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


This is a question we get asked fairly often: what’s the difference between content marketing and content strategy? The two are remarkably similar; in fact, they’re two sides of the same coin that work simultaneously to achieve the same goals. That is, they both enable you to bring awareness to your brand by providing something of value to your audience. You can’t have a content strategy without content marketing and vice versa. Why? Read on.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the practice of creating content and then sharing it with your audience in an effort to promote your brand or business. The kind of content you choose to create is up to you, and the debate over the most effective forms of content varies from year to year. For example, according to Spear Marketing Group, videos, case studies, and podcasts are projected to become the most important forms of content in the upcoming year.

Regardless, by all accounts, content marketing is the foremost means of reaching your audience in order to promote your business. Content marketing allows you to give something to your users—whether it’s education or simply a laugh—thereby endearing yourself to them as a source of authority or expertise. In order to benefit from content marketing, you have to appreciate the power of content to inform your audience and inspire their loyalty to you.

What is Content Strategy?

Like we discussed in this article, content strategy is the methodology or system associated with implementing your content marketing. Content strategy is the deliberate process in which you or your team uses, promotes, and shares your content with your users. Content strategy requires just that: strategy. In other words, the purposeful process of creating and distributing the most effective content for your users.

How Do They Work Together?

Think of it like this: Content marketing is the ingredients. Content strategy is the recipe that takes all the ingredients and gives you a step-by-step process for how to put it all to work. You can’t have one without the other. Sure, you can see the value in content, but without a process of creating content (what, when, how, and for whom) and promoting it, you can bet that that content will never actually come to light. Similarly, you can plan out what you want to do all day long; but if you don’t make ideation and creation a priority for your business, nothing will get done.

Content marketing and content strategy work hand-in-hand to deliver the same results: promoting your business, generating leads, and inspiring brand loyalty. In the on-going quest to get the business results you crave, don’t neglect either. Believe in the power of content and strategize accordingly. You got this!

Scott has a passion for growing companies using marketing and consulting with businesses to make their processes better. As a speaker and author, Scott loves to share knowledge and ideas. Scott is the President of RSM Marketing.

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