Back to Blog

Content vs. Marketing - is there a difference?

What separates content marketing from pure entertainment?

Watch this short (7-minute) video discussing why content marketing is important and the main differences that will separate your content from the rest.

Transcript of the video, “Content Vs. Content Marketing: Is there even a difference?”

So, is there a difference between content and marketing, or are they one and the same?

This is something that I have gotten questions about, and I've been reflecting on it recently.

So, I am a content marketer. I work with small businesses to help the owners' craft content that helps clearly communicate with their audience and clientele:

  • Their values

  • Their offerings and value prop

  • Their business purpose

And these days, the line between content and marketing is blurred beyond recognition.

It takes numerous touchpoints with a potential customer before they will invest in your business offerings.

It can take anywhere from nine up to 20-something touchpoints before a conversion.

What is a touchpoint?

A marketing touchpoint could be anything from a social media post to a blog, post, an email, or an advertisement.

Any way you engage with a potential customer is a marketing touchpoint.

These interactions that you have with your potential clientele are really important because it helps to build trust with them.

It provides them with valuable information and insights into your business via the content of that touchpoint.

Most folks will research a business before investing in its offerings.

They want to understand:

  • the product or the service,

  • who it is that they're going to be working with,

  • how the business operates,

  • and the person behind it.

  • Most importantly, how investing in your offerings will benefit them.

The online business market is saturated with content, and the line between content and marketing is very hard to discern, which can be challenging both for business owners and for consumers.

This means that businesses, especially small businesses, must produce engaging content to compete in this crowded market.

The good news is as small business owners; we have individuality. That is where our power lies.

We have unique factors that we can draw from to create engaging content to build trusting relationships with our audience:

  • our personal touches,

  • our unique perspectives,

  • our unique experiences,

  • and our values that drive our business.

Through storytelling, we are able to build an authentic connection with our audience which ultimately leads to a relationship where they are investing in our business offerings.

So content versus marketing, is there even a difference?

Yes and no. Some content is marketing, pure and simple.

Consider UGC, which is user-generated content.

Those are the videos that you've probably seen online, with a user interacting with a product or a service and showcasing its benefits while giving their opinion. It then links directly to an order form.

UGC is essentially a form of advertising.

However, it is more engaging and interesting for the consumer.

The idea behind it is it is an authentic and honest review of the product so that people can understand how others are using it.

Strategy is what differentiates content marketing from content for pure entertainment.

A strong content marketing strategy consists of:

  • Understanding audience desires

  • Business differentiation

  • Your area of expertise

  • Your value proposition

  • Timing & placement

  • Consistency and cohesion

You must understand your audience in order to have a strong marketing strategy.

You need to understand:

  • who they are,

  • what their desires are,

  • and how that connects to what it is that you're offering.

  • Your strategy will also incorporate your business differentiators.

So, what makes you different from your competitors? What makes your service or product stand out from everything else that's out there?

Your area of expertise.

You are in business because you are really good at what you do.

So, why is that?

Why are you so good at what you do?

What is the knowledge that you have and what can you share with people to showcase that you are an expert in your field?

The strategy also includes your value proposition.

So, what is it that makes your service or product so valuable?

Why is it going to solve your audience's problem or desire?

Finally, there is the tactical aspect of a strategy: the timing and placement.

Where are you sharing your content?

Who are you sharing it with?

What is the CTA at the end of it? Are you just trying to share information and build trust? Are you trying to lead them to a sales page?

Consistency and cohesion are super important in a content marketing strategy.

You need to be consistent with what you're sharing. You need to have your content pillars figured out and everything must have a purpose.

That is the core difference between content for content's sake and content marketing. It's the strategy.

It's understanding what your ultimate goal is with your content and how you structure it to build trust with your audience to invest in what you're offering.

So, if you're interested in upping your content marketing game and organizing that strategy so that your content has a purpose and accomplishes your goals, please contact me.

I love talking about content marketing. (Frankly, I’m obsessed.) I am here to share my knowledge and resources, and I'm here to help your small business grow.

So if you're interested in all things, content, marketing, and strategy, let’s chat!

All right. Have a good one.

Sign up for Marketer Musings

Actionable marketing insights delivered straight to your inbox. 

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.