Content Marketing vs Social Marketing
What’s the difference?
This question definitely creates some confusion, most likely due to some heavy overlap between the two. Without getting too technical on either one, let’s take a look at what they both really are.
Social marketing is the application of marketing techniques to a campaign designed to bring about social benefit. A good example of this type of marketing takes place in Cancer awareness campaigns that tell you to perform self examinations for breast or testicular cancer. There is typically no monetary gain from asking you to be aware of cancer.
Content marketing is a technique of creating, sharing and distributing valuable content to an intended audience with the intention of creating interest within that audience. That content can take the form of a blog post, a video tutorial, a technical whitepaper, etc. Most often, the content is intended to create enough interest that the members of the intended audience will return to the source for more content. Much of the time, creating that interest is fueled by the desire to convert that consumer into a customer.
Confusing the two:
Some of the confusion comes from the adoption of the term “Social Marketing” used in reference to marketing via social media venues.
Many people tend to lump both social marketing and content marketing together as “Social Media Marketing”. To be fair, it’s pretty easy to do because there is a great overlap between the two.
When you get into Social Media Marketing, you tend to market valuable content through Social Media venues such as Facebook, Twitter or blogs. Similarly, when you launch a true Social Marketing campaign, you may use similar tactics. It makes sense to take advantage of Facebook or Twitter to launch a campaign, say about Quitting Smoking, to reach the massive number of people in those networks.
When you create a content marketing strategy, Facebook and Twitter are most likely part of your distribution plan. Why wouldn’t you try to connect with the 500+ millions potential consumers of your new report or video?
So you can see how easy it is to lump content marketing and social marketing under the social media marketing umbrella. To attempt to create some separation without watering any of them down too much, think of each of them in these terms:
Marketing campaign(s) designed to bring about social benefit.
Marketing campaign(s) designed to engage an audience for possible monetary gain. (Though it isn’t always for monetary gain)
Social Media Marketing:
Marketing campaign(s) designed to be distributed through the various social media venues available. (Online and offline)
If that helps put a new perspective on each of these strategies leave a comment. If I missed anything or you disagree, please comment and help clear the air.Tweet