Social media marketing vs content marketing

The reality is, social media marketing vs content marketing has overlap, which doesn't help you understand the concepts easily. Let's compare and contrast.

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Today we breakdown the social media marketing vs content marketing.

First,  it’s important to a general idea of how these two areas of marketing differ from each other prior to diving in deeper.

Social media marketing is when you are pushing content and driving people from their current state to a place their not prepared to go. Push marketing.

Content marketing is when you great useful and informational content on your website and a visitor discovers you because they’re looking for something.

But many still have the question: What is the difference between social media marketing and content marketing?

The reality is the two overlap, which doesn’t help you understand the concepts easily. Let’s make these two less confusing and overwhelming by focusing on how these two methods compare and contrast.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing like Social Media has many definitions. A simple definition is: any form of direct or indirect marketing that promotes a business through sharing and interactions on the social web. Examples are, Twitter and Facebook updates, forum posts, comments on blogs, videos, images, links are all considered tactics in social media marketing. Social sharing is simplified and personified through one-click sharing and thus creates the simplest form of social media marketing.

The key to successful social media marketing is to keep the conversations and sharing related to your business in order to indirectly promote your business beyond the post. It requires more than effectively starting conversations and encouraging sharing it takes developing relationships with those you are privileged to be in contact with.

Social media marketing differs from content marketing in that it helps you directly market your business. Examples: sharing a discount code on Twitter or a new product/service on Facebook. This direct marketing is used to motivate consumers to act in the short-term. These tactics differ from the long-term objectives that are driven by continuous conversations and sharing of knowledge.

A value aspect of social media marketing comes from it’s ability to help small business owners build brand awareness . It accomplishes this by giving the business more entry points to their content and (hopefully) ubiquitous branded landing pages online. This power is only compounded by blogging and social media participation developed to build relationships with potential customers and online influencers.

Content Marketing

The popular way of generating content is through Blogging. Blogs can be an excellent tool for both direct and indirect promotion. This means we must classify them as business tools not just marketing tools. However, I’m not saying that blogs are just a form of online marketing, because they do have their place in traditional online marketing plan which including banner ads, video ads, or part of a social media marketing strategy or content marketing strategy.

Content marketing takes place both online and offline created and shared for the purpose of directly or indirectly promoting a business. More people and businesses are aware of content marketing due the accessibility of online social networks and social media tools that allow anyone to publish WOW, share-worthy content. This empowerment of publishing content has drastically changed the online environment.

Examples: Blog posts, articles, ebooks, online videos, press releases, videos published online, etc., are types of content marketing used to establish expertise and demonstrate added value to your target market. In many cases, content for indirect marketing may not even relate to your business but as long as it’s helping people it will indirectly build your brand because it builds consumer trust. It gets even better because this type of content might get shared and generate conversations! The power in content marketing comes from the adding value through your published and shared meaningful content, useful content.

When creating an optimal content marketing plans include both online and offline tactics that go through social media marketing tools to create sharing and conversations. Most importantly, content marketing establishes credibility, trust and loyalty because you’re helping people and/ or supplying content that interest them.


Content marketing and social media marketing are not separate entities with some overlap. The only way you can be truly successful in promoting your blog, business, and/or brand through the social web is to integrate your content marketing and social media marketing into one. (Pictured Above) If you only publish a great blog post and forget about it, you’ll get almost nothing out of it. Remember, you need to publish great content and share it with the world for you to reach your goals!

Combining these two methodologies into one and you get inbound marketing. Learn what is inbound marketing and why it matters.


Original article written on, follow Peter Lang on Twitter

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