I’ve also heard this question phrased: What’s the difference between content marketing and content strategy?
A quick story:
I was meeting about 60 sponsors and speakers from the Online Marketing Summit in San Diego at a small, red-walled restaurant.
It was warm and crowded with men and some women grouped tightly and gesturing loudly with wide smiles — all in the business of online marketing, internet marketing, and some content marketing. I believe I represented the only content strategy company in the room. But that’s not unusual.
A glass of Malbec in hand, I stepped inside the circles. I asked about their software, their services, and — albeit indirectly — their definition of content marketing. Here are a few of their definitions:
- “Content marketing is blogging, right?” I suppose that’s part of it.
- “Content marketing is the valuable content that feeds into a multivariate landing page.” Another part, sure!
- “Content marketing is outreach. Content strategy leads to self selection.” I like this one.
- “Content marketing is a what. Content strategy is the how.” This works for me. Combine and get “content marketing strategy,” which can be a component of your enterprise content strategy.
Content marketing needs content strategy like any other online initiative that involves content. And your content strategy likely needs a content marketing component.
The point though is: content marketing and content strategy are not interchangeable.
Content Marketing Deliverables
I realize those are all abstract definitions. Here are some examples of content marketing deliverables:
- Company-published blog articles
- Industry-published blog articles
- Public facing white papers
- Affiliate content on partner sites, including photos, videos, calculators, articles
- Content posted on social media sites, like Pinterest, Flickr, Vimeo
- Company profiles on social media platforms or industry directories
- Conversations on social media channels, such as Twitter or Facebook
- SEO driven web site pages
- Content for campaign-driven landing pages
And here are some examples of content strategy deliverables. To bring all this together into an actionable, effective plan, you need strategy. Call it a content marketing strategy, if you’d like, but whatever you do, be sure it aligns with your overall content strategy for the most powerful outcome.
What’s your definition of content marketing? What kind of content marketing deliverables are you producing?
Post updated Jan 25, 2016.