If you’re new to the whole content marketing thing, your head is probably spinning over all the decisions you need to make. Like all things in life, if you take it step by step, the task gets a lot easier. Start first by grounding yourself with a good definition of content marketing (our experts shared seven!), and then work on dispelling some of the common misconceptions around content marketing in general.
One of the biggest of those misconceptions we hear is that content marketing and blogging are one in the same. Lots of people use the terms interchangeably, but in reality there are big differences.
Content Marketing vs. Blogging
At Scribewise, we define content marketing as “the creation and distribution of journalistic, helpful, audience-focused material that ultimately increases customer acquisition.”
Sounds fancy, but what it boils down to is providing customers with information — ideally backed by data or your unique expertise — that educates them and makes their decision making a little easier.
A lot of different tactics can be used to support your content marketing goal, including white papers, video content, eBooks, email newsletters, social networks, and yes, blogging. Each one serves its own purpose in the bigger content marketing strategy, but they all contribute to the end goal of building trust with your customers.
Blogging, on the other hand, involves posting regular content to a specific site and is updated regularly to keep that website fresh. Blog content is displayed chronologically, so you’ll always find the most recent content first. The goal here is to communicate with your audience, whether you’re promoting a product, providing valuable knowledge to your readers, or working to establish your organization as a thought leader. And it’s an important tactic within the greater content marketing strategy.
So basically, content marketing is the umbrella term under which blogging rests. As a result, there’s often a lot of overlap between the two. For many brands, blogging is an essential way to bring value to readers, which is why it’s considered a great starting point for any content marketing strategy.
The Benefits of Blogging and Content Marketing
If you’re not convinced yet that you need to do either, here’s why you should consider adding them as part of your content marketing strategy.
Blogging regularly helps SEO, gives customers a reason to come back to your website, and is the perfect channel for distributing your existing content. We advocate a brick and feathers approach to content marketing: taking one big piece of content like a whitepaper (the brick) and breaking it into shorter pieces so you get more mileage out of it (the feathers). And, you guessed it, blogs are a great way to get those feathers flying.
Content marketing as a strategy is important given how much the customer’s buying journey has changed. There’s no shortage of stats showing that the customer is now in charge, and that the majority of the purchasing decision is already made before they talk to anyone in your company. This means that you need to reach them in other ways — multiple other ways — to influence that decision. Content marketing gives you that power, and if done the right way, builds genuine trust with your customers. Content that is smart and helpful brands your company as a go-to, expert resource. Why wouldn’t they buy from you?
Ready to get started? Check out our new eBook that provides details on everything you need to know about content marketing.