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Social Media Marketing vs. Content Marketing: How Are They Different?

By July 20, 2016January 20th, 2021Community, Content Marketing

Two of the major components of branded marketing – content marketing and social media marketing – have grown up together. They exist side-by-side in a mostly complementary fashion, leading one to the other and vice-versa.

Numerous studies shows that companies and brands with a great content marketing approach and engaging social media activity are winning the marketing awareness battle.

In an ideal world, content marketing and social media marketing work best in tandem, creating strong results when used properly in context of the audiences and assets involved. But does one work better without the other? Are there discernible differences?

Social Media Management
Brands and businesses use social media marketing to create value and interest in brands, products, people, events and activities. Social media combined with sales and analytics tools built in can have a dramatic effect on increasing leads and driving sales.

A 2016 B2B Marketing Report by Content Marketing Institute, however, shows that content marketers view social media as an effective tactic to distribute content.

Essence of Content Marketing
Businesses, companies and organizations use content marketing to inform, teach, provoke and entertain online target audiences. The content is often combined with a show-and-tell, product/service awareness slant. Content marketing goals remain clear and straightforward: develop a strategy that will increase leads, customer engagement, brand awareness, and sales revenue.

Real World Practicalities
Let’s see how this plays out in a business situation. Your company is releasing a new white paper/case study that’s important to your industry, with your team having spent considerable hours creating the work. Now, your social media team taps into the research from the published works, and seed social mentions over the course of the designated campaign period. Here’s what you should ask during this period:

  • Are you answering a need for your business audiences with the white paper/case study?
  • Does it play well on social media? Does the messaging stay congruent with your company’s overall business goals and strategies?
  • Does your social team work in tandem with the content team to drive this campaign?
  • Can you measure and analyze any site conversions through social media?

These social media efforts are fueling the brand, the work, the benefit and value to customers and prospects. Your content marketing efforts provide the foundation of your business, and act as an extension of the company’s mission and purpose. Each of these modern marketing tactics are essential to growing brand awareness. Today’s marketers need to use both in business efforts.

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