Copywriting vs Digital Marketing | 7 Key Differences

The worlds of copywriting and digital marketing are closely linked, but there are differences between the two disciplines. While copywriters are typically tasked with creating persuasive content for print or online media, digital marketers focus on using online channels to reach potential customers and promote brands or products.

The differences between copywriting and digital marketing include the scope, purpose, technical aspects, payment rates, assessment metrics, and channels. Similarities between the two include the tools of trade, their interdependence on one another, and the primary skills needed to be successful.

Ultimately, copywriters and digital marketers have different goals. While copywriters strive to engage and persuade audiences through compelling content, digital marketers focus on reaching prospects and increasing brand awareness.

Differences Between Copywriting & Digital Marketing

Although copywriting and digital marketing are closely related, the two disciplines have some key differences.

CopywritingDigital Marketing
ScopeContent creationContent creation, SMM, SEO & more
Primary PurposeConversionAwareness, Inform & Conversion
ChannelsTraditional & modernModern
Payment RatesPer project, word, or hourPer project
Assessment MetricsConversion metricsEngagement metrics
End GoalIncrease conversionBusiness growth
Tools of TradeInternet & content creation toolsInternet & project management tools

1. Scope

Copywriters create content for print or online media, such as brochures, websites, and social media posts. Digital marketers, on the other hand, use different online channels to reach potential customers.

Copywriting is a more focused discipline, while digital marketing encompasses a wider range of activities.

Writing is the primary skill required for copywriting, whereas digital marketing requires various skills, such as SEO, email marketing, and social media management.

There are some digital marketing copywriters who focus specifically on creating engaging content for online platforms, while other copywriters create copy for both digital and physical formats.

This is an important distinction, because the scope and purpose of digital marketing content often differs from that of print copywriting.

The freedom and creativity afforded by digital marketing also means that there are no absolutes for what works and what doesn’t.

In contrast, copywriters who work in more traditional settings typically have specific guidelines and rules they must adhere to.


2. Purpose

One of the primary differences between copywriting and digital marketing is their purpose. Copywriters usually focus on crafting engaging and persuasive content for specific channels.

On the other hand, digital marketers have a more strategic goal of increasing brand awareness and reaching potential customers across different platforms.

When writing copy for print or online media, copywriters use various techniques to capture and engage readers.

These may include emotive language, storytelling, humor, or direct calls to action.

Digital marketers, on the other hand, often focus on creating content that is optimized for web searches and the user experience.

Marketers don’t necessarily need to make a sale with their content. Instead, their primary goal is to attract and engage users on different channels.

This is achieved through SEO, social media marketing, and email marketing. The better known their brand is, the more revenue they will make.

3. Channels

As the name suggests, digital marketing involves using digital channels to reach potential customers. These include social media, websites, email marketing campaigns, paid searches, and content marketing.

On the other hand, copywriters focus on creating content for both digital and traditional channels.

This includes online and offline media such as brochures, websites, blogs, social media posts, newsletters, flyers, advertisements, product descriptions, and packaging information.

Digital marketing is more ubiquitous than copywriting since it encompasses all forms of content created for online channels.

This allows marketers to promote brands on a wide range of digital platforms that users can access anytime and anywhere.

In contrast, copywriters are limited to a specific set of channels and require clients’ approval before creating content that appears in other media.

For example, copywriters may work with clients to create blog posts that appear on their websites or social media feeds.

4. Payment Rates

The payment rates for copywriting can be per word or project-based, while digital marketing rates can vary significantly depending on the size and scope of the project.

While smaller projects may be priced per hour or per piece, larger campaigns often involve more time-intensive tasks, such as developing an email marketing campaign or managing a social media strategy over the course of several weeks.

Copywriters typically earn less than digital marketers due to the difference in skills and scope of work.

This can mean that digital marketers earn anywhere from $55,000-$65,000 per year, compared to the $50,000-$60,000 rate for copywriters.

In many cases, digital marketing contracts are long-term because they involve ongoing content creation and promotion.

Some projects may also take time before results can be measured and evaluated; therefore, marketers may work on a retainer basis.

