Content Marketing vs Social Media Marketing: Brand Marketing
You’ve probably heard these two types of marketing used quite often over the years. It’s true that content marketing and social media marketing overlap in areas, but what are they exactly? Content marketing is “creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a targeted audience” according to the Content Marketing Institute. Social media marketing, on the other hand, is defined as “the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media websites.” The overlap comes from the fact that both marketing strategies use social media to promote brands. However, the difference is that content marketing is meant to offer valuable information to the consumer, such as a blog post. Social media marketing is push marketing, such as pay-per-click. While both are different marketing strategies, together they are a successful tool. What does it mean for the brand marketing?
Content offers information to the customer, such as an infographic, a book, or even videos. By creating this type of content, you can develop loyalty with your customers. It builds consumer trust, because it won’t always be about promoting your business’s products. Instead, it will be about informing your audience with something that engages them specifically. After all, you will be connecting with your target audience. If you know the type of content they want to see, then you will be showing them that you know what they want. The idea is to create a conversation that not only centers around the information provided, but also about who put it out there. It’s an indirect way of marketing your brand, but also a way to show you’re a leader of your industry.
Social Media Marketing
Unlike content marketing, social media marketing is a direct way to promote your brand. Instead of offering information that your audience wants to see, you might offer a coupon or discount code on Facebook or Instagram. It is a call to action that will directly promote sales. Not only that, but it promotes brand awareness. Every link will send consumers straight to your website, which will then give you exposure. Different social media sites will have different demographics, and so using each will spread brand awareness across them all. Beyond even that, when interacting with your audience through social media sites, it creates conversation. Consumers will leave reviews and commend or leave complaints about your business.
Differences & Similarities
While there is a lot of overlap, content marketing and social media marketing are definitely two distinct things. Social media is a channel, while content marketing is a technique. When you market on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, you are opening a conversation that talks specifically about your brand. You are opening the lines of communication for consumers to give feedback and offer praise. Content, on the other hand, creates the conversation around the information given. As said, this generates trust with the consumer, and is meant for entertainment.
To illustrate this a little more clearly, consider the roles behind each marketing strategy. A content marketer will produce content, such as blog posts, videos and infographics. A social media marketer will distribute that content across social media channels. Content is the producer and social is the distributor. The producer is an expert in the field and knows how to create engaging information for the audience. They will know the correct SEO terms for blog posts that will draw in the consumer. The distributor knows when to promote content and when to engage the audience through business updates and direct conversation. Channels and content work hand in hand to create a cohesive marketing strategy.
Creating a comprehensive social media marketing strategy means making use of the right kind of content, as well as opening conversation with your audience. Promoting your brand means offering engaging information that your audience will find useful and relevant to them. But it is also about being communicative and open to talking with customers. After all, it’s called ‘social’ media for a reason. You want to create the right kind of conversation and create strong brand loyalty. Managing the right blend of content and social marketing is the key to success in promoting your business.