Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing: Different, Yet Connected

Over the years, we see thousands if not millions of content a day that are both digital and physical whether it’s on TV, our phones, on a wall somewhere, in a book, or anywhere we are. The process of getting the content out into the world takes not only some time, but also takes the proper planning. Most of the content, whether it’s for a company, organization, or for anything else requires a content strategy and content marketing. They may seem like they are the same thing, but in fact they are two different concepts.

Creating and implementing any type of content, whether it’s a video, image, or a piece of writing, requires a plan of how and why they will exist where they do. Some may think that this all consists in one plan when in fact they are two separate concepts, the content strategy and content marketing. Robert Rose talks about how the content strategy is the “how” and the content marketing aspect of it all is the “why”.

To begin, content marketing focuses to “draw and develop the larger story… to tell, and focus on ways to engage an audience, using content so that it changes or enhances a behavior,” (Robert Rose). Matt Bowman states that some of the content that stems from the content marketing includes video marketing, infographics, blog posts, and so much more. Marketing is all about how to get the target audience and a potential audience to feel some kind of emotion towards the content that will be delivered. Those involved in this process needs to figure out what will grab their attention and they can plan all these different ideas that can be impossible to actually implement until there is a clear and concise plan.

That’s where the content strategy comes into play. Content strategy fine tunes everything, so to speak. All the plans no matter how elaborate has to be planned out and filtered out into what can be done, what the proper way to do it will be, and how to do it so it will be successful. Robert Rose talks about content strategy in that it “ensures that story, language, and management processes work consistently and efficiently across multiple teams, languages, and every publication the brand leverages.” Also, the content strategy includes those who will be beneficial and help in different areas whether it’s with the budget, helping the project move forward, and even in different areas of the project (getting the project to the target audience, creating a part of the project, etc.). Meghan Casey calls them the stakeholders in her book The Content Strategy Toolkit: Methods, Guidelines, and Templates for Getting Content Right. She goes on to explain how each stakeholder not only makes decisions to help the project along, but they also add their expertise in different areas to make sure the project becomes more of a success. The content strategy is more like managing the content in different areas across the organization or even company. Matt Bowman states, “By simply creating content and distributing it, you may miss out on great opportunities. This is akin to throwing things at a wall and hoping they’ll stick. Instead of placing content wherever, craft a strategy that ties in with your branding and goals.” So while crafting the perfect content to deliver to the target audience is great and all, it’s nothing without the best content strategy. This strategy allows for the content to be in the best places that will sure be seen by the target audience where they will be able to react to it, but to also have it reflect the company, organization, or people in the best light possible.

All in all, a content exists with the aid of both a content strategy and with the best content marketing. Without one of these strategies the content won’t be as successful as it could be, and won’t be able to not only reach the target audience but to have them react to it in the way they had hoped. So while content strategy and marketing are two separate concepts, in a way they are connected to each other as they should be.


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