You’d definitely be forgiven for getting a bit mixed up by the difference between social media marketing and content marketing. There’s so much crossover and correlation between the two that it only makes sense they get a little jumbled up.

Perhaps you’ve even jumped into Google to ask ‘what’s the difference between social media marketing and content marketing?’ and found yourself right here hanging out with your friends over at TDP. If that’s the case, hello and welcome!  

We’d like to help you answer that question once and for all with a deep dive into the differences and similarities between them, so let’s do it!


Content Marketing Defined


The Content Marketing institute defines content marketing as:

‘A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.’

Content marketing involves utilising engaging, entertaining, interesting, endearing and thought-provoking content to build up your relationship with your audience to further your broader marketing goals. 

While it may integrate your key marketing focuses, content marketing is not driven by promoting your brand explicitly. Instead, content marketing involves using a number of different mediums (blogs, video, images, social posts, etc.) to generate interest in the brand offerings more broadly. 

Content marketing is not limited to one aspect of your overall customer journey – it’s integral at every touchpoint. From your website through to your social media strategy and digital advertising, a strategic approach is so important.


Social Media Marketing Defined


By contrast, Social Media Marketing is the utilisation of social platforms to actively promote a business product or service. It involves a strategic approach to using channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok to disseminate your marketing messages, and connect with your key target audiences. It may involve both organic and paid elements in order to drive results and further the business’ broader marketing objectives and targets. Because of the nature of social media and its ability to allow direct communication between a brand and consumer, social media marketing also encompasses a communication strategy for managing two-way conversations.


So what’s the difference?


Put most simply, the difference between social media marketing and content marketing is that content marketing is the creation of content to drive engagement with the brand, whereas social media marketing is a strategic approach to channels that push out marketing messages, execute campaign strategies and drive two-way relationships with consumers. Wondering which one to invest in? We’d make the argument that in today’s marketing landscape one cannot function independently of the other. Both elements are integral to a solid marketing strategy.


How do they also correlate?


Now that we’re all clear on what the difference is between social media marketing and content marketing, we can look at how they work together seamlessly to create a top-notch digital approach. Content marketing should be the most important factor of your social media marketing plan. Great content is EVERYTHANG, whether you’re looking at organic or paid activity. Getting that content on point is vital to catch your audience’s attention (and keep it!). Once you’ve got your content marketing game down, that’s where your social media marketing strategy comes in. A solid social media strategy ensures that you’re utilising your awesome content to its full potential. 

There are few things more deflating than having a piece of content you’re proud of reach five people and fizzle into the nothingness of the internet void. When you’ve got your content marketing and social media marketing working in perfect alignment, your awesome content is going to yield incredible results. Your audience will love it, and there’ll be nary a cricket in sight! We hope you’re all set now in understanding the all-important difference between content marketing and social media marketing. But REMEMBER, it’s not ‘either or’ but both, when it comes to achieving your business goals. 

If you’d like a hand making sure your digital marketing strategy is where it needs to be we, highly recommend you check out our bite-sized practical training, Content Marketing Formula for Success from our Lunch & Learn series. Or, you could check out the meatier How to build a Successful Organic Presence Session that’ll help set your biz up for success. And if you really just want a team o’experts to swoop on in and tell you what to do next? Sounds like a custom Ads or Social Health Check could be just the ticket.

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