Updated: Sep 1
Most people including myself initially are confused with the terms Copyright and Copywrite. While these two terms are used frequently in digital marketing, they are often used one over another. This article will clarify the differences between these terms and dive into the subject to some extent.
What is Copyright and How is it different from Trademark or Patent?
Copyright protects the expression of an idea, the exact words or form chosen to convey the idea but does not include the idea itself or the procedures, processes, systems, methods, concepts, and discoveries which are protected under Trademark. It may also not include facts, names, titles, short phrases, typeface, fonts and lettering, blank forms, familiar symbols, and designs that may be protected under Patent. Copyright protection is governed by Law. While most countries do not have strict laws pertaining to copyright they do exist in some form.
Copyright protects the expressive content of work independently created by the author, not underlying thoughts and ideas. This kind of work must be fixed in nature, meaning one that you can see or hear, and if you cannot, some technological device that can. It need not be permanent, but cannot be too short or transitory.
Registering the work with the copyright office creates a public record of the work. Copyright laws give authors certain exclusive rights in their work for a limited time. As per Federal law, Copyright laws generally last for the life of the author plus 70 years, or works made for hire or anonymous works may last either 95 years from the date of first publication or 120 years from the date of creation whichever is shorter, while the works created before 1978 have a different term calculation.
Though copyright laws may seem to prohibit any other individual from making use of any other author's works, Fair Use may be an exception to the same, which allows journalists to use copyrighted text in news reports or for authors to parody another author's work. Also, First Sale Doctrine allows the owner to sell a copy of protected work to resell or otherwise dispose of that copy. Used book stores work on this exception. A "Creative Commons License" may be issued to grant permission to users to use copyright-protected content.
Plagiarism is a violation of copyright law. This is when you use someone else's words or ideas in some concrete form without crediting the source and present them as your own.
Types of Plagiarism
Verbatim - when you use the exact same words without quoting the author.
PatchWork - when you use some part of the content here and there
Paraphrasing - when you rephrase the content by replacing a few words
Global - when you use the entire work and present it as your own
Self - when you copy your old work and present it as new
There are many tools out there in the market that protect your content from plagiarism. Turnitin is the best know plagiarism checker used by most brands but does not come cheap so try out some free tools mentioned in this video.
What is Copywriting?
Copywriting is the art of crafting words for the sole purpose of conversion. Simply put, it is writing to generate action. In marketing, every piece of content published is to suit the prospects pertaining to their sales lifecycle which is measured through the AIDA funnel.
Copywriting is the messaging that fuels an entire business. It is used in various marketing materials like sales pitches, websites, emails, promotional videos, direct mail flyers, catalogs, advertising campaigns, and others.
The message itself is referred to as copy and the best copy establishes a connection with the audience. It always compels the prospect into seeing the next message. Copywriting is for a single Call to Action(CTA) and is unidirectional
How is Content writing different from Copywriting?
Content writing is different from Copywriting, while content is for engagement and brand awareness, copywriting is for sales. Content writing is also important for business and is usually through content mediums like blog posts, videos, social media, and others. Content writing educates the audience and organically builds relationships with them.
How to write a good copy?
Copywriting is usually established with a strong headline, subject, or opening statement depending on the medium whether it is a sales pitch, email, ad campaign, website article, or video script. A good copy usually lets the prospect know what lies for them if they crack the deal. The product may be out of the world but if the user is not convinced to use it, then that copy was not good enough and so was copywriting. Any copy is termed successful if the prospect takes the call to action. The copy must also include the solutions to the prospect's problems. Just plain promise without solving any existing problem can fail the copy. Also, every copy must hold a single call to action.
Use our shampoo and get black hair in 10 days!
Click to get a 10% discount.
Buy in the next 5 min to save 100$!
These are a few catchy headline phrases that can generate curiosity and compel the reader into impulse buying the product. These are a few instances of good copywriting.
While we understand what good copywriting must include, we must also need to know what to avoid.
Generalizing the copy for all categories of the audience is a waste of time, instead, target a segment to generate a higher call to action.
Avoid highlighting the features in the copy, instead convert features to benefits. For example, if your device is backed by solar power, you can instead say - "Always available".
Fancy language or usage of complex terms can confuse your audience, instead, use simple phrases to convey the message.
Hope this article gives clarity on the two most misinterpreted and often interchanged terms in digital marketing "Copyright" and "Copywriting". For more useful articles on digital marketing click here.