Internet technologies and social media largely contributed to the revolution that marketing has been undergoing for at least a decade. You have probably heard such terms as digital marketing, content marketing and SMM, and, most likely, used them interchangeably.
However, there is a striking difference between all these categories. People, involved in marketing, usually need different sets of skills to function in one or another aspect. The differences lay in the way how information is transmitted and how the brand engages with its audience.
Therefore, it would be useful to get into the matter and learn to distinguish between digital marketing and content marketing.
Since nowadays, we receive the vast majority of information through digital channels, any marketing activity that aims to reach out to the audience through the Internet falls under the digital marketing category.
In fact, this term is very wide and covers lots of marketing tools. For example, website development and blogging, despite being so different and independent, all exist under the digital marketing umbrella. Moreover, email marketing, webinars, video marketing, affiliate marketing, and other subfields are also united by digital means of communication with customers.
Since different aspects of digital marketing try to appeal to various types of audiences, it is better to have a closer look at several of them to understand this difference.
Social Media Marketing and Advertising
Social media makes a lot of money on advertising because it allows marketing a particular product to the people who are most likely to become interested in it. People willingly provide information about themselves in social networks, including age, profession, origin, marital status, etc. Using algorithms, social media can better target ads, showing them only to those people, who fit demographics.
Whatever changes occur in digital marketing, email marketing does not lose its popularity. Despite long talks that it converts less than 10% of people because no one reads spam emails anymore, the majority of companies still use it. What’s more, every 8th person says that they read incoming marketing emails and often find them useful. Such emails usually contain promo codes and information about discounts that loyal customers are glad to use.
Influencer Marketing and Affiliate Marketing
One of the most recent trends in digital marketing is affiliate marketing and influencer marketing. They are very similar in nature. Affiliates place ads on their website, creating extra traffic for the brand.
Influencers, for example, bloggers or singers, talk about their personal experience with the brand’s products to their audience, advertising them to their niche.
Both of these types of digital marketing are costly but pay off in terms of sales volumes and revenue.
Video Marketing and Infographics
Many people prefer visual information more than audio. When they see an engaging video with happy people who are speaking about their personal experiences with a particular product or service, they are likely to buy it. Video marketing also promotes spontaneous and emotional purchases that are based on impulses.
At the same time, when it comes to marketing content, people find it hard to digest figures and numbers on the fly. If the brand needs to persuade the audience using statistics, infographics step in. It helps to turn complex data into an easy-to-digest creative and visually appealing piece of content.
Since we have started talking about content, it is high time we paid attention to digital content marketing. It also exists under the digital marketing umbrella but is more complex than the types we discussed above.
It refers to content creation that matches the needs and expectations of a particular target audience. In other words, we cannot approach the older population with the same content that we use for youth. That is why we need content marketers to create unique content that effectively communicates to the target audience.
Since marketing content usually includes blog articles, video scripts, visuals, graphics, podcasts, and social media posts, writers and content marketers need to know more about the audience to make sure that the content is tailored correctly. One of the best methods for making an effective content marketing strategy is with data driven content.
To impress your audience with grammatically correct and neat emails, interesting videos, creative and informative blog posts, content marketers develop a content strategy.
It should cover all digital marketing activities that the brand intends to perform. For example, if the company launches a social media campaign, the content on its Facebook page should not contradict the one which is sent in newsletters or welcome emails.
Moreover, the content should be authentic and have the brand’s voice at the core. It also needs to be optimized so that people could search and find it online.
Moreover, a good content strategy always comes with an editorial calendar implying that every publication should have its planned date and time.
Content and Digital Marketing Data
Your content strategy largely depends on your marketing data. You need to get access to first-class analytics and then make all necessary adjustments concerning how content is tailored to the desired audience, what can be improved to send the right message, how these interactions will be welcomed by the audience, etc.
Also, both content marketing and digital marketing efforts should be tracked and analyzed to conclude how these strategies are working. Without in-depth and careful analysis of the audience responses, both content and digital marketing efforts are doomed.
SEO and Content
When we talk about SEO, we often imply that it is the content that is optimized. SEO specialists improve blog articles and other written materials for them to be easily traceable online. Failure to do that can impede the success of the entire digital marketing campaign.
The success of digital marketing is often defined by the quality of content. No matter which way a business chooses to reach out to customers if it fails to produce interesting content, all its efforts are doomed.
Wrapping It Up
The most important conclusion we can make is that digital marketing and content marketing are not the same but closely related categories. Digital marketing is more about which channels and tools a business is using to reach out to customers.
Content marketing is about words, images, videos, and podcasts that are distributed through these channels. Therefore, it is wrong to use these terms interchangeably, but it is also clear that both content marketing and digital marketing do not exist separately.