Copywriting vs. Content Writing: How To Hire the Writer You Are Looking For
Who do you turn to when you need a writer? Whether to prioritize copywriting vs content writing is a question many B2B CEOs and marketing managers debate when considering who they need to hire. Both copywriters and content writers solve a need for the reader. However, those readers are in different stages of the buying journey, making who to hire a function of your campaign, target audience, and goal.
Copywriting vs Content Writing
Both content and copy are vital to attaining your marketing goals when put to their proper use. While closely related, they each have their distinct purposes delineated by intent.
Copy is writing that persuades your audience to take action. You need a copywriter if you want your customers or prospects to sign up for a newsletter or say yes to purchasing a product or service. In general, copy moves people down the sales funnel. Its function is transactional.
Examples of marketing pieces a copywriter would produce:
- Digital and Social Media Ads
- Website Product Pages
- Landing Pages
A good copywriter will provide the punchy copy that grabs the attention of prospects, eliciting an immediate and emotionally driven response. Think in terms of Nike’s “Just Do It” or “What’s in Your Wallet” from Capital One.
Content is writing that delivers value in the form of relevant information about a company’s offerings and industry. The purpose of content can be to educate, entertain, or invite conversation with the reader.
With content, the intent is to engage the reader and attract leads from search engines. It’s about starting a relationship with customers and prospects to develop trust and loyalty.
Additionally, the ultimate goal of content is sales. Content brings and holds your audience close so that when there is a need, your product or service is their choice.
Ongoing, quality content sets you up for future sales. Its function is to build trust.
Examples of content include:
- Blog Posts
- White Papers
- News Articles
- Case Studies
- Social Media Posts
Similarities Between Copywriters and Content Writers
There are many similarities in the skills and functions of those who excel at copywriting vs content writing. Both will know who your audience is, how to support your marketing goals, what the sales journey is, and how to collaborate with design, lead generation, or content development teams.
Shared skills that make both copywriters and content writers valuable team members include:
- Creativity that grabs the attention of readers and leaves a memorable impression
- Originality that helps differentiate your brand and push its message above the competition
- Understanding of brand voice and tone
- Knowledge of brand personas to speak to your audience’s needs
- Time management skills to adhere to deadlines
Differences Between Copywriters and Content Writers
Because copywriters and content writers write for different purposes, their skill sets require them to build different strengths. Here are some skills that differ when it comes to copywriting vs content writing.
Copywriters are salespeople at heart. They are typically adept advertisers whose skills include:
- Ability to write headlines
- Aptitude for catchy and concise short-form writing
- Capacity to simplify complex concepts for the consumer
- Persuasive mindset focusing on the last part of a buyer’s journey
Content Writer Skills
Content writers are educators at heart. Many are subject matter specialists whose skills include:
- Keyword research and knowledge of SEO
- Capability to produce accurate and informative long-form content
- Ability to communicate via storytelling
- Authentic mindset that resonates with readers at all stages of the journey from awareness through post-purchase
Hiring the Right Writer
Choosing to hire for copywriting vs content writing comes down to identifying your needs and goals.
If your goal is to increase website traffic, a content writer with knowledge of your industry and SEO best practices would be a logical choice. That content writer could employ several tactics to achieve this goal, whether developing blog content to position you as a thought leader, producing an e-book as a solution guide for prospects, or adding testimonials as social proof.
If your website has good traffic but conversion rates are low, a creative copywriter might be able to help close the deal by improving website headlines and call-to-actions (CTAs). A copywriter’s ability to drive prospects to take action by arousing emotion and creating urgency could make a critical difference.
Can AI Generate the Content and Copy You Need?
It’s tempting to turn to AI to fulfill the work of copywriters and content writers. Some companies looking to save time and money are employing ChatGPT.
AI does tend to write straightforward, grammatically correct pieces. However, it writes like a human but not like an individual. It lacks the depth of emotion, creativity, and human experience that a person brings to their work. When content and copy need to elicit the reader’s emotions and entice them to act, AI just doesn’t cut it.