On the other hand, copywriters can work on one-off or short-term projects and be paid per piece.

This means they may earn more per project than digital marketers but are often less consistent in workload and income.

Payment Rates

5. Assessment Metrics

To understand the metrics for success for digital marketers and copywriters, it is important to understand their respective goals.

Higher traffic and conversion rates are the primary metrics for digital marketers to measure success.

This includes tracking website visits over time, monitoring unique visitors on social media pages, and measuring total conversions from email marketing campaigns.

In contrast, copywriters often aim to generate sales and increase brand awareness through their content.

Some copywriters may also track conversions on their websites or posts, but this is not as common due to the intangible nature of this type of work.

The metrics differ across different time periods as well. Copywriters often monitor changes daily, weekly, or monthly to assess their impact on overall results.

On the other hand, digital marketers are likely to measure success with longer (weekly or more) cycles due to their slower conversion rate.

For example, a copywriter working for an e-commerce company might be tasked with increasing sales by creating product descriptions and reviews that entice potential customers to make purchases.

To evaluate success, they may need to monitor changes in traffic on their website over time and measure the number of sales generated from each piece of content.

6. End Goal

Though there is some correlation between copywriting and digital marketing objectives, the end goal is different.

The primary goal of copywriters is to write compelling content that drives sales or brand awareness, while digital marketers focus on using online channels to grow businesses.

In the sales funnel copywriting, copywriters help move consumers from the desire to the action stage.

On the other hand, digital marketers create awareness for products or services through online channels such as social media, search engine marketing (SEM), and email marketing campaigns.

7. Tools of Trade

What do you need to do your job as a copywriter or digital marketer? First, you need the internet and a reliable computer to access and manage your digital marketing and copywriting projects.

The internet plays a key role in the work of copywriters and digital marketers, as it allows them to research their topics and connect with clients and customers.

In terms of software, copywriters typically use word processors for content creation and image editing programs to manage visual elements like logos, infographics, and promotional graphics.

Digital marketers often rely on various online software programs and platforms to help them manage their workload.

This includes social media management tools for scheduling posts, website analytics for monitoring performance, CRM systems for managing client lists, and email marketing tools to help them communicate with subscribers.

The evaluation software used is also different.

Copywriters often measure success through conversion and social media engagement metrics, while digital marketers rely on tools like Google Analytics to monitor their results.

Tools of Trade

Similarities Between Copywriting & Digital Marketing

Despite their differences, copywriting and digital marketing are often seen as complementary skills due to their focus on creating high-quality content.

1. Interdependent Roles

Although these two jobs are distinct, many copywriters and digital marketers must work together to achieve their goals. Copywriters create content that digital marketers use as a form of marketing.

Digital marketers promote copywriters’ content and provide feedback on how they can improve their work in the future.

If you want your digital marketing campaigns to succeed, you need to partner with a talented copywriter who can create engaging, compelling content that resonates with your target audience.

Additionally, copywriters and digital marketers must constantly adapt their skills to keep up with emerging trends in the industry, such as voice search optimization.

The two disciplines are closely intertwined, and everyone needs to work together to accomplish their shared goals.

Whether you’re a copywriter or a digital marketer, staying up to date with new trends and technology in the industry is essential.

Doing so ensures that your content is relevant and effective at engaging customers or clients.

2. Primary Skills

First and foremost, copywriters and digital marketers need strong communication skills to work effectively with clients, colleagues, and other stakeholders.

They must also understand different industries and target audiences to produce the right content for their needs.

Aside from these core skills, copywriters and digital marketers also need a keen eye for detail and an understanding of the latest trends and best practices in their respective industries.

Additionally, the two professionals must be able to work well with data and analytics to evaluate the performance of campaigns over time.

Another essential copywriting and digital marketing skill is the ability to create and manage content efficiently.

Whether you’re creating website copy, social media, or an email marketing campaign, it’s important to prioritize your work and meet deadlines.

Finally, copywriters and digital marketers must constantly think about improving their skills through training and professional development.

The digital marketing industry is constantly evolving. Therefore, staying up-to-date on new strategies, tools, and technologies can help you reach your goals faster.

