It is often seen that people get confused between social media marketing and content marketing. In fact, many don’t consider content marketing to be one of the areas of digital marketing. Yeah, that’s true! I met many people from digital media industry keeping this opinion about content marketing. So, this blog is for all those who believe that content marketing and social media marketing are same.
Before we start differentiating between the two, let’s understand the meaning of social media marketing and content marketing.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
In simple language, social media marketing is a marketing process that promotes business on social web through sharings and interactions. The social media marketing strategy plays an integral role in social campaigns too. The objective of such campaigns can vary from one organization to another. Some of the objectives can be:
- Creating brand awareness
- Increasing sales conversions
- Generating leads
- Nurturing current customers
- Social listening
- Enhancing social engagement
- Informing customers about the changes in products/services
- Building loyal customer base
- Finding more customers
- Providing a means to customers to contact organizations
Social media is leveraged by organizations and professionals looking for opportunities online as well as offline. Social media marketing strategy is an effective means used by bloggers/webmasters running blogs/websites, online business owners, and professionals running an offline business too. Social media has entered in almost every individual’s life now. Therefore, its impact is also very huge. Leveraging it to the fullest and trying hands on innovative social media marketing strategy and campaigns, is the need of the hour.
Basic Components Of Social Media Marketing Strategy
As discussed earlier, social media leave a huge impact on the online crowd. So, it is essential to look at some basic components used while creating a social media marketing strategy and/or campaigns.
The first step of developing a social media marketing strategy for a campaign is to define goals. What do you expect from the campaign? Is it for lead generation, brand awareness, or just increasing followers? Depending on the defined goal, a campaign is created to generate effective results.
A campaign cannot run forever. It is important to decide its duration. The duration can be decided depending on various audience characteristics, budget, and goal of the campaign.
Deciding the budget for social media campaign is a must. Each social media channel has different payment criteria and plans. Thus, defining it is essential yet a crucial task.
Choosing Social Media Channel
There are plenty of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, G+ etc. But every organization always have one favorite platform that fetches maximum engagement. So, depending on which platform helps in maximum engagement, one should choose right social media channel.
Spending money; getting likes, shares, and comments; and running a successful social media campaign is not enough. The work doesn’t end even after the completion of the campaign. One should evaluate results and calculate ROI (return on investment). This evaluation helps to identify your best and worst strategies, which help in future campaigns.
So, now when you know what is social media marketing and how does it work, let’s take a close look at content marketing too.
What Is Content Marketing?
Often people believe that content marketing is all about generating content. However, it is partially true. Undoubtedly, content marketing starts from good content so content creation is an integral part of every content strategy. However, it is not only about content creation.
Content marketing is the process of listening to the audience, ideating topics that may interest target audience, developing a good content piece, distributing it through various channels, and analyzing the response of distribution for next content strategy.
Digital marketing is heavily dependent on good content. Without content, digital marketing is like a hollow shell lying on a seashore. It is the pearl of digital marketing.
Similar to any other marketing, content marketing may also vary for different organizations. For example, for one kind of a service company, text content may work while for another kind, infographics or visual content may work. Similarly, for retail business, imagery content or videos (or Vlogs) may work while for the education industry, text tutorials with the mix of imagery content may work.
Identifying Right Content For The Organizations
Usually, people believe that creating a variety of content is enough. Well, that’s not true. Each organization is different so, putting different kinds of content for an organization may/may not work. It is essential to identify the right kind of content for an organization. So, here are some ways to which you can decide which kind of content will suit your organization.
See who is your audience. Asking who is the audience is the first and foremost question that every content marketer should ask to him/herself. Are they avid readers or do they like watching videos? Are they fond of listening podcasts or do they love understanding the complete concept at a single glance on the image? Once you identify the choice of your audience, you can easily focus on the kind of a content that you should focus.
Engagement evaluation is a must. There are plenty of tools that help in understanding that which post fetches you maximum views (both organic and paid), comments, shares, likes, etc. Look at these areas closely and see which kind of content helps in maximum engagement. Is it a text content or a video? This analysis will help you define your audience needs and will make things easy for you. Doing engagement analysis and evaluation helps in deciding about the content type that you should focus.
Believing other’s ideas and thoughts is a good practice. Many a time, content professionals and marketers possess a strong view about certain ideas and concepts. Sometimes, they try pushing them on the audience through paid marketing too. However, if you are making an investment on advertisements, it is essential to calculate the ROI. See if it is working well for you or is it just a waste of money. If one kind of content is demanding regular investment for engagement then stop investing on it right away. Try to prefer the ones that fetch engagement at no or minimum investment. After all, pull marketing fetches best results.
Content Marketing & Social Media Marketing: Best Friends Forever!
We have already explained enough about content marketing and social media marketing. So, you must be clear with the difference. Content marketing revolves around content at 360 degrees while social media marketing is dependent on content strategies and creations. In fact, they are dependent on each other to generate awesome results.
Some Real Examples!
Nike is a well-renowned brand popular for its shoes and outfits. They create regular content to promote their products and engage with their customers through social media. They have 28, 416, 546 likes on their Facebook page and leverage content and social media to the maximum.
Coca-cola is not just popular for its soft drink but also for its innovative social media campaigns and content. They heavily use content marketing and social media to promote ‘change the world’ campaign. Their content strategies and social media campaigns are loved by 104, 971, 200 Facebook followers at their Facebook page.
This browser created a special place in the majority of laptops, PCs, and mobiles. One of the major reasons for the same is their outstanding use of content and social media platforms. They leverage the power of both heavily. In fact, it can be clearly seen on their Facebook page. They created a community of and for users.
So, now after going through these real examples, benefits, and objectives of content marketing and social media marketing separately, we believe that you must have understood the difference between the two.
If you also have some experiences and insights to add, please share them through the comment box below. We love interacting with our audience! 🙂