Technology & Data
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
How to Get Your Sales and Marketing Teams to Work in HarmonyContent Marketing for Midsized Companies: Whom to Target, What to CreateAtri Chatterjee of Act-On Software on the New Generation of MarketersMarketing Automation: What It Is and Why You Need to Know
- Social Tools
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Here's the Difference Between Content Marketing and Social Media
Posted on December 16th 2013
What is the difference between content marketing and social media? And, with the burgeoning interest in the former, will the latter wane as a tactic or as a marketing term?
Here’s what I said:
Content marketing is a device used by companies to educate, inform or entertain customers or prospects by creating attention or causing behavior that results in leads, sales or advocacy. Social media is used by customers and prospects to communicate among themselves, and occasionally with companies. This communication can result in leads, sales or advocacy, but is often less structured and conversational, and can be reactive too, as social media is increasingly used as a customer support channel.
The goals of content marketing are consumption, then behavior. The goals of social media are participation, then behavior. (tweet this)
The confusing thing today is that as social media expands, brands need to create content to populate these channels. Further, many content repositories have rich social media overlays (the new G+ fueled comments on YouTube, for example) In no way will content marketing overtake social media in any corner of the universe with the possible exception of professional marketers.
Social media is the new telephone. Content marketing is the new brochure. (tweet this)
That doesn’t make it unimportant – hell, I just published a best-selling book about doing content right. Keep in mind that my Mom uses social media every day. My Mom could care less about content marketing, although she of course consumes content routinely.
Social media envelops us like air. Content marketing is a place we (mostly marketers) can go visit, like a sparkling lake stocked with trout.
More on Content Marketing vs. Social Media
Jeff broke the responses up into two fascinating blog posts. The first contains answers to the “what is the difference between content marketing and social media?” question. The second features opinions on whether content and social will merge, converge, or other.
I encourage you to read the posts for all the answers (19 in all), but here are a couple excerpts of my personal favorites:
From Michael Brenner at B2BMarketingInsider and SAP:
The difference between content marketing and social media is huge. Social media is a new channel. And it competes with other media channels like TV, radio, print and all the digital channels available to us.
Content marketing and storytelling are as old as human beings. We have always needed to find ways to convey important information in useful and entertaining ways. Social media is just the latest evolution in the way we can tell the stories. I think soon we will drop the “social” and go back to calling it plain old “media.”
From TopRank’s Lee Odden:
In terms of a business activity, I think content marketing as a discipline will continue to rise and marketing budgets are definitely streaming in that direction. Some of that budget is being drawn from social media too.
Will marketing budgets towards content-focused marketing initiatives potentially exceed those for social media marketing? I think that’s entirely possible, especially for organizations that see social networks and media sites more as content distribution and engagement channels than purely as communities. But with companies that operate socially across departments (marketing, sales, customer service, public relations, HR talent acquisition, legal, operations, etc) both internally and externally, overall social media investment could easily dwarf anything spent on content marketing.
And from Jason Miller at Linkedin:
Content marketing will not replace social media by any means; they are and will continue to be two very different things with two very different functions. Social media channels are the tentacles from which your content extends its reach while opening up a direct line of communication with your customers and prospects. In addition, what were once known as “social media vanity metrics” (shares, plus ones, Likes, retweets, and comments) are now playing a much bigger role in how your content ranks within search engines and the social platforms themselves. At the end of the day, content and social will be broken out of their respective silos and pulled together as an essential part of an overall integrated marketing strategy.
What do you think? Best answer wins a limited-edition Youtility T-shirt.Here’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Social Media is a post from: Convince and Convert: Social Media Strategy and Content Marketing Strategy