These terms get tossed around quite a bit in marketing, but are easily confused and conflated.
And while they’re close cousins, each plays a distinct role in shaping your brand’s overall marketing and strategy.
To put it most simply: Messaging is “what you are looking to communicate,” while copywriting is “how you communicate it.”
Let’s further explore this.
Your messaging is your foundation, which means it comes first. It’s the key information that you would like to consistently convey about your brand, product or service. Messaging guides the development of your copy.
Depending on the goals of a given campaign, your messaging can vary (but should always be rooted in your brand’s overall messaging).
Copywriting is the written content. It takes your message and communicates it to your audience.
It can be informative, emotional, funny, irreverent, inspiring—whatever is the best way to reach your target audience and motivate the desired response. So it’s important to put yourself in your audience’s shoes with your copywriting. What are their unique needs? What challenges do they have that your produce/service can solve?
Messaging 🤝 Copywriting
Here are a few side-by-side examples of messaging paired with copy. You’ll notice how messaging are foundational points— overarching promises the brand can make—while the copy is made up of benefits-oriented words and calls to action to draw attention, clearly convey these messages and ultimately drive response.
|We are the leading comprehensive orthopaedic care center.||We’re pioneers in streamlined care. From being the first to offer orthopaedic urgent care to having in-house physical therapy, imaging, crutches and canes, sports performance, nutrition and outpatient surgery, your diagnosis, treatment and recovery can all take place right here.|
|We’re committed to competitive, upfront pricing.||Every quote starts with a house visit to ensure we understand all of your needs, preferences and goals. This allows us to deliver an accurate estimate with no surprise expenses down the road. Schedule yours today!|
|We believe everyone should have access to high-quality custom apparel.||Our Webstores make it easy for small businesses, musicians, sports clubs, fundraisers and the like to design and sell products online without the hassle of managing an ecommerce store. We handle all of the printing, payment collection, shipping and customer service, so you can spend more time telling your totally unique story with totally unique apparel.|
Messaging and copywriting are closely related, but they are different. You must develop your overall brand messaging – the most important messages you want to convey to your target audience. Then use it to guide your copywriting. When carefully crafted copy reaches your target audience with a consistent message, you’ll increase brand awareness and eventually generate the desired outcome.