Content Marketing vs Social Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Written on 27 February, 2017 by Trish OLoughlin
Categories Content

Two of the biggest digital marketing trends rapidly pulsating their way through 2017 are content marketing and social marketing. As such, it is highly advisable that you begin to incorporate these methods into your business model – or at the very least, start to think about them.

However, you’d be forgiven if you haven’t fully grappled the gist of these marketing strategies, not to mention how exactly they differ from one another. After all, they remain relatively new concepts that continue to expand, evolve and gain palpable traction in the digital industry.

To help you out, we’re unpicking the tapestries of content marketing and social marketing to draw delineations between the two – and also highlight where they overlay one another.

Content and social marketing– a simple explanation

In a very basic nutshell, the term ‘content marketing’ encompasses content production and creative thought strategies. It focuses on distributing valuable, relevant collateral – for instance, press releases and blog posts – to the public that inform audiences while striving to drive profitable customer action.

Social marketing, on the other hand, can be described as the implementation of smart strategies to turn your social media platforms into successful delivery mechanisms. At the crux of social media marketing lies the goal of promoting your company in such a way as to nurture your existing customers while attracting new ones.

It may seem pretty cut-and-dry, but often, these two disciplines can overlap and intertwine with one another; particularly in smaller organisations. Hence, to elicit the best results from these techniques, it’s important to delve a little deeper.

Let’s dissect these marketing strategies on a granular level…

To further feed your knowledge about content marketing and social marketing, let’s take a look at just how they differ from one another:



Ultimately, content marketing and social marketing exist on a spectrum

While there is certainly a difference between the two, most marketers will be simultaneously creating content and delivering it – sometimes with social marketing in mind, other times with content marketing being the perceived goal. For instance, with social channels increasingly expanding, brands need to think about creating unique and fresh content to populate said channels. The same works in reverse: blog posts and press releases can be shared and repurposed upon social media platforms in order to extend their reach. In other words, both techniques have tangible outcomes that can function to benefit one another.

At the end of the day, content marketing and social marketing are certainly different streams, yet both exist as storytelling devices used to promote your company. Thus, to effectively propel your business ahead, these two techniques should merge together to form a comprehensive and integrated marketing strategy.

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