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Digital Marketing 101: What is the Difference Between Content Marketing and Social Media?

Digital Marketing 101: What is the Difference Between Content Marketing and Social Media?

When it comes to marketing, there are many terms and strategies. A question we often get asked is whether content marketing services and social media marketing are the same. It’s a common misconception that they are the same, but they’re not, and we are here to help break down the key differences and share how they can work together.  

What is Content Marketing?
Simply put, content marketing is the development of digital pieces that are used to connect with a brand’s audience. This could be digital marketing pieces such as blogs, images, infographics, videos, white papers and more. The idea of content marketing is that these assets are used to attract, engage and retain the brand’s target audience and move them through the marketing funnel. In the case of pillar content, one solid piece of content can fuel an entire marketing campaign. That’s where social media comes in.

What is Social Media?
Social media is the platform, app or channel that allows brands to share content and connect with others. Popular social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok and LinkedIn. A social media post may be considered content, but it isn’t content marketing. A one-off post is just that, a single post. So, in order to integrate content marketing into social media, brands should aim to have a social media marketing strategy that informs the types of posts they share through their accounts.

How Do Content Marketing and Social Media Work Together?
While content marketing and social media aren’t the same thing, they absolutely work together as most content marketing can and should be shared on social media. Not only that, but brands can maximize a robust piece of content by breaking it up into a variety of smaller snippets and sharing them on the brand’s social media account over a longer period of time. For example, if a brand completes a white paper on an in-depth topic, they can not only publish the white paper and try to get that content covered by the media through media outreach, but they can use that content to create shorter blogs, infographics and videos covering easily digestible portions of the larger, overarching piece. Then, those smaller pieces can be shared via social media.

Make the Most of Both
In order to make the most of both online content marketing services and social media, brands should plan their content and posts simultaneously. If working with an agency, it’s ideal to find a PR agency that will do both so that there can be a sound digital marketing strategy that integrates content marketing and amplifies it through planned social media posts. This will help brands get the most bang for each created piece of content and will set them up for success when connecting with their target audience.

Sign up to receive a free copy of our e-book “Seven Strategies for Successful Content Marketing: Case Studies and Examples of Companies Just like YOURS that Beat the Algorithms and Won at Marketing” to learn more about how content marketing can help you reach your goals

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