Is your editorial calendar filled with content marketing fuel, or just content? Understanding the difference can attract more, higher qualified leads for your business.
When you think of content, do you think of one isolated piece of content on your website? Like an infographic, a downloadable, or a video? Or do you think of a full A-Z content marketing strategy with editorial content that serves a purpose in the short-term, but is tied tightly to a long-term goal? This question is not uncommon, and content marketing does fit within other marketing principles. But, content marketing and marketing with content differ in key ways, outlined below.
The Technical Difference
Branded content means a variety of things, including sales enablement materials, sell sheets, brochures, employee-related content, user-generated content, or customer service type content. Think of these as islands of branded content that as a result, support the brand.
Content marketing is taking your many islands of content, and adding
a bunch of additional islands in the form of online content. This includes blogs, social media content, infographics, testimonials, email marketing, guides, interactive content…the list goes on. We then expand upon that content strategy and connect the islands that are related to one another and help us achieve a common goal. This connection happens by ensuring that contextually relevant content follows your prospect through their sales journey and remains lock-step with their progress.
The Problem with Just Creating Content
Let’s be blunt: what’s the point? If your content strategy is not tied to succinct business goals like lead generation, lead nurturing, or customer retention, what is its purpose? Static content serves your organization by highlighting your products, services, team, differentiators, or experiences. If we continually create content that only supports the brand, or a product, we probably aren’t serving a customer need.
Content marketing gives your brand more lifeblood, therefore the term brand journalism is synonymous with content marketing. Content marketing strategy is about providing helpful content to potential customers, and weaving your brand into the story in a subtler way.
Editorial calendars and content strategies need to serve a larger purpose than just static content. Content marketing elevates your creation and distribution efforts, while working to solve a larger business goal. Marketing with content exercises creativity and stocks the sales team with great enablement materials. But buyers want their problems solved.