Understanding the Differences Between Social Media & Content Marketing

0 comments, 27/12/2013, by , in Marketing, Social Media

Content Social MediaMany people who have become recently involved with various forms of internet marketing, content creation and social media may not understand the subtle nuances that comprise each. There is a definite connection between all of these elements and as such, it can become confusing for some to determine where one ends and the other begins. This is especially true with content marketing and social media, both of which have some very similar characteristics. What about each of these, however, is different? Anyone who thinks that they can substitute one for the other is in for a rude awakening, so it is vital to know what separates the two. In the following article, we will discuss these differences and help you make the right decisions in both of these important areas.

The Structure

Content marketing revolves around a simple premise: informing customers and clients about your products, services, information or mission. This means that you use a variety of forms of media – whether that be pinging to Google and others via paid advertising or more traditional means. Social media, however, is used as a way to connect these individuals with their friends and family in order to spread the good word about your cause or brand. Social media can also be used as a direct line between consumers and companies, allowing each to express themselves in a way that is informal and more conversational. Content marketing, however, is usually a one-way street and only informs the consumer or client about various elements of your brand.

The Connection

Broadly speaking, content marketing is the primary element in any marketing campaign. You will need to have an effective marketing strategy that features premium content before you can do anything with social media. Social media is then used as a way to get the message out about your products, brand, mission or cause. If you think about it as a highway and subdivision, respectively, it makes more sense: content marketing drives your message down the main roads and channels necessary for it to gain exposure, while social media allows for it to filter into the nooks and crannies where it will be much more effective.

The Medium

Obviously, the two operate within different channels and will attract users from different walks of life. Most content marketing strategies focus upon pinging to Google and targeting those who happen to stumble across the website itself. Social media, on the other hand, focuses upon those who are using sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This fundamental difference ensures that no matter how close the two become in the future, their mutually exclusive existences will remain a reality.


The best way to look at content marketing and social media is to consider content marketing as a primary, non-negotiable element of your marketing. Social media, while important in the modern era, is more of an accentuation of an existing marketing effort. Both of these platforms have similarities, such as the ability to generate free and paid buzz for your cause, but they are independent enough of one another to be able to provide their own unique benefits to any website or blog.

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