Content marketing and content strategy are two somewhat related but different approaches to digital marketing that have a tremendous effect on success when used correctly. To make sure you’re using the right approach for your business and achieving maximum efficiency, it’s important to understand the fundamental differences between content marketing and content strategy.
Content marketing enables businesses to reach prospects in an environment where people are paying money to avoid advertisements.
If you have tried, you may already be creating content and regularly updating your blog.
You may start to notice some changes in the near future. There will likely be increased engagement and growth.
But it was not expected.
With content marketing, you have not achieved the anticipated level of success, resulting in a mediocre return on investment. You are not making any progress.
If this is applicable to you, it’s important to be clear about this. Content marketing is necessary to build a recognizable brand and achieve financial returns, but having a content strategy is equally important.
The Key Differences
If you are creating content on behalf of a brand, you will likely have gone through the content marketing strategy process and implemented a content strategy.
- Content marketing consists of generating and distributing online content including videos, social media posts, articles, eBooks and infographics.
- Content strategy is a process that guides the creation, distribution and management of digital content. It covers decisions regarding the type, timing and channels for content sharing.
A successful content strategy requires careful planning and execution.
What is Content Marketing
Content marketing is a type of digital marketing that focuses on creating and sharing content in order to engage customers, increase brand awareness, and ultimately drive sales. Content can be used to educate customers about products or services they may be interested in or to provide helpful advice and tips that can benefit them.
The commonly used content types are:
- Articles or Listicles
- Social Media Posts
- Case Studies
- Email Campaigns
Why use content marketing?
Content Marketing Improves SEO
Consistent, high-quality and well-optimized content can drive organic search traffic to your website and other digital platforms, which may lead to increased sales and leads.
Content Marketing is Highly Effective
There is a large amount of data that suggests content marketing can be effective. Below are some essential statistics.
- Buyers typically view 3 to 5 pieces of content prior to engaging with a sales representative, demonstrating the strong demand for content.
- Consumers typically carry out research prior to investing their finances. Companies that have blogs receive 67% more leads than those without them.
- Content marketing is an incredible lead generator – 60% of marketers agree!
Content Marketing Delivers Value To Customers
Consumers are increasingly cautious when it comes to ads, with 94% of people ignoring search ads. Content marketing helps create interest in products or services without aggressive selling tactics.
A bicycle company could publish a listicle of top off-road bikes to increase interest in their products and provide useful information to customers, instead of just advertising the products.
How to do Content Marketing
If you are interested in content marketing, here are some tips to help you succeed.
Learn From the Data
It is better to rely on data than intuition when it comes to content marketing. Monitor the effectiveness of your posts and gather analytics to identify which are performing well and what can be improved.
To improve one’s output, it is necessary to observe what type of content works, when it is best to be shared and the relevant topics or design choices. The amount of posts made will yield greater knowledge and improvement.
Address FAQ’s & Solve Problems
Review your customer questions to identify common themes – these can form the basis for content marketing initiatives. Use this content to answer their inquiries.
It is possible to create distinct content streams for customers who have not purchased your product or service but are subscribed to your marketing efforts. When constructing this content, consider the struggles and issues that may confront customers and attempt to provide relevant solutions.
Effectively use content marketing by taking elements from an article and transforming it for different platforms like creating infographics or sharing quotes on social media.
Following the recommended standards for each platform is important, as users tend to have short attention spans and prefer high quality.
Importance Of Content Design Should Not Be Overlooked
It is important to recognize that the design of your content marketing is essential as visuals can speak louder than words.
Research has shown that the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times quicker than text. Therefore, content marketers must pay attention to the visual aspect of their posts and consider adding images, audio, and videos where relevant. Additionally, Google’s search algorithms have become increasingly focused on recognizing non-textual content.
What is Content Strategy
Content strategy involves analyzing and strategizing how the content will be used, when it should be released, which channels should be used to distribute the content, and how it will impact customer engagement.
Content strategy also covers decisions on topics and types of content, such as blog posts, videos
The next step in developing content marketing is to explore content strategy and its important role as the foundation for succeeding with content marketing.
- Why are you putting the content out there?
- For what aim? Who are you speaking to and why?
- What content will ring true for them?
The aim of a comprehensive content strategy is often to build an engaged customer base over time in order to establish customer loyalty and increase customer lifetime value.
Hence why creating worthwhile content on an ongoing basis with consistent frequency is essential for establishing long-term relationships with customers – something which pure ‘advertiser-centric’ content marketing can never really replicate on its own due to the lack of personal connection it creates with prospects & customers overtime.
The goal is converting leads into sales however eventually building strong relationships so that sales aren’t just one off but consistently happen over time due to returning customers becoming loyal fans/followers etc..
It is beneficial to establish a content marketing strategy for the purpose of efficient planning, creation, delivery, and management of content.
Enhancing Your Opportunities For Success
Developing a content strategy is essential if you want to achieve desired results with your content marketing. It will help you define objectives, prioritize tasks and be more organized by creating a plan for the content you will post.
Ensure You Remain Cohesive
A content strategy can be beneficial when creating content for multiple platforms, as it allows for a uniform tone across channels and simplifies post monitoring.
An effective content marketing plan can monitor how well it is executing and identify areas for improvement. It will also assist in meeting objectives by providing content that appeals to the target audience.
Developing a Content Strategy
Once you understand the reason behind something, it is important to know the way it works. Here are some suggestions to start you off.
Perform a Content Audit
Establish a period of time to evaluate, up to one year. Divide content by topics, types and channels to observe performance.
Evaluating the performance of content and channels can provide insight into the development of a social media marketing plan. Additionally, conducting a content audit can be beneficial in understanding how to structure such a plan.
Conducting a content audit is important in order to develop a social media marketing plan.
Set Goals & KPIs
It is important to begin every strategy with defined goals. These can range from generating sales, educating customers, or establishing brand recognition.
Establish a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) that corresponds with the goal and is measurable so the effectiveness of the strategy can be evaluated.
Build Audience Personas and Targets
Gaining a better understanding of your customers is possible through methods such as surveys. Questions can cover demographics, education, professional details, pain points and objectives. Compare the results with your digital audience to create several audience personas, should there be discrepancies.
It is essential to consider which target audiences your content marketing efforts should address, as well as any that the campaign should not include.
Draft an Action Plan
It is important to keep the content marketing strategy flexible, as it can be adjusted with data insights. A plan should include the types of content, topics and campaigns to focus on, plus which channels should be used. Different media may have different objectives; make sure these objectives are listed as well.
Content marketers focus more on creating individual pieces of persuasive material specifically designed for achieving short-term objectives like lead generation/web traffic increases etc., whilst content strategists take a long term approach by continually developing more diverse forms of high quality material over time in order to build relationships & trust with their target audience resulting in achieved objectives such as increased brand awareness & loyalty/long-term customer retention rates etc.