The Difference between Content Strategy and Content Marketing

The Difference between Content Strategy and Content Marketing

Today in order for a business to flourish it doesn’t just need content marketing but also a content strategy.

Just having content on your website will not make you succeed, yes it’s important, but you also need to set up a strategy to follow.

Content marketing strategy is your key to keep driving traffic into your site. And then you want customers to explore your site not just to visit your homepage and then leave. That’s why you need to keep measuring and analyzing the success of your content strategy.

Content marketing and content strategy work hand in hand to drive your business to success and help you achieve your goals.

So far we haven’t understood the difference between them, to make it easy. Content marketing is what you use to drive targeted traffic to your website, once the customers arrive here comes the role of content strategy. The content strategy turns those potential clients into followers and real customers.

What is the difference between content marketing and content strategy?

What is content strategy and marketing?

Now let’s understand the difference between the two of them.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is the strategy you use to drive the audience and engage them with your website by making relevant and important content that the customers need through videos, articles, or any other media. Content marketing is about creating editing and maintaining content. With content marketing, you build brand awareness.

People will trust the information you provide and will keep visiting your site for more; they will feel that you value them and their needs. So when they want to buy something they will always choose you.

You should also keep in mind the difference between content creation and content marketing because they are not the same.

What is the importance of content?

Writing great content that reaches the customer’s heart helps build trust and loyalty. The best content marketing is what is made to give the customer the answers they need and show them that you care and that they deserve more. The importance of content comes from the ability to write what the customer needs.

Customers appreciate good content which will drive more audience to your website and let them know about the products you offer. 

Content marketing generates 3 times leads of the traditional marketing and increases the traffic load.

Your audience will spend more time on your website:

Good content gives a better user experience that will attract more customers to your website and ensure you that they will keep visiting it more in the future. Creating great content will make people aware of your brand and leave them a good impression.

Gives you better traction on social media:

To reach your customers and increase your followers you do that via social media, but the important part to do so is to make trendy content, so make content with high quality and see how your audience interacts with your posts.

Gain your audience’s trust:

Writing reliable content that your customers need helps you build a strong relationship with your audience. Always write contents that answer their needs and questions, interact with them whenever they need your help and you will gain their trust.

Generate more and better leads:

Good content can generate more leads. When potential customers see your content they will probably buy from you in the future.

According to Lindsay Kolowich, the team manager of the HubSpot Academy Acquisition Content Team, “content is a great way to guide users to a landing page. Typically, you create content to provide visitors with useful, free information. You can include CTAs anywhere in your content — inline, bottom-of-post, in the hero, or even on the side panel. The more delighted a visitor is with your content, the more likely they are to click your call-to-action and move onto your landing page.”

What is content strategy?

Now that we understand content marketing let’s see what is the meaning of content strategy. What do you mean by content strategy? Some people say that content marketing and content strategy are the same, is that true?

Content strategy is to generate and distribute content, it is the plan you use to make your content serve the objectives and goals of your company, whatever the type of your content is. Putting the right content strategy will increase the customer interest in your website; content strategy in digital marketing plays a big role. Together they ensure the success of your company.

The Importance of a Content Strategy

You don’t just write content that’s not how it works, you should write content that serves your goals, put a plan and follow it. Here is why you need a content strategy:

  • Content strategy will drive more people to your site and on social media channels. It will boost your online presence and drive new followers your way.
  • You can always measure the performance of your content and come up with better content that your customers need.
  • With the right content strategy customers will not just visit your website and leave; on the contrary, they will explore your site and perhaps make a purchase, who knows?

With content strategy, you will know how to best distribute your content, how to link the content in the best way to guide the customers through your website. You will also be able to measure your success and put your content marketing efforts to use. And as you go you will come up with better strategies to use.

How do you define a content strategy?

Content strategy is what you use to put your company objectives and goals into use. Based on them you make the plan that will help use content to serve your needs.

To make a strategy you should first define what the company’s goals are, who your targeted customers are, analyze your competitors, what resources do you have, the costs, and how will you measure your performance. Based on the answers you will make the strategy. 

1- Define Your Goals:

What do you want to reach? To know the answer you should first understand the objectives of your company, your brand, and what the business really needs. Here are some examples of the goals that you might want to reach with your content strategy:

  • Growing awareness of your products
  • Supporting customers
  • Changing how people think about something
  • Attracting and retaining employees
  • Encouraging free trial signups
  • Nurturing leads into conversions
  • Building repeat customers and loyalty

As your company grows so will your goal, that’s normal. For example, for a startup company, all they need is to build brand awareness. But when the company grows they will want to pay more attention to increasing the leads. So what you need to do is to keep revising your company’s goals and your business needs.

2- Know Your Audience

To have a successful content strategy you need to know who you are targeting. Take your time figuring it out, meet with the marketing and sales team and understand your Audience.

