Content marketing and blogging are two of the most popular content-based strategies in existence — and for a good reason. Both strategies allow you to engage with your audience, boost brand awareness, increase traffic to your site, and function as a marketing vehicle for the different funnel stages. However, which one is better suited for your business?
Content marketing is a buzzword that’s been around for a while, and many small businesses have adopted a content-first approach to their marketing (or also authority marketing). But how does it stack up against blogging? In this article, we’ll look at the differences between content marketing and blogging, as well as the key benefits of each one for your business.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic approach to acquiring and retaining customers by creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content. It’s an umbrella term for any marketing technique that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content with a consistent, clearly defined audience in mind.
When executed correctly, content marketing builds trust with potential customers and gains search engine visibility for your brand. Content marketing strategies are ideal for the long-term, and unlike other forms of marketing, content marketing isn’t designed to generate immediate sales. Instead, it focuses on earning customers’ trust and attention by producing helpful content over time.
What is Blogging?
Blogging is a part of content marketing and is often used to support an SEO strategy, as content in lead nurturing processes and in general to cover the upper parts of the marketing funnel. Blogging is a subset of content marketing that focuses on the creation of regularly updated online journals or articles typically about a specific topic.
Blogs are often used as an extension of content marketing strategies. The content in blogs focuses on giving readers valuable insight, which might be research-backed material, personal stories, or perspectives from experts within the industry.
Blog posts allow you to share more in-depth content with your customers that demonstrates your expertise. You can also use blog posts to engage with your customers via comments, share customer stories, host webinars, and expand the reach of your content through social media.
Blog posts typically have a clear call to action at the end, encouraging readers to subscribe to your blog, download a resource, or contact you for more information. Read here for the top 22 b2b blogging best practices.
Content Marketing Vs Blogging: Differences
While blogging and content marketing are both strategies that involve creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content with your audience to achieve specific business objectives, there are a few key differences. So, let’s take a closer look at how they compare:
Content marketing is typically found on your website and across social media, while blogging is generally only found on your website.
If we talk about format type, content marketing can be divided into different formats, like:
- White Papers
- Case Studies
- Printed material
On the other hand, blogging is just written content, that can be anything from an article (like this one) to a guide or even a list of resources.
The purpose of a content marketing strategy is to be a general umbrella for all of your marketing efforts and give you a chance to share your message through different channels. On the other hand, the purpose of blogging is to create in-depth content which can be used in different parts of the marketing funnel (see here mid funnel marketing activities).
This means that content marketing can be included in many other strategies without being the main focus. Blogging on the other hand is just a part of content marketing, which means that it is one of many different tools you can use. It’s also an effective way to build an audience and community and establish yourself as an industry expert.
The content you create for blogging can also help attract new business, generate qualified leads, and develop loyal customers.
Content marketing is typically centered around building a comprehensive and cohesive narrative that reflects your brand voice, while blogging is typically centered around a specific topic.
A blog can reflect your brand’s personality and tone of voice, but it typically centers on a specific topic. Blogs act as an extension of your content marketing strategy and help to build an audience and community.
The content that marketers share through content marketing can be anything from blog posts and guides, to videos and infographics.
Content marketing is typically targeted to a specific buyer persona — for example, you might create content targeting B2B (business-to-business) marketers, while blogging might be targeted to a slightly broader audience.
Blog content is typically created with organic search in mind, meaning that it’s optimized for search engines and therefore might not be as targeted.
The goal of blogging (while you still want to keep the target audience in mind) is to create content that has a wider appeal and can be found organically in search or social media (through inbound marketing).
Both content marketing and blogging can help generate awareness, traffic, leads, and sales for your business.
Why is Content Marketing Important?
Content marketing helps businesses attract, engage and convert their ideal clients into leads and customers with the use of written, visual, or a combination of both online contents.
In today’s world, when digital marketing is buzzing all around, it is very important for businesses to have a content marketing plan in place. It impacts your business in these valuable ways:
- Increased organic search traffic
- Higher expertise, authority, and trust
- Expanded brand awareness
- Clearly defined brand personality
- Enhanced accessibility for a broader audience
- Increased social media engagement and PR results
- Close gaps in the conversion funnel
- Better conversion rates
- Higher quality leads
- Stronger brand affinity
In fact, even though marketers have been increasing their content marketing budget by 35% on average per year, only 32% of B2B marketers say they’re very confident in their content marketing program, and only 30% of B2C marketers say the same.
Content marketing helps businesses engage with different audiences who are interested in their business, product, or service. Therefore, businesses should put the needs of their customers at the forefront of their operations. It helps businesses build trust with their target audience, send the right message at the right time and keep the content flowing on a regular basis.
Why is Blogging important?
Blogging allows you to share valuable content related to your products and services with an audience who may be looking for additional information. It’s an opportunity to build brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads.
Blogging is a tool used at the top of the funnel stages and often also in regards to the inbound idea. Whereas content marketing is an overarching strategy in all stages.
As content marketing can get expensive (videos, long forms, imagery, etc.), blogging is a good way for new businesses to start building their brand awareness and customer base. Your blog is also an opportunity to connect with your customers. You can use blogs to share helpful how-to’s, offer tips and tricks related to your products, and answer questions from your audience.
In general, blogs can help you generate more leads and increase sales because they attract users in the upper funnel stages. Since search engines like fresh content, blogging is an SEO strategy that can help you get more visibility in search engine rankings.
Content marketing vs. blogging: both are great ways to help your business increase awareness, generate leads, and drive sales. While they’re both important, they do serve different purposes. Content marketing helps you reach potential customers interested in learning more information about your products and services, while blogging is a great way to get found in Google (which ads an additional layer of trust), and engage with your audience in rather higher stages of the funnel. Obviously blogging is a very versatile tool: we use blog posts often in our lead nurturing/marketing automation processes.
To effectively use content marketing, it’s important to create content that is valuable, helpful, and interesting to your ideal customers. That means providing content that will facilitate their buying decision or make them aware of the problem you are trying to solve.
With that being said, both content marketing and blogging can help you accomplish those objectives. Therefore, it is important to do both in order to achieve the best results.