It’s a nice get-together and you are meeting lots of new people. One of them strikes a conversation with you... They turn out to be content marketers! You instantly connect with content writing and ask about blogs, etc. BAM! The person just makes small talk and walks away leaving you wondering what happened. If this is a familiar scenario (even if it happened to a friend) listen up!
Often when someone mentions content marketing, it is confused with content writing. Well both deal with stories but they are vastly different! How? Let me give you an example:
If you picked up a magazine and there is an advert for a new car. What do you notice first? Of course the picture of the car popping from the glossy page luring your eyes, taken in an angle to flaunt its very features! Now if the same car advert just put in writing every little detail (not just the core features but also the way car is and how it looks without a picture) would it catch your interest?
You get the point I'm sure.
Lets first understand what content marketing is; according to the content marketing institute,
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
So pretty much, anything that tells a story in a manner to captivate attention and has an agenda to sell (very important) constitutes to be content marketing. It also has another important feature – the investment is really low, using variety of channels. Whereas, content writing is that part of the marketing where you pen down words of description which may or may not accompany the main marketing medium. Blogs become a part of the main content marketing campaign however.
So, why content marketing is the next big thing or is already? Let's go back to the one thing that really makes a customer go back to an advert again and again – STORIES! (read my blog on why story-telling) – how well you package your story will lead you directly to how many customers/clients you get! Simple as that... And I can’t even begin to say how it changes and directs SEO traffic to your websites!!!
Content marketing encompasses a lot of details, almost like writing a book (which actually is a fantastic example of content marketing) - Every 'page' is carefully laid out including choosing what characters need to make an appearance. Primarily the story you want to tell; the medium used to put forth the story or shall we say 'content' (video/audio/print etc); selecting the right kind of platform to showcase the created 'content' (social media/TV/radio/hoardings/digital marketing -SEO/SEM,/blogs/websites et all ); running this whole campaign of broadcasting it (planning/blogging/designing/coalition/legal requirements/promotions et al) ; and actually putting up the campaign out there reaching their targets – pretty much makes up content marketing. So content marketing includes creation and effective distribution choosing apt channels (so next time someone says 'I am a content marketer' you know exactly what they do!)
Having said all this, it is very difficult to exactly demarcate between content writing and content marketing since one cannot exist without the other. However, a person needn’t be competent in both as he would be in either one of them. Anyone could write/make content but how it manifests into an experience, reaching out to the audience and resulting in generation of sales/network/connections/clients, is where the content marketing comes in. An example comes to my mind – it is almost like being a dancer but not a choreographer, one may be an excellent dancer/performer but not often is he/she an excellent choreographer. Or maybe acting and directing... Sigh! I could give so many such examples, but I am hoping you already got the drift...
We could go on and on about the nitty gritty nuances of these commonly mixed-up terms, but for now, let’s be content (I mean happy) to have understood the subtle difference between the two. And yes, as always, I would love to hear what you've got to say!