Lady with long wavy brown hair in an emerald green jumper with her right first finger to her lip looking confused. The caption below reads "Which is better - copy or content?"

Depending on where you look, it can be hard to know what the difference is between copy and content. More importantly, you may not know why that difference matters to you.

In short, copy compels someone to action and content informs and educates them. In your business, you need a combination of both to get clients to buy from you. So neither is better; they both just serve different purposes.

 

Copy and content in HR

Let’s think about this in the context of HR for a minute, and not your business.

Copy:

This is the job advert you put on LinkedIn. It’s the flyer you send out to promote a new benefit. It’s even the emails you send encouraging completion of employee reviews (or at least they should be). Yet, the reality is, none of these things are thought of as marketing copy.

Instead, they’re labelled as ‘recruitment’ or ‘employee communications’ or ‘chasing’. But what you really want is for someone to read them and take action – to apply, to sign up for the new perk or, when it comes to reviews, to complete the damn form.

Content:

Your content, on the other hand, is all the policies and procedures the company uses. It’s the letters you send about details of employment and user manuals for the self-service system so people can book leave.

All of these are focused on informing people about the whats and the whys, and giving them valuable information which they can learn from.

Writing for your business

The same principle applies when it comes to your business. You need a mix of content and copy to attract prospects, secure them as clients, and ultimately convert them to advocates of what you do.

Useful copy for an HR consultant

An HR generalist will need different copy from a recruitment agency, of course, but the principles are the same. You need copy to tap into clients’ pain points and persuade them to take action.

  • Website – this might be a single page beetle or a 30-page behemoth, either way the core pages of your website are your copy. Your home page, services, and any specific landing pages (stand-alone pages dedicated to one specific product) are all calling someone to take the next step along the buying process.
  • Emails – specific sales sequence emails which encourage people to buy from you. These may have an element of informing people about the service, but their main aim is to get people to click on a link and consider buying.
  • Adverts/Sales posts – love them or hate them, occasionally you need to put a sales post out. Something which tells people what they can buy from you and how they can buy it. This might feel counter to your core HR being, but clients aren’t psychic – you need to tell them how to buy.

Content an HR consultant needs

There’s a decent chance not everyone who comes into contact with you knows what the heck an HR consultant is. For those people, you need a way to educate them, to engage them, and to keep them coming back for more. And that means content.

  • Social media posts – These are short hits of information which help your prospects get to know more about you and your business. Posting regularly (on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok etc. depending on where your audience is) is the key to being seen by more people.
  • Blogs –Longer articles which delve into a topic in more detail (like these). They might offer tips, advice, or just information which your clients find valuable. You become recognised as an expert, they look to you for advice.
  • Email newsletter – if you aren’t already building your own mailing list, start now. Facebook crashes, LinkedIn imposes bans (sometimes for really spurious reasons), Clubhouse goes out of fashion. Your email list is yours, and it’s your way of sharing useful resources and advice with your audience.

Which do you need more – copy or content?

You need them both.

Some clients are ready to buy and the right call to action will create a sale on it’s own. But these are the minority.

Most people need more information before they realise they need you. They need to see value in your services and get why they make a difference. So you want to educate and inform them on a regular basis (content). And you need copy too so they can click ‘buy’ once they’re ready.

The examples above aren’t exclusive lists to rely on. There are lots of other aspects of copy and content to consider: LinkedIn profiles, case studies, testimonials, awards, job adverts, networking intros… the list goes on. This is just your starter for ten.

So, if you don’t already, start thinking about everything you write as a marketing piece.

Who’s your audience? What’s the purpose of the article/email/post? What are the key points you want to get across? The more you think about it, the easier it gets, and the more effective your writing becomes.

And, if you’re really struggling, get in touch. I can coach you to improve your own writing or take all the hassle away as I write things for you. You can book a call here.

 

*Image obtained through Canva Pro