So you, like 60 percent of other consumers, feel positive about a brand after reading custom content on a blog. This inspires you, and you start to work on articles, but don’t necessarily see the leads getting converted or your audience growing. According to top influencer Neil Patel, conversion rates are almost six times higher for those that use content marketing versus those that don’t.
So, what’s the difference between content marketing and blogging, and why do you need to use both?
What Is Blogging?
You’ve probably heard the term “blogging” before, but what what does it mean? A blog (shortened for “weblog”) is essentially an online journal or site displaying information chronologically, with the latest posts appearing first. On these platforms, writers or groups of writers can share their views on a particular subject (like this blog you’re reading right now!). Some have personal blogs, others maintain corporate blogs, and there are blogs dedicated to just about every subject you could imagine.
If you’re new to blogging, or would like some guidance on being a better blogger in 2019, we’ve got some tips in our blogging e-book.
What Is Content Marketing?
For most businesses, blogging alone isn’t enough. As you can tell, we think blogging is fantastic. We literally do it all the time. But in order for it to be effective, blogging needs to be part of a larger marketing process that drives results. Cue content marketing.
According to the Content Marketing Institute,
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
The key word in this definition is “valuable”. It is what changes the definition from one that could describe just about any other form of marketing or advertising. You can tell if a piece of content is the sort that would be part of a content marketing campaign if people seek it out and want to consume it, rather than saying, “thank u, next.”. Think about a successful Superbowl commercial. Are you and your coworkers rewatching it on YouTube the next day, adding to the millions of views it has already racked up? When it comes to content like that, the commercial is a content marketing ad. Any piece of content you create, depending on the value your audience receives from it, can be considered content marketing. The goal is to create as much value for your target audience from your content.
While blogging can definitely be used for content marketing, the key difference is that content marketing drives meaningful results. It gets higher leads and costs less. With content marketing, the goal is not to push your product on a customer, but allow and encourage them to engage with your brand as they see fit. Storytelling, communication, and engagement are all drivers for content marketing.
Besides blogging, content marketing can come in several forms including:
Animation and infographics
Design and illustration
Where Do I Go From Here?
With a stronger understanding of content marketing and blogging, you can probably see why we love both and why we believe in doing both. Keep in mind that aimlessly blogging isn’t going to bring you business without a content marketing strategy. If you aren’t providing your followers with value, it isn’t content marketing. If your blog posts aren’t relevant, it isn’t content marketing.
Think of it this way: content marketing is the tool shed and blogging is the tool.
If you are currently blogging, be sure to include other content marketing tactics like email marketing and social media marketing. These platforms can help build the success of your blog, driving stronger results.
To learn more about how we can help develop your content marketing plan, contact us for a free consultation!