Often at the center of much confusion is the interchanging use of the terms ‘content marketing’ and ‘content marketing strategy.’ In fact, for most people, the difference actually has little relevance.
However, for those who are in charge of deciding the direction of their online marketing efforts and those who work in the industry of providing suitable content materials, it is somewhat essential to know the differences.
That is not to mention, with the wealth of conflicting information available online, it’s hard to know just what to believe when you CAN find a clear answer.
Here’s what you need to know about content marketing and content marketing strategy.
After sifting through countless definitions, which all had their own take on the terms, here are the most relevant explanations for practitioners.
For content marketer Amanda Maksymiw, the definition of “Content Marketing” is as follows:
“Content marketing is the process of developing and sharing relevant, valuable, and engaging content to target audience with the goal of acquiring new customers or increasing business from existing customers.”
On the other hand, a “Content Marketing Strategy” is a bit different.
“A content marketing strategy can leverage all story channels (print, online, in-person, mobile, social, etc.), be employed at any and all stages of the buying process, from attention-oriented strategies to retention and loyalty strategies, and include multiple buying groups.” – The Content Marketing Institute
To further explain the subtle differences here, author of the book The Elements of Content Strategy, Erin Kissane has a wonderful analogy.
“Content strategy is to copywriting as information architecture is to design.”
Or as the Content Marketing Institute’s Ahava Liebtag’s understanding of the definitions infer – Content marketing is about building relationships, while content marketing strategy is more about repeatable frameworks.
What is Content Marketing?
Now that you can clearly define content marketing, let’s delve a bit deeper so we can better see how it affects marketers and content providers.
This is probably the part that most of us are familiar with, the common elements of content marketing – blogs, social media, visual content, eBooks, webinars and so forth. In fact, a content marketing team can easily consist of multiple people performing specific jobs.
- A Blogger Who is Responsible for
- Writing appropriate blog posts
- Providing feedback for contributors
- Editing other writers
- Optimizing content for SEO
- Analyzing blog performance
- Increasing subscribers and reach
- A Social Media Manager Who is Responsible for
- Building and managing social media profiles
- Creating appropriate, share-worthy content
- Listening and engaging with industry-appropriate customers and leaders
- Running and tracking promotional campaigns
- Driving traffic
In essence, content marketing is much more closely related to building meaningful relationships with consumers and industry leaders through the use of various content forms.
What is a Content Marketing Strategy?
A content marketing strategy, or content strategy, is not restrained to online content alone. Content strategy is the development, use and governance of usable content across an entire organization.
A content strategy is basically more focused on designing the end-users’ entire experience, the informational architecture available to them and the content’s utility.
The biggest benefit of having a content strategy is organizing the use of content throughout the entire organization to determine who is in charge of what content forms, how do they all fit together, what is the purpose of various content forms, and overall strategy for content.
To see what other experts have to say on the subject of content marketing vs. content strategy, click here.
As startups, small business owners and content providers it is important that we familiarize ourselves with every aspect of the content marketing industry and how it applies to us. Knowing these subtle differences can help us in both directing our marketing efforts and providing the appropriate content for the job.
For more information, head on over to the Crowd Content resources for content marketing.