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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.