Content marketing, as well as social media marketing, is a digital marketing strategy whose main purpose is to create and distribute content with the sole purpose to attract and retain existing or future customers of a business and influence their consumer behavior.
In essence, the purpose of content marketing is not to sell directly but to transfer information to customers about the business, product, or brand with the ultimate aim of increasing consumer loyalty.
Content Marketing Institute (2015) argues that the main purpose of content marketing is to make consumers smarter through correct, continuous, and relevant information, where this affects their consumer behavior. Good content causes the consumer to “stop, read, think and behave differently”.
Content marketing is part of a business’s marketing strategy and differentiates itself from social media marketing as it precedes it. Content marketing also differs from social media marketing based on certain features, such as the center of gravity, content type, and goals.
The Gravity Center
In more detail, content marketing differs from social media marketing in terms of gravity center. This practically means that in social media marketing the focus of the activity is on social media itself as long as the content is placed on the inside of social media websites manually or via scheduled posting.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, contrary to the marketing of content, the center of gravity is given to the very content placed on the website or to a microsite that aims to inform consumers, make them think and act differently.
Type of Content
Regarding the type of content and this is an element of differentiation between social media marketing and content marketing.
More compared to social media, the content depends on the restrictions placed by each social networking page. For example, on Twitter, which is a small blog, messages that do not exceed the 140-character limit are allowed to be posted.
In contrast to the marketing of content which, as mentioned above, is posted on a website or microsite, there is greater freedom in terms of type and type of content.
Finally, the two types of marketing differ in terms of objectives. Social media marketing focuses mainly on raising consumers’ awareness of the brand, increasing its awareness, and creating activity around it (buzz).
Social media marketing also focuses on customer satisfaction and retention, creating the conditions for direct dialogue with customers. However, the objectives of social media marketing vary depending on the stage at which the business is on the market.
On the contrary, content marketing is more focused on increasing demand, which is why it uses quality content creation to spark conversations among consumers online and to turn consumers into customers if the aim of the product discussion is the market.
The only convergent point featuring content marketing and social media marketing is the application of the ACT methodology.
Social media is used to attract consumers, convert them into customers and spread success scenarios for a product or service. Marketing content that precedes social media marketing supports their role and efforts to turn unknown consumers directly into customers.