With your website up and running, you’ve probably already realised that the tough part is getting traffic. The phrase ‘build it and they will come’ has never seemed less relevant as it does today as everyone vies for attention online. This is where content marketing, strategy and advertising come into play. These may well be terms that you’ve come across before, but perhaps you’ve been left pondering what the real difference is.
You know that you need to take action to get eyes on your site. You also know that you need to do more to drive views to specific pages. You probably already appreciate that with your website, marketing content is a must, but it is only a part of the overall picture.
As you read on, we’ll be considering content strategy vs content marketing. We’ll be exploring the differences between the two and explaining why they are both essential for your online success. We’ll also be looking at content marketing vs advertising so that you can see how everything fits together to drive results.
What’s Content Marketing?
Before we look at content strategy vs content marketing, it’s worth taking the time to understand what the terms really mean. So, let’s take a look and give you a content marketing description. In essence, content marketing is about the creation and distribution of high-quality content. Generally, you need your content marketing strategy in place before you begin your content creation.
Content marketing is different to purely advertising as you’re not necessarily, outwardly, looking to sell. Instead, you’re working on building a brand and a reputation which will then ultimately boost sales and revenue.
Examples of Content Marketing
To make our content marketing description clearer, it’s useful to take a look at some examples of what is included. It’s worth noting that there are numerous ways of using content marketing, across a range of formats. The good news is that with high-quality content, you can repurpose it and use it across different formats. Here’s a look at some examples of the options that you have:
Your website marketing content is likely to consist of a series of blog posts. These posts should be informative and/or entertaining. They need to be well-researched, well written and targeted at your ideal customers. An enticing headline can draw a visitor to your site, and top-notch content can keep them there. They will be tempted to explore other posts and there’s a good chance that they’ll then visit other areas of your site and may go to become a customer.
The other role of a blog post is to boost your SEO. Each time that you post a new blog, Google will index another new page on your site. This is good news for you as, assuming that it’s correctly optimised, you will rank higher in the search engines and get even more eyes on your content.
Perhaps your target audience is more inclined to act based on watching rather than reading. The growth of platforms such as YouTube and TikTok shows that there is a huge appetite for this form of content. If you create a great video, you can easily embed this on your own website too.
When looking at the question ‘What’s content marketing?’, it’s worth considering eBooks. These allow you to show your area of expertise and create a great reputation. They can also be used as a giveaway and to bring people into your sales funnel. Giving away an eBook in return for an email address has been the bread and butter for a range of online businesses.
When looking at a content marketing description, infographics are a must. These allow you to take complex information and then present it in a visually appealing way that makes it easier to digest. Something really great about infographics is the fact that they will often be shared and so your content gets even more views.
There’s no escaping the fact that email marketing works! It’s a great way to reconnect with past customers as well as give you the perfect opportunity to upsell. A well-crafted email can produce a phenomenal return and that’s why there is so much value in growing your email list.
Just like eBooks, whitepapers allow you to show that you’re the expert in your field. These work well for businesses where their service or products take a little more understanding and where a short text ad just wouldn’t be enough. It’s common to offer whitepapers in the same way as eBooks in that they’re given in return for an email address.
Webinars are another form of content that can boost your profile and make you the go-to person in your industry. These can be held live and then later be uploaded onto the likes of YouTube so that you can expand your reach.
Does Content Marketing Work?
The fact that you’re reading this blog post right now shows that content marketing certainly works, but what makes it so effective? Well, the main reason that you can benefit from content marketing is that your audience doesn’t find it as intrusive as ads. They choose to click and they choose to read. The fact that they have found your content means that they have proactively taken steps to find it and they are your type of customer.
The other reason that content marketing works, and another way that evidences this, can be found in SEO. The more posts that you publish the more times Google will crawl your site Ultimately, providing that you have great content, your site will become more visible in search results.
What is Content Strategy in Marketing?
Hopefully, you now know more about content marketing and what it is. Now, we’re going to take a look at the question ‘What is content strategy in marketing?’. When looking at content marketing vs content strategy, the reality is that these go hand in hand. For your content marketing to be successful, a content strategy is a must.
