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The Difference Between Digital Marketing and Content Marketing

Both digital marketing and content marketing have become popular strategies for building businesses. But it’s important to distinguish the difference between the two to really grasp how you’re going to approach your online marketing. There is an overlap with both categories, so it’s easy to think that you’re implementing a digital marketing strategy when all you’re doing is marketing your content.

Just What Is Digital Marketing Anyway?

When a topic of digital marketing comes up, it refers to the broad category of using a wide range of marketing strategies online. This includes everything from blogging, SEO, press releases, paid advertising, content creation/marketing, mobile marketing, email marketing, to social media. While working with content falls into the category of digital marketing, it doesn’t define what digital marketing is.

What Makes Content Creation and Marketing Different?

When it comes to content creation and marketing, you are creating content that is both relevant and valuable to your target audience. The goal is to bring in qualified prospects into your marketing funnel, build a large following, and establish your brand online. Every business will focus on the goals that are specific to them, but most businesses look primarily to generate leads and sales while meeting their secondary goals through this strategy.

Understanding the Content Marketing Mindset

When you are creating content, you are doing so with the intent to educate, inform, or even entertain prospects and customers. It’s different from most digital marketing strategies that focus on marketing directly and asking for a lead submission or sale. What you are doing is providing value in the form of content to attract qualified prospects and bringing back customers. You’re contextualizing your message and brand while removing the barrier to purchase during the whole process.

What is Social Media’s Role in All This?

As mentioned earlier, social media falls into the digital marketing umbrella. But when dealing with the creating and marketing of content, it is used differently. Many businesses use social media to build large followings, stay in touch with their followers, and build their brand equity. When working with content, you’re aiming to get your content consumed by your target audience and having it spread all across the sociosphere. Most social media campaigns value engagement which leads to action. When working with content, you are valuing consumption which leads to action. It can be difficult to distinguish between these two goals because many businesses create content to keep their social media followers engaged. It’s not feasible to constantly send followers sales and marketing messages. As a matter of fact, it’s essential that you create good content to get your audience coming back to your brand. But content marketers know that the goal is to get their target audience to consume and come into their funnel. Once they’re in the funnel, they can interact with them through other channels from mobile, email, desktop notifications, to blogs. The secondary goal is the proliferation of their content. They want their content shared to maximize their reach. As a result, businesses that rely on content put more emphasis on researching what topics are relevant and valuable to their audience. It’s also important to note that social media management tools are typically used for businesses that heavily rely on social media to build their businesses. But proper social media management becomes even more important when you’re creating and marketing content. These tools give you important metrics on how your content is performing, how much reach you’re getting, as well as the standard engagement metrics. They also allow you to keep to a consistent content publishing schedule which is vital to a successful content campaign.

The Closing Argument

As you can see, the content marketing mindset is clearly distinguished from the digital marketing mindset. While it falls into the digital marketing umbrella, it has a completely different approach to most digital marketing strategies. With content, you are targeting different segments of your audience to deliver the best message and guide the customer journey from that point forward with consumer-centric content and brand storytelling. You are not hitting them over the head with your marketing and sales message to close the sale.

The Importance of Social Media Marketing to Small Businesses

Social media attracts hundreds of millions of daily users that come from practically every walk of life. In other words, customers and prospects abound on all the popular social networks. Reaching those people via social media marketing costs less than it would if you chose other marketing channels. For this reason alone, social media marketing should assume a vital role in every small business marketing plan. Small business social media campaigns can use sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram to build audiences and connect with customers. The process begins with the creation of profile pages that present necessary information about a brand. Unfortunately, many companies stop there, while others use their social network accounts to pitch sales. When you recognize the importance of social media marketing, your small business will use social networks to achieve the following goals:

Build Brand Awareness

Focus your small business social media strategy on the sites that will get you the most exposure. So, spend time learning which sites your prospects and customers prefer. Although creating profiles on these sites gives you a good start toward promoting your brand, you need to do a little more work.
Converse with followers and friends as you share interesting and entertaining information. Additionally, post content that addresses the real-world problems that people face and allows them to regard your brand as the perfect solution. If you can, subscribe to a social media management app to help you keep all your accounts active and engaged.
As your audience grows, people will share your content with their friends, coworkers, and family members who can use your offerings. As time passes, a growing number of people will become aware of your brand and regard it as a trustworthy source of information. As a result, many people will naturally choose to buy from you.

Increase Your Customer Base

Your social media profiles and posts should contain links that lead to your website. That way, interested parties can easily find more information and become your customers. To speed up your efforts, create a budget to spend on social media PPC advertising.
By subtly promoting your brand and responding to your followers, people will begin regarding your company as a friend rather than as a sterile entity. That human element can become the factor that causes people to choose to buy from you rather than from a competitor.
Again, social media management apps can become a lifesaver because they help coordinate your advertising campaigns on multiple channels and also measure your engagement rates for each site. You can also use social media tools to build databases of contacts, leads, and prospects.

Connect with Current Customers

Never let your relationships end after converting a sale. Instead, use social media to stay connected with your customers. For starters, you can follow up on every transaction to gauge the customer experience that your business provides. Also, when people contact you on social media regarding a question or problem, social media can become a fantastic customer service tool.
Shoppers always want to feel safe and secure. So, when they see that your company promptly and courteously addresses customer service issues, they will feel safe giving your brand a try. On the other hand, if you ignore customer comments and complaints, you tell the world that your business is only interested in money. In many ways, the way you connect with current customers on social media determines your online reputation.
Your connections with your current customers can also help you improve your business. For example, the feedback you receive can guide your choice of the products, services, and features that you offer. Similarly, by nurturing these relationships with special offers, and personalized messages, you can set the stage for lucrative repeat business.
To summarize, social media marketing can play an essential role in every small business’s marketing. However, it’s up to you to make that happen. With a little time and effort and, of course, a minimal investment, you can convert social networks into essential channels that drive growth and profitability.