Content Strategy vs Content Marketing
If you haven’t received the words “content promotion” in your agency in recent months, you were probably on vacation.
In the online business world, content marketing is fast becoming one of the most overused terms in the industry. There is no doubt that it is crucial, and I will not underestimate the enormous power of content marketing for business. Still, another term is just as important (or maybe more) that I do not hear that often: Content strategy.
But it is the same? The answer is no! The content strategy consists of many parts, while content marketing is one of its parts.
Understanding the differences between content marketing and content strategy and planning how they should work simultaneously is one of the most important things you can do to help the digital side of your business.
Let’s take a closer look at how these terms differ and how they complement each other.
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What is Content Strategy?
Think of the plans to build a house. The programs are extremely detailed and show all aspects of construction long before a stone is moved. These maps accurately detail the measurements, where the cables and plumbing should be, the doors, windows and many other things.
A content strategy is essentially the blueprints of a business that outline exactly how content should be used internally and externally to achieve business objectives. A great content strategy answers any questions about content like:
- Why should the content be published?
- Where will we publish the content?
- When should we publish the content?
- Who do we want to see it?
- What reactions do we expect the public to have?
- What do we do with the content after it is published?
Since we have these questions answered, it’s time to get even more precise with questions like:
- What types of content do our audiences need or want?
- How should we organize and structure the content?
- Who should publish and maintain the content?
- How often should the content be published?
- How does the public find and interact with the content?
The above is a small part of what to do when creating a content strategy. This process requires time, research, and strategic planning. If you have a great content strategy, you will know perfectly what, why, and how your business plans to use the content to reach its objectives.
It is also important that you know that the content strategy you used last year should not be used this year. Although it may save you time by not changing your content strategy, not changing it can make it ineffective as it is not adapting to your audience’s needs.
Rework your content strategy every year and make adjustments when necessary, no exceptions.
What is Content Marketing
On the other hand, what is Content Marketing is typically a sales approach that serves to attract and retain customers through the creation and delivery of relevant and meaningful content. It is essentially a combination of organic marketing and sales techniques. The trick is to mask your efforts enough so that your customers don’t know you are selling to them but rather feel like they are getting informed. In content marketing, you define specific audiences that you want to send content to, and once they start consuming it, you can begin to mould the content so that the audience becomes customers.
Content marketing pieces are blog articles, white papers, case studies, public relations, social media marketing, inbound marketing, PPC, SEO, among others.
So what is the difference between this and a content strategy? Content marketing is simply an appendage to your content strategy, as it only focuses on creating, measuring, and publishing pieces of content for specific audiences. Is it specifically the Why? Your strategy and what attracts your competition.
Good content marketing can only be at its best if there is a good content strategy behind it. In other words, your content strategy focuses on the “Why?” use of the content, and also in the “Where?” and in the “What?”
Going back to the house plan analogy, you never build a house’s walls and roofs without a plan first. It is the same with content marketing, and it only works if you have a great content strategy that supports it. This support helps align branding, message, and content marketing aspects to focus on your business objectives before marketing.
Beware of the Temptation to be Lazy
Unfortunately, due to the long time, it takes to create a good content strategy, many people completely skip this step and focus solely on content marketing (the fun thing). Although concentrating on content marketing can bring you some isolated successes, it will most likely have a much smaller impact than you could achieve if you had measured how the content would be used in each aspect of your business and how it was going to be implemented. In essence, you would be betting everything on your creative side and leaving your strategic side aside.
I’m sure it’s tempting to post content on your website, show it off to the masses, and feel like you’re doing something smart, but you’re not just creating content for the sake of creating content. Create purposeful content aligned with your business goals and designed to produce a calculated response. It is the way to make your content efforts pay off.
A solid content strategy (coupled with good content marketing) is one of the best tools your business has to maximize its digital reach. Make sure the basics of your content strategy are well planned before launching your content marketing.
Make the most of this year by operational on your content strategy as soon as possible. By doing this, your content will serve better purposes and produce measurable results. You will be surprised what your content marketing can do when founded on a solid content strategy.
Also read : What is Marketing Tactics? And its Uses?
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