is used to make a sale. Therefore, good copy should therefore be catchy enough to grab eyeballs. It should make the product look tempting enough for the reader to take an action. Depending on your brand, the action could be to buy the product on offer, or subscribe to a newsletter, make a donation – just about everything under the sun.
Website content, on the other hand, does more than just sell
In other words, it tells the reader about your brand – about the people behind the business, about your products, the brand’s motto. It builds a narrative about what people see on their browsers. Blogs, for instance, a great way of building a connection with your target audience. They help you become a voice of importance in your chosen domain. The main aim with the content you publish on your site is to create a brand story, and a dialogue with your buyers.
Copy vs. Content – why it matters
Today, many marketers use the term content and copy as synonyms. Website content can include other forms of communication/information such as videos, info-graphics, imagery etc. It may seem like the distinction doesn’t matter, but in reality, it can affect your brand voice in many ways. Not every piece of writing requires a sales pitch. Similarly not every brand communication has to be lengthy and full of facts and figures. For a good brand marketing strategy, strike a balance between copy and content. It is also important that your writers know the difference between the two when writing for your website.
Website copy is best used at the top of your marketing funnel. This is where the benefit-driven pitch compels the user to make an immediate action. Think landing pages, offer mailers, on-page notifications, social media campaigns. Content, broadly defined, includes every other form of brand communication that substantiates your brand’s image and helps people find you online. SlideShare posts, white papers, SEO articles, paid blogs, videos (not ads, mind you!) – are forms of content that can educate and entertain your customers. They are mostly used near the end of the sales cycle (middle or bottom of the funnel).
Now you know about website copy vs. website content. Hopefully it will help you create a better online presence for your brand.
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