For example, B2B marketers, want to decide on the buyer, the end-user, experts who consult on the decision, the business owner, and much more. While for B2C products, there is a less complicated cycle. They want to know who will buy and who can help them enhance their content.

To know what your audience cares about think of what your product solves then you will understand what your customers need and the information they will be searching for.

Now, it is time to decide what is the best way to provide them with the information they are looking for. Is it via videos, articles, and so on. Which social media channel do they spend more time on, is it Instagram, Facebook, or do they turn to google for the information.

When you answer these questions you will know which type of content is best to use, video, audio, images, long-form blog posts, influencer or celebrity endorsements, etc.

 

3- Examine Your Competition

Analyze your competitors; see what they are doing and what is working for them. Then start to think is there a better way to address your customers, is there anything that I can do that will attract the targeted audience?  Use some tools to help you understand what they do to succeed.

4- Look for Your Unique Position or Resources

Now after you finished analyzing your competitors start to search for what you can offer and what can’t? What makes you unique so that the customers will choose you not them? When you come up with the answers you will know how to defeat your competitors.

Also, don’t forget that it is important to know the limit of your resources, don’t offer something that you don’t have.

5- Estimate Your Investment

Estimate how much it will take to apply your strategy, always make sure that you have the required budget for your plan.

6- Plan how you’ll Measure Results

After you apply your plan you need to measure its performance, to see if its working and what can you do to enhance it.

What are the 3 components of content strategy?

1- Brand focus

To build the content strategy that will serve your company’s goals you should focus on your brand. Understand your brand and what the problem it solves, and why your customers need it. When you know that you will come up with a content strategy that achieves your company goals and at the same time answers people’s needs. 

For example, if a small bakery would like to make content that meets their goals and at the same time answer the people’s questions they will write about the source of their organic ingredients or the heritage and training of their master bakers. Instead of writing on something that people are not interested in like fuel and transportation prices. So focus on what connects the company’s goals with the people’s needs.

The goals of your company influence your content strategy, and to build a strategy you need to meet up with all the executives, marketing team, and anyone that plays a role in your plan.

2- User experience

To make a successful strategy you need to write about what attracts the interest of your customers, to engage them. Know who you are targeting and what they need, by knowing that you will know what to write about to attract them. Answer the following questions:

  • What makes your target audience tick?
  • What keeps their attention?
  • And What do they care about most when evaluating a brand or product?

Know who you are addressing to provide them with the information they need and to gain their trust. Define the best type of content to reach them and provide them with the information they need.

Also, you need to define how the visitors reached your site and what were they searching for, did you meet their expectations? With the knowledge of this information, you will know how to reach your audience.

3- Content distribution

Content is what makes the reader stay or leave; it plays a crucial role to any strategy. What will you publish? When? And, where? All of these questions are important to attract your customers and engage them with your brand. Know which social media channel is better to reach your audience.

Also, writing frequently is important, too little content and you will lose the interest of your customers. Too much and your customers will get bored. So the best is to decide the right quantity to engage your customers.

What is a content marketing strategy?

Some people like to define content marketing and content strategy as they are both the same. While others like to make distinctions between them. You can think of it as two boxes inside each other. The big box is content strategy. And the small box inside is content marketing.

And the best is to know the difference between the two of them. Someone once defined the content strategy as “a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result,” the specific goal or result for content marketing would be “building an audience that builds a business.”

While defining content marketing as: “A content marketing strategy is a plan for building an audience by publishing, maintaining, and spreading frequent and consistent content that educates, entertains, or inspires to turn strangers into fans and fans into customers.”

Content marketing strategy examples

Let’s see an example of marketing strategy:

1- Retailer

a professional women’s clothing retailer wants to reach its customers, get them to buy his clothing online, and gain their trust and loyalty to make them come back and buy more. So here is the strategy that the company followed:

  •         Using short, pithy copy for its time-strapped audience.
  •         Placing importance on images to help the buyer relate. Images help entice traffic from social media and convert site visitors.
  •         Incorporating movement and video to demonstrate unique textures in its clothing.

After the company applied this strategy their revenue reached $22.5M and 170.4K fans on Facebook. They also had a higher traffic percentage than their competitors.

2- Manufacturer

An international company that produces 3D printers and materials for engineers, designers, and manufacturers made its content strategy as follows:    

  • Attracting traffic and leads through SEO with its blog, educating site visitors with a library of resources, and helping customers and encouraging referrals in an open 3D printing forum.
  • Bringing the narrative of the company and industry into the light.
  • Producing content that’s detailed, but easy to consume. This is a departure from the usual dry technical copy for industrial products. The company’s materials use engaging images with movement, video, short paragraphs, and clear, simple writing.

They had more than 200,000 followers on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, even its YouTube videos reaches tens of thousands of views. They have higher traffic than their competitors.

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