The reason that you need a strategy is so that you know why you’re creating content and what you’re going to do with it. Blindly publishing blog posts, sending random emails or creating videos with little to no research will rarely lead to long term success. Yes, you may get lucky, but you’ll struggle to repeat it.
When there is no strategy in place, it becomes too easy to base your content purely on what your rivals are doing. While this may bring some attention your way, this leads to you lacking creativity and may also lead to you following your rival down the wrong path. With a clear content strategy, you have done the research, you know what you need to produce, and you know the best ways to distribute it.
How to Build an Effective Content Strategy
Having looked at ‘What is content strategy in marketing?’, we thought that it’d be useful to provide tips on how you can build your own strategy. Here’s a look at what you need to consider:
A Diverse Approach to Your Content Marketing Strategy
For your content strategy to bring results, you need to experiment and split test. You may find that written blog posts bring some amazing results within one area of your business, but they fall flat in another. When this happens, you could respond by investigating the quality of your post or by exploring other forms of content instead. Perhaps, in some areas, a video would work best. Maybe your blog post is overwhelming with the amount of information it holds. In this case, perhaps an infographic would be the best approach. Testing and split testing are a must.
Schedule Your Content
Your content marketing strategy needs to contain a plan. It should never be the case that one minute you’re producing and publishing an enormous amount of content, only for you to then fall silent for weeks or months. Be sure to create a schedule and plan when you’re going to publish. This will help you to manage your time and also ensure that you’re regularly pushing out new content.
Assess Web Traffic and Results
Your content marketing strategy also needs to involve reviewing your results. You need to know which channels are bringing you views and how this is translating into sales. When you know what’s working best, you can repeat and drive even more traffic and sales.
Bring in Outside Help
Running a business is tough and there are so many hats that you need to wear. The thing is, few people are rarely experts in all areas and that’s why there’s a need to consider outside help. When it comes to your content, you may wonder if it’s worth hiring a copywriter. The answer is usually a yes. A copywriter gets to know your business and writes for it as if it were their own. They know how to create content and copy that’s engaging and they know what’s needed to help your content rank on Google. A great copywriter should be an integral part of your content marketing strategy.
Content Marketing vs Advertising
While your content marketing strategy will deliver results, it’s also worth considering advertising and how this fits into the mix. Ads are different to content as they are designed, generally, to sell. They are less subtle than great copy and content, but they can be highly effective. The key to success here is using a company that knows how to produce great ad copy. It needs to grab attention and it needs to get the target to take action.
Ads can be seen as a little intrusive at times, but when the right approach is taken, there’s no denying that they work. That’s why the likes of Meta and Google are able to generate so much revenue through their advertising networks.
The Types of Ads
Turn on any TV, switch on the radio or buy a newspaper or magazine and you’ll notice that traditional forms of ads are still being used. However, it is now far more common for ads to appear digitally. These are easy to measure in terms of ROI and allow those behind them to test and adapt as and when they need to.
Some of the most common forms of these ads include:
- App Ads: These target mobile app users and encourage them to take action and buy.
- Text Ads: The likes of Google and Meta allow you to create a headline followed by a description and a link to click.
- Banner Ads: These sit on other websites and encourage people to click and visit your site.
- Video Ads: If you’ve ever watched YouTube then you’ll know that there are video ads a plenty.
- Pay Per Click: This is when you pay only if someone clicks on your ad.
- Gmail Ads: These, as the name suggests, appear in Gmail When they are seen, the user can choose to expand it and save it. There is also the option to share it, by forwarding.
How it All Comes Together
Having looked at content marketing vs content strategy, it’s clear that these are not the same thing. However, what is also clear is that they are both needed for your online presence to be a success. You need your strategy in place before you can be effective with content marketing. You need to ensure that your content marketing strategy takes into account the quality of what you’re publishing as well as the frequency.
What your content strategy will look like depends on your industry and the forms of content that work best. Of course, if you’re looking for blog posts, email marketing content, video scripts, or anything else that needs the words of an expert, at Content Conga we’re here to help.