Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing – Is There a Difference?

As a business owner, you need to make decisions every day. One of these decisions should be focused on how to drive customers to your business. If you’ve been considering using content to drive new business but have become confused between content strategy and content marketing, we have good news. We can help you understand the differences between content strategy and content marketing.  

In order to take down the jargon, we will use this example: let’s say you want to travel in a van across states, and Alaska is your final goal. But you can’t go to Alaska without a map, right? To make it happen, you get a GPS and internet data for your trip. That process can be considered your strategy to get to Alaska.  

Now that you have your strategy mapped out, you will need to put those decisions into action. Making the moves, packing, gassing up your van, heading out on the road, and avoiding the moose can all be considered marketing in this example. The relationship between content strategy vs. content marketing is very similar to the relationship between planning and taking a trip.  

Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing: The Concepts  

Some of you may be thinking, “That was a lovely little story, but I still don’t quite get it.” No worries, we will dig further into the technical terminology, benefits, and differences below.   

What Is a Content Strategy? 

A strategy is a series of steps that you will take in order to achieve your goals. In the case of a content strategy, it is your guide, map, or master plan to get you to the finish line with content. In your content strategy, you will need to define what content you want to create, in which format you want to present it, plan the resources and time you need to do it, and how you will manage this content after it’s published. 

Benefits of a Content Strategy 

It seems as though creating a content strategy is a lot of work! Why would you want to do that? Well, implementing a content strategy can bring different benefits to your business: 

  1. Define your brand: by defining a content strategy, you analyze the messages your brand wants to share with your audience. Choosing your messages allows you to build a more consistent image of your business and embrace your brand identity.  
  1. Alignment between your goals and efforts: a content strategy ensures that the content you make is valuable and helps you achieve your business goals. It gives you direction and structure for your day-to-day efforts. 
  1. Plan and organization: A content strategy also forces you to determine the time and approach to plan your content creation. Counting with guidelines makes the process of creating content easier and more fluid.  

What is Content Marketing? 

Content marketing is a strategy used to attract, engage, and retain an audience by creating valuable content. This could be videos, blog posts, infographics, articles, podcasts, use cases, case studies, whitepapers, etc.  

Suggested read: Content marketing: what that means and why it works 

Benefits of Content Marketing 

There are different benefits that content marketing brings to a business. Let’s get to know a few of them: 

  1. Nurture relationships: by creating content that is helpful to your audience, you create a deeper bond with your current or prospective customers.  
  1. Improves brand reputation: the content you create will reflect your knowledge and your brand’s personality. Creating high-quality, informative, and helpful content will express your business’s professionalism and character. 
  1. Reach new audiences and leads: by answering doubts and questions and providing helpful resources, you can reach new people who will trust in your knowledge, and this can turn into leads or new customers.  
  1. Help you rank better in search engines: making valuable content can also help your search engine optimization (SEO) scores. Search engines appreciate informative, practical, and updated content, which can take you to the first pages of search results. 
  1. Marketing on a budget: content marketing is a cost-effective strategy that will have more benefits in the long run, although it can take some time. The content you create can help you for as long as it’s helpful for your audience, and it’s a marketing effort that doesn’t need as many resources as other traditional methods such as advertising.  

Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing: So, What’s the Difference? 

Now we know about these concepts and their benefits, it’s time to untie this match between content strategy vs. content marketing: 

A content strategy is the planning and thought process of defining your content goals and how you will achieve them. Following the previous Alaska allegory, it’s to determine the time and the things you will need for your trip. 

Content marketing, on the other hand, is the actual work and creation of said content. It would be the real driving to get you to Alaska. Both go hand in hand, and they complement each other. 

To explain this in a simpler way, a content strategy is all those ideas and planning behind the content, and content marketing is the time and effort you put into creating the product you’re going to deliver to your audience. 

For example, A CEO can decide that they are going to need a video to launch a new product (strategy), but a filmmaker is responsible for actually developing and making that video a reality (content).  

Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing: The Experts  

In conclusion, there’s no content strategy vs. content marketing match. It’s all a team game!  

Are you ready to win the race with these fantastic players? Contact GreenStar Marketing! We can guide you through the development and execution of your marketing strategy and create the content your business and your audience need! Deliver helpful content and build a brand reputation with the knowledge of our marketing experts!

Stephanie Benzik

Stephanie Benzik

Stephanie is the Senior Director of Marketing at GreenStar Marketing. She started out studying Interior Architecture and Design, but found her true passion in Marketing. Stephanie has been working in the Telecommunications industry since 2013. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, spending time with her family and dogs, and binge-watching Netflix.
Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing
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