Copy or Content?
Clients often ask us a lot of questions about copy and content. We at Valorous Circle gladly share what the differences are and which should be used when. We’re now going to answer a few of those questions.
Q. What’s the difference between copy and content?
A. Copy Sells & Content Tells
Back in the heyday of print media, written words were all called copy. News copy, feature copy, editorial copy and ad copy. The purpose of copy was to sell newspapers and advertise to readers. Then, in 1741, about 35 years after the advent of printed newspapers in America, the first US magazines were published. The purpose of magazines was somewhat different. With more space and longer deadlines, writers could delve deeper into their content to tell more complete stories.
Q. Which should I use on my website?
A. It depends.
Our answer is almost always going to be content. While we know the purpose of your website is to sell your products and services — where ad copy is most useful — without histories, about pages, blog posts and product facts, your web traffic would be severely limited.
Q. Why Content?
A. Advertising Fatigue.
We recommend using content over copy on your website and blog because no one wants to be ‘sold’ to anymore. People don’t read websites and blogs to be sold to, they go online to look for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. Even when we’re shopping for a particular item, we dislike ad copy. We understand that it needs to be there, but we prefer to read reviews and real-life information.
Q: How can I tell the difference?
A: Copy doesn’t stick with us.
Content’s main focus is to provide valuable information rather than create a sale. Don’t get us wrong, both content and copy are meant to drives sales, but your website and blog will be more successful at marketing your business with stories than taglines. Content is king as storytelling and question answering both educate and entertain us. Ad copy, while effective in supermarket checkout lanes and commercial messaging, is fleeting.
We all know someone who has said, “I just watch the Super Bowl for the ads.” We watch, not because we want to run out and buy the products advertised, but because they are creative and entertaining. The advertisers know that the more often we see and hear funny words or dramatic imagery connected to their company name, the more often we are to elicit emotions and marry those emotions to brands. The more often we see Clydesdale horses, the more likely we are to think of Budweiser, regardless of where we see that type of horse.
Content is still king because we remember best the purpose of providing value. Facts and stories inform our buying decisions more than impulse.