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Understanding Content Strategy and Content Marketing (Differences and Usage)

Today, the internet is full of numerous terms and catchphrases, particularly those relating to content as a digital marketing tool. Sometimes, these words are overused, misused, or poorly used. It causes confusion and sometimes irritation. The confusion with usage arises when they are used synonymously even though they characteristically mean different things.

The most common terms, in this case, are content marketing and content strategy. While the two mean different things, most people do not differentiate them. However, it’s important to understand their differences and use them to your advantage. Since you are reading this, you have probably had a hard time trying to differentiate them. This article will look at the two phrases, their differences, and their usage.

What Is Content?

Simply put, content is the text, video, audio, graphics, print, and audiovisuals that you find practically everywhere. This article is a good example of content — blog content. Content has been relied upon for ages. Even before the internet, content was being used for various reasons. The creation of content borrows heavily on the innate nature of storytelling. It is created in different types and formats based on the audience and medium of distribution. Therefore, content strategy determines the type of content.

What Is Content Strategy?

If you are serious about creating content for your business, a solid strategy is invaluable. But what does it mean? Think of content strategy as a recipe for creating the type of content you want for your business. This recipe will contain your goals, type of content, and ways to create, distribute, and measure its performance. This strategy is what guides your content development efforts. 

Creating a content strategy requires an in-depth examination of various facets of the business or organization aiming to use it. This examination is usually centered on answering critical questions such as why you need the content, who will create it, when will you create it, maintenance, and so forth. For example, maybe you want to create content for brand awareness. Are you going to hire someone to create this content? How long are you going to create this content? Questions like these will keep you grounded, and they help you achieve your ultimate goal. More so, it will serve as a foundation for producing great content. Assuming you are creating content to use as a marketing tool, this strategy will be reliable to a content marketer.

What Is Content Marketing? 

Now that you understand the meaning of content strategy, it shouldn’t be hard to understand content marketing. In a nutshell, content marketing is using content to market your business. Content marketing uses your content strategies to create engaging and performant content.

Content that meets the desired goals is said to be efficient. Essentially, there are key metrics that reveal how content is performing. Engagement will be measured by how the audience is responding to the content. On the other hand, performance is tied to whether the audience took the desired action. This is known as conversion.

Content marketers largely run online marketing campaigns. Unlike conventional marketing methods, content or digital marketing has proven to be more effective, especially today. Compare social media posts to a salesman. Social media has a higher geographical reach than a traditional salesman, so the posts will bring in more sales than the salesman. 

Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing: What’s The Difference?

Planning to post two articles per month is not enough of a content strategy, and waking up and writing an article without the know-how doesn’t count for good content marketing assets. To have a clear picture of the difference between the two, think of it this way: Content marketing is the roadmap, and content strategy is the vehicle to reach the destination. Therefore, to establish an effective content marketing campaign, you need to stick to a clear strategy. 

Both these terms are used in digital marketing when content is in question. Fundamentally, the strategy will keep the marketing in check. To elaborate, a content strategy will help you create content backed by research, while the marketing will rely on strategies to review the performance of the marketing campaigns. It would not be a great idea to market without a strategy or to strategize without marketing. Therefore, both content strategy and marketing are recipes for success.

Content strategy will help you understand your readers by creating personas, evaluating existing content, if any, and planning ahead. This will help you address the audience correctly and at the ideal time. 

While creating a strategy and sticking to it might be time-consuming, it’s rewarding in the long run. Therefore, prioritize creating a content strategy for your business for effective digital content marketing. Your content will meet the goals you have set, and your investment in it will yield returns. 

SwingPointMedia is a marketing company focused on using content marketing, such as written articles, video and podcasts, to attract their customers ideal audiences. This approach has proven to attract higher quality customers while simultaneously reducing the sales cycle by as much as 70%.
SwingPointMedia serves local businesses in Southern California and can be reached by calling 760-422-5176.
You are invited to also attend a free weekly presentation, providing you the tools and strategy to roll out your own content marketing program for your company, or see exactly what SwingPointMedia does for its clients to achieve success. It can be viewed live on SwingPointMedia’s YouTube channel, at 11 am pst.