Can I Hire a Generalist Who Can Write Both Content and Copy?
You can, but the odds are you will be hiring a less experienced writer. As professionals progress in their careers, most begin to specialize. The finance and medical industries will look for copywriters that specialize in YMYL content. The technology industry relies on content writers with subject-matter expertise to educate blog readers. A generalist will provide middle-of-the-road thinking when you need to stand out in the crowd.
Where To Find Copywriters and Content Writers
There is an abundance of copywriters and content writers vying for work. However, finding great copywriters and content writers takes time and effort. Mediocre work is not going to yield the results you need when competition in the marketplace is fierce.
Here are some places you might consider looking for the writer you need.
ContentWriters is an agency that matches you with vetted, industry specialists to deliver high-performing content. This service saves time by eliminating the need to search, manage, and retain writers. The agency provides many different solutions and types of engagement to scale high-quality content.
One of the best ways to find talented and skilled writers is to reach out to your peers for referrals. A good referral will not only save you time but also reduce the risk of hiring someone mediocre. You’ll still want to make sure the fit is right, but you won’t have to go through as many no’s before you find your yes. And, if the referral isn’t available ask if they know of someone. As in any industry, copywriters and content writers know other copywriters and content writers.
LinkedIn was created for building professional networks and finding jobs. All you have to do is use the search tool or put a call out to your connections for recommendations. With LinkedIn, you’ll have access to copywriters’ and content writers’ professional information and work history. Don’t forget to take a look at their profile headline as it can offer a first glance at their skills and creativity.
Online Freelancing Platforms
Online freelancing platforms, such as Upwork, provide marketplaces for finding creatives. While you can certainly find a match through these services, be prepared to sort through a plethora of less experienced copywriters and content writers.
How To Hire for Copywriting vs Content Writing
When using any of the methods above for finding writers, an interview is a must. Whether in person, over the phone, or via Zoom, confirm the candidate’s identity and review their portfolio. You’ll want to know their skill and experience levels, knowledge of your product or industry, their costs, and turnaround times. What can you infer from the questions they ask you? Finally, always request references.
Writers go through a strict vetting process to become a ContentWriters writer including submitting samples, participating in a phone interview, and taking a timed writing assignment. Our rigorous review ensures our writers deliver on clients’ quality standards and expectations.
Professionals who need copywriting and content writing services often ask:
What is the difference between copy and content?
Copy is written material used in advertising that encourages a prospective buyer to take action by making a purchase, signing up for a service, or subscribing to a newsletter. Content is information created to educate, entertain, attract, or engage a specific audience.
How do I find copywriters?
An experienced and gifted copywriter is not easy to find. Tap into your trusted professional network for a referral. If you belong to a professional organization, reach out to the membership for recommendations.
How do I find content writers?
Content writers can be found by asking trusted peers for a referral, through freelance platforms, via LinkedIn, or through an agency like ContentWriters.
ContentWriters is a leading content writing agency that has a network of professional writers with subject matter expertise. Writers are thoroughly vetted and hand-selected based on client needs and goals. ContentWriters is the perfect partner for businesses looking to scale content creation and improve content quality.
Deborah was the kid who would rather write book reports and essays than play ball during recess. Although she didn’t score many points with her peers, it did lead to her career creating content for TV, radio, print and new media for companies as varied as Dooney& Bourke, Panera Breads, Visa, SUNY Ulster and Hudson Valley Federal Savings Bank.
She is also a principal of small packages – a digital design company, and past partner/marketing director of whatis.com, the world’s foremost reference on information technology. And, her love of food enabled her to become a contributing editor of both Gourmet Retailer and Food Distribution Magazines.
Deborah has a bachelor degree in fine art from the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford and a masters in higher education administration from Stony Brook University. When she’s not writing, her love of quilting, furry animals, friends, and family sustains her.