3. Target Clients

Copywriters and digital marketers target businesses or organizations of all sizes. However, some may specialize in working with particular industries or clients.

For example, a copywriter might focus on creating content for healthcare organizations, while a digital marketer might specialize in developing campaigns for B2B companies.

You can get clients or work in various settings, including marketing agencies, consulting firms, media organizations, and individual businesses.

To succeed in these fields, it’s important to network and build relationships with potential clients and establish a strong online presence that showcases your skills and experience.

There are also platforms like Upwork and Fiverr that can help you connect with potential clients. These platforms offer various freelance jobs.

You can find the perfect opportunity that suits your skills and experience.

You can even start your own digital marketing or copywriting agency if you want premium clients and have the necessary skills. This option allows you to control the projects you take on and set your rates.

Cold pitching is another option for connecting with potential clients.

This involves reaching out to businesses directly, showcasing your talents, and explaining how you can help them achieve their marketing goals.

Target Clients

4. Working Environment

Many digital marketers and copywriters work as freelancers, either independently or as part of a larger team. Others might work in an office, depending on their specific role and organization.

The flexibility and autonomy of freelance work can be a major perk for many professionals, as it allows them to control their schedules and work from anywhere.

However, this type of work also requires self-discipline and time management skills.

Another similarity between the work environments is that both copywriters and digital marketers depend on other professionals.

For example, a copywriter may work with a team of designers to create visual content for an online campaign.

A digital marketer might collaborate with an SEO specialist to improve the search rankings of their client’s website.

5. Learning Path & Methods

A lot of resources are available if you’re interested in learning about copywriting and digital marketing.

Many universities offer degrees or certificates in digital marketing, ranging from bachelor’s degrees to graduate certificates. Online courses are another popular option for learning about these disciplines.

Many online platforms provide self-paced tutorials on various topics related to copywriting and digital marketing, including copywriting fundamentals, content strategy, SEO, and social media marketing.

In addition to online courses, many books and blogs can help you learn about copywriting and digital marketing.

Popular publications like “Social Media Examiner” or “MarketingProfs” offer tips and best practices for digital marketers.

Additionally, many industry conferences and events include workshops or sessions on how to achieve your marketing goals.

Regardless of your chosen learning method, it’s important to invest in ongoing education to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices.

You can grow your career as a successful copywriter or digital marketer by continuously developing your skills.

6. Both Are Marketing Disciplines

At their core, copywriting and digital marketing are both parts of marketing focused on promoting a company or product.

They require an understanding of target audiences, marketing channels, and messaging strategies to achieve business goals.

The marketing department of a company may rely on copywriters for print and digital marketing materials, such as website content, social media posts, and email newsletters.

Similarly, the marketing department might collaborate with a digital marketer to create strategies and campaigns that help increase web traffic or boost conversion rates.

Digital Marketing or Copywriting: Which Is Right for You?

Ultimately, the choice between copywriting and digital marketing is a personal one. Both are dynamic and rewarding fields, with many opportunities for career growth and advancement.

If you want to work in-house or on a team, digital marketing may be the right fit. On the other hand, if you enjoy working independently as a freelancer, copywriting could be an excellent choice.

Regardless of your chosen path, you can start building your skills and portfolio by focusing on the core principles of copywriting or digital marketing.

For example, you might start by learning about the principles of writing for online audiences, including keyword research, SEO strategies, and content creation tips.

Digital Marketing or Copywriting

Key Takeaways

There are several differences and similarities between copywriting and digital marketing. The primary differences include each discipline’s scope, purpose, and technical aspects.

Some common similarities include the tools of the trade, interdependence on other professionals, and learning methods.

Ultimately, the choice between copywriting or digital marketing is a personal one that depends on your interests and career goals.

Each discipline requires a strong understanding of marketing fundamentals and industry trends if you want to succeed.

With continual learning and practice, you can develop the core skills needed to succeed as a copywriter or digital marketer.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to do BJJ and play with his pet bunny when not taking a plunge into the vast ocean of funnel design, email marketing, copywriting, conversions, and customer retention.

Recent Posts