Popular though they both may be, content marketing and blogging are not equal. So to help distinguish their differences, here’s a closer look at how they differ, how they overlap, and why that should matter to you.
Nobody needs to tell us that content marketing is the current “it” thing—right now, it’s the marketing strategy as hot as skinny jeans, iPhones, and going gluten-free. It’s followed closely by blogging—Or, wait, aren’t content marketing and blogging the same thing? If you’ve got a blog, don’t you have content marketing covered?
In a word, no.
How Content Marketing and Blogging Differ
From their basic definitions to their goals, content marketing and blogging are different and unique. Here’s how.
Let’s start with the basics. What exactly do we mean by the terms “content marketing” and “blogging”? What are they?
Simply put, content marketing is creating and sharing valuable, relevant content with prospects for the purpose of turning them into customers and regular buyers. Look at mega-grocer Whole Foods as an example. On the front page of their website, you see repeated invitations to how-to guides, recipes, blog articles, and more.
Blogging, on the other hand, is posting regular content to a specific site where it’s displayed on a chronological basis, from most recent to oldest. As part of its content marketing plan, Whole Foods keeps a blog featuring posts relevant to the time of year, seasonal promotions, tips, etc.
What’s the point of content marketing? Why do people blog? Are the goals the same?
Whether you’re a writer looking for a book deal down the line or a company trying to boost sales today, the purpose of content marketing is getting your target audience to know, like, and trust you enough to want to buy from you. Your end game is turning prospects into loyal customers.
The purpose(s) for blogging vary dramatically. People may blog to promote a business, to establish authority, to find online community, none of those things, or all of those things. Sometimes, companies blog as part of their content marketing strategy—giving out shareable content that draws users back to their sites.
How Content Marketing and Blogging Overlap
Content marketing and blogging are not the same, but they are related. Think of content marketing as an umbrella term for all the marketing tactics that involve creating and sharing valuable content for a clearly defined purpose—this, of course, may include blogging, just as it may include video tutorials, email newsletters, and various other tools. Content marketing is all about distributing quality content that generates a specific response, and blogging can be a great way to do that.
What Content Marketing and Blogging Offer You
With careful planning and execution, content marketing and blogging can offer significant benefits. Take a look at these examples:
3 Main Benefits from Quality Content Marketing
What will a solid content marketing strategy achieve for your business? Does it really work? The answer is yes: Content marketing can provide real benefits. Here’s proof of just some of those rewards:
1. A stronger fan base
With its social newsroom website Virgin Mobile Live, Virgin Mobile has seen huge traffic—we’re talking over a million unique views each month, with 50,000+ fans on Facebook and Twitter and counting.
2. Brand credibility
When Intuit purchased Mint.com, the company decided to make “content marketing the core of its marketing efforts,” says Evergreen Search. “[B]rand credibility was earned because of its content, and they focused on creating shareable content that lit up social networking and social bookmarking websites.”
3. Greater Authority
Credit card giant American Express has become a thought leader in the business space through its OpenForum.com, a site filled with tools for small businesses (many of which tie to Amex products). Through the site’s engaging content, American Express is more than a place to get a credit card; it’s also a resource for information—one that business owners have become more likely to trust.
3 Main Benefits of Using Blogging in Your Content Marketing Plan
There’s no question content marketing is a useful tool, but how does blogging fit into its model? Why would a company want to include blogging in its content marketing strategy? Here are some of the benefits:
1.Broader Customer Reach
New Jersey-based specialty cake company Pink Cake Box started blogging as a way to differentiate itself from competitors. In time, though, it saw results like better SEO and traffic: “Our approach helped attract links from hobbyists that led to increased search engine visibility and ultimately more customers.”
2. New Leads
B2B brand Louis E. Page, a mesh and fencing distributor, incorporated a marketing strategy involving a blog—and saw an 850% increase in sales as a result.
3. Greater Website Traffic
Hinda Incentives, an incentive company focused on sales rewards and employee recognition, started blogging and saw valuable traffic increase by about 15 percent right away—what’s more, that traffic translated to as much as “a few hundred thousand dollars in sales opportunities” in one week.