In a digital era where every aspect of how you promote your brand matters, businesses are often confused trying to understand the differences between content marketing and content strategy. These two components of a successful business plan may sound similar, but they are very distinctive – and both are essential to reaching your target audience. What you must remember is that one can’t exist without the other.

What’s the difference?

Content marketing is a strategic type of marketing. It is the effort you (and your digital marketing partner) make to develop and share valuable, relevant content to your target audience. It serves to drive traffic to your website and help build your brand. Now, what would happen if after all that effort to garner attention, your audience was less than impressed? It’s like seeing a fantastic outdoor display at a physical store, and then walking through the doors to find bare shelves. Your content strategy, then, serves to fill those barren digital shelves with information in which your audience is interested. This is what ultimately leads to an increase in followers and loyal customers.

A content strategy should maximize your reach.

Before you dive headfirst into the development of your content strategy, you need to develop and understand your overall business strategy. What are your business goals? Who is your target market? Most importantly, what does your audience want? With careful research and data analytics, you’ll be able to answer these questions and implement the best strategy. Furthermore, you must ask yourself: What, briefly stated, is the problem you solve or the product you sell? Answering those questions will help you determine what type of content makes sense – blogs, white papers, case studies, ebooks, reports, FAQ pages, product descriptions, and more.

Without a strategy, you will simply be sharing content and crossing your fingers in the hope that your content will resonate with the people who actually need and want your products and services.  In other words, without a strategy, you’re wasting your time. Developing a functional strategy demands that you know your audience.

Use the right content marketing for your strategy.

Once you’ve decided on a content strategy and started developing valuable content, your content marketing strategy helps ensure that you get your content in front of the right people. Email and video marketing, social media marketing, paid social and Google Ads campaigns, and even press releases can all be part of a comprehensive content marketing strategy. These marketing efforts can help you develop new leads and deepen relationships with your existing audience. Regardless of the approach you choose, make sure you have a message worth communicating.

Content marketing and content strategy, used in tandem, will help you reach your business goals. Generating traffic means nothing if the road leads to nowhere, and the best content does you little good if no one knows about it. You need to coordinate content strategy and content marketing to promote your business and engage with consumers. It’s not an easy puzzle to assemble, but once you find where your business fits in your industry, the conversion rates will speak for themselves. Not sure how to make the two components fit together? Contact us here to get advice on the right content marketing tactics for your business and how to boost your content strategy.