Content Marketing has been the buzz word on everyone’s lips for a while now, but a lot of people still don’t understand how it really differs from brand blogging. They’re both just creating content for your site right?
Content continues to be the backbone of an integrated digital approach to marketing. That means it also needs strategy behind it so that it reaps the rewards you’re looking for. The truth is that blogging and Content Marketing each offer audiences something completely different.
In short, blogging helps tell a story about your company and lets customers know that you care; while Content Marketing provides useful content that speaks to those customers at different buying stages and helps to drive traffic to your site. Still confused? Let’s break it down.
Why Should Your Brand be Blogging?
For years, brands have been hiring writers to create editorial style content for their blogs. This works in a number of ways. From a branding point of view, regular, engaging content allows brands to connect on a personal level with their customers. It shows that they’re more than just a corporation and that they care about consumer interests and lives. This is an inbound marketing technique that draws customers to the website and earns their attention through producing interesting content.
The type of content published also gives the company more control of how they tell the story of their brand, their ethics and the lifestyle that they want to portray. This could take the form of anything from business or gardening tips to recipes, brand news and more.
From a digital point of view, regular blogging allows you to create regular content that gives people a reason to visit your site. Content is the lifeblood of inbound marketing after all. Blogs also often include examples of products in their articles to increase the chances of their content converting.
Looking at it from an SEO standing, Google loves fresh content. And writing about relevant topics also gives you more control over your cross linking strategies. This, together with an effective SEO strategy, adds up to your site ranking higher in the SERPs, which means more people will find you, which in the bigger picture, means more money in your pocket.
So, How is Content Marketing Different from Blogging?
On the flip side, Content Marketing is a whole other beast. To the untrained eye, content may just look like content. But to those in the thick of it, the difference between blogging and Content Marketing becomes quite clear. In general, Content Marketing campaigns are larger in scale than a simple blog post. The content is also generally used in a much more integrated way. It can help drive subscriptions and foster backlinks. Even Digital PR uses content in order to create stories, with journalists using branded content in a large portion of their articles (see post here on the relationship between PR and Content). By selling into key influencers in your industry, you can attract organic links to your site and reap the rewards in the form of bolstered SEO, brand awareness and traffic to your site.
This could take the form of an industry relevant e-book, an infographic, data representation or even a useful tool. By creating these resources, you’re offering audiences something that they can use while at the same time, appealing to the buyer in them. Typically, this content doesn’t directly promote the brand’s product or service at all, but rather seeks to help and delight with topics that support what’s being sold.
The aim, according to the Content Marketing Institute, is to create relevant and compelling content focusing on different stages of the purchase funnel, from brand awareness to brand evangelism. This can be done through different techniques and types of content which are then promoted through an integrated approach, and the results monitored. One thing to keep in mind is that a content marketing campaign requires much more planning and thought, as well as in-depth analysis after the fact.
When deciding to create a Content Marketing campaign, remember to ask yourself, ‘who am I appealing to?’, ‘what are my metrics for success?’ and ‘what do I want this content to accomplish?’ This will help you to create some amazing content that not only looks amazing, but actually converts.
Blogging and Content Marketing are two different forms of branded content, but they aren’t mutually exclusive. Both are important and both serve a different role when speaking to customers. When summed up, blogging aims to showcase a brand’s personality, while Content Marketing aims to create a demand through useful information.
Find out more about how MediaVision works with content and how we use it in an integrated approach on our Content Marketing page.