As storytellers, it is our responsibility to ensure that our story has substance that will interest the audience. It is also our responsibility to ensure that our story is narrated well on the right platform. To get the audience it deserves, promoting it is essential. For those of us in the world of communication, this sounds very familiar. And for those of us who work in the world of content, this is our everyday story.
Need for the story
The word ‘Content’ is one of the most used and abused words in the communication industry. As social media took over our lives and marketing efforts, creating content for the various up-and-coming platforms became an undeniable necessity for all brands. It didn’t take long for marketers and ad men to realise that the tried and tested strategies of advertising were not effective in this new media world. There was a pressing need for each brand to have a completely unique and compelling ‘Content Strategy’ to address this gap.
What is your story?
Each digital platform, with its own quirks and specifications, plays a different role in the customer’s life. Each piece of content must adapt itself to be relevant in its setting. The internet by virtue is optional. A brand’s consumers choose to keep the brand in their lives by following or liking it. By choice, willingly. In such a scenario, the brand’s content must fit into the consumer’s life and become a seamless part of their personalised timelines. Content Strategy has to act like a guiding force that determines how, what and why of your content.
How are you narrating it?
The next step in a brand’s content journey is ensuring that this content reaches the target audience through various digital platforms. This is where the concept of Content Marketing comes in. It focuses on ‘marketing’ the content created for your brand, delivering it through paid promotion and ensuring that it reaches as well as attracts the right audience. The focus of content marketing efforts is tangible and aligned to the business objectives of the brand.
The story and narration are different
These popular terms, Content Strategy and Content Marketing, are used interchangeably quite often. The meaning of each term is very specific and has its own distinctive role in your marketing plan. Understanding the singularity of these terms is crucial to the success of your brand-building efforts. While content strategy deals with the substance, content marketing deals with the promotion. Strategy is aligned with the consumers’ like, dislikes and preferences but content marketing is aligned with the consumer’s habits and behavioural patterns in an attempt to influence them. One is the extension of other but that doesn’t make it the same.
Understanding the clear distinction between Content Strategy and Content Marketing is necessary for the effectiveness of your marketing plan. As they both go hand in hand, a well-devised plan on both these fronts will certainly support any brand that wants to develop an effective brand presence and increase its reach online.
But what’s in the name?
One may wonder that if these are steps in the same process, why does nomenclature matter? Creating the distinction goes a long way in the process of making your Content Strategy successful. Many of us often wonder why our brand content doesn’t meet the objectives of our plans. Lack of interaction from the target audience is one of the most common complaints of any brand on social media. Understanding the difference between ‘strategy’ and ‘implementation’ is the first step in resolving these issues.
Good content can perform well only when supported with an equally good marketing strategy. This is where the distinction comes into play. Create engaging content, build a plan that promotes it well. Understand that each has its own role and deserves a dedicated effort. Begin on the right note and continue the right path to reach the desired destination.