Content marketing or social media?

Content marketing? That’s just using social media isn’t it?

Well, no. The two are really quite different, although they do have a large area of overlap.

Content marketing involves using content for marketing promotion (obviously!) This content can be:

  • paid for (such as an advertorial in a magazine),
  • owned (such as a blog or a white paper in your website), or
  • earned (mentions of your brand by other people on social media platforms).

Social media, in contrast, can be used for marketing promotion but also has a number of other uses including recruitment, market insight generation and CRM.

You can illustrate the two areas this way:

This simple diagram says two things:

First content marketing is far wider in media terms than social media marketing. It encompasses online marketing but also offline marketing (which is where it started). And it involves paid media and owned media as well as the earned media that social media platforms can provide.

Second, social media has a far wider remit than content marketing. It isn’t just about marketing promotion.

It can be used very effectively for CRM (customer relationship management): companies can identify customers with complaints or queries and address them, either publicly or privately.

It can also be used for generating market insights, comparing what consumers think about you and your competitors, or identifying likes and hates they have about your industry. It can be used to support marketing too: by analysing social media conversations, companies can uncover the keywords and hashtags that can be used in search and social media marketing.

And how about new product development? Again, analysis of social media conversations can identify the functionality or features that consumers would respond to in new products.

Or Human resources where social media can be used to paint an informal picture of working like in your company and can even be used to target potential employees who are contributing to online discussions.

So: if you need to explain content marketing to anyone, do go further than social media. And if you need to explain social media don’t forget the many important opportunities beyond marketing promotion.

We hope you are still not confused by the difference (if you ever were!) But if you are, or if you would like to explore the potential of content marketing or social media for your business, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with mosoco on or telephone us on 07855 341 589.


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