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B2B Content Writing v B2B Copywriting: What's the difference?

I recently wrote a LinkedIn post talking about a client’s brief where they asked for some copywriting, but what they were asking for was content writing.

They didn’t realise there was a difference; they just wanted some copy writing. But, there is a difference between these two skills, and understanding the difference can have a massive impact on the success of your content marketing.

two pepole typing on laptops. You can only see their hands and part of lower body. Laptops are different sizes, one is large, other small

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

My post generated a lot of online and offline discussions and comments about what a copywriter is. When it comes to writing copy, many people (and that includes me and fellow copywriters) automatically use the term copywriter because that’s pretty much what we do.

However, the role of a copywriter has evolved and adapted to the changing digital landscape. When you start asking questions such as “What results do you want from your copy? Is it to raise brand awareness or to make a sale?” it becomes clear that there is a difference in the way the copy is written. Different outcomes require different skills.

Many professional copywriters automatically adapt their writing depending on what the client wants; however, some copywriters can write copy that sells but not copy that educates, and vice versa. So I think we’re now at the point where we need to distinguish between copywriting and content writing so you can better understand what it is you’re looking for next time you want some copy written.

women sitting in front of a laptop having an online conversation

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

B2B content writing: Telling a story

B2B Content writing is about creating informative, engaging and often educational copy. Think blogs, reports, e-books, newsletters, whitepapers, case studies and social media posts.

When I have my content writing hat on, I aim to provide value to your target audience. I do this through in-depth research, including keywords and phrases, so I can write about best practices and trends, provide insights to the reader, answer their questions, and maybe even entertain them a bit. I’m having a conversation with your audience.

For example, if I’m writing for a manufacturer of sustainable roofing materials, I might write a blog post on “Revolutionising roofs: The future of sustainable roofing solutions.” In the article, I’d discuss the advantages of sustainable roofing materials, explore trends in eco-friendly construction, and subtly highlight how the company's products align with these trends while offering valuable insights to the audience.

I’m not directly trying to sell your products, I’m educating the reader, solving a problem they may have and helping to build a relationship so that when they’re ready to make a purchase, they know what they want and who to go to.

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B2B copywriting: The art of persuasion

B2B Copywriting is where the magic happens. Think about impactful ad copy, captivating product descriptions, enticing email subject lines, SEO copy and paid ads. Short and snappy, that’s the work of a B2B copywriter.

Copywriting is about persuading people to take action – whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, requesting a product demo or clicking on a CTA button. It’s like having a skilled salesperson who knows how to communicate the value of your product effectively and the right words to make your potential customer say, “Yes, please!”

Returning to my roofing materials company example, I might write a landing page with the headline “Elevate your projects with our premium roofing solutions.” The copy would describe the quality, durability and performance of the company's products and include a compelling CTA, encouraging the reader to get in touch for a quote.

B2B Content writing v B2B copywriting in a nutshell

So, to sum it up, the differences between the two writing skills are:

  • B2B content writing delivers valuable information, builds trust and engages your audience. It’s like having a professional conversation with your audience and sharing valuable insights.

  • B2B copywriting, on the other hand, is about persuading the reader to take a specific action, such as making a purchase or requesting information. It’s like having a skilled salesperson who motivates the decision-maker.

You could look at it as B2B content writing sets the stage by establishing your authority and knowledge within the industry, and then B2B copywriting steps in to close the sale with persuasive language.

female sitting on the bonnet of a car reading a map which is covering her face. She's in the middle of nowhere, hills and scrubland surround her

Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels

Navigating the B2B writing landscape

So, as a freelance B2B content writer and copywriter, I wear different hats depending on the project requirements. Content writing educates, entertains and builds relationships, while copywriting persuades and sells.

But remember, both are essential for your business’s success.

Don't hesitate to reach out if you're still unsure about which one you need for your B2B copy. I'm here to help you find the perfect words to achieve your goals. So get in touch, and let's have a chat.



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