Those in the SEO industry and most firms with a website understand the importance of well constructed and optimized content for any online marketing strategy (“Content is King”). The effective management of content has become even more important in the past 18 months. Any law firm or business who desires to attract clients from the internet or any other medium must have an effective Content Strategy and Content Marketing. But what is the difference between the two?
“Content Marketing” is a subset of “Content Strategy.” Content Strategy is simply your overall plan on how written and video content is to be deployed to your online assets and throughout your entire company. In a sports setting, the offensive coordinator for a football team has a playbook, a list of every possible play that can move the football down the field and across the goal line. It has independent strategies for passing, and for running. It has plays that combine both elements in an “option” environment – if “this” happens, you choose “that” optional component of the play.
Another way to look at it would be the blueprints for a large commercial building project. The plans themselves contain all the aspects of construction from breaking ground to placing the last piece of shrubbery. A Content Strategy identifies all of the written and video content that presently exists, and that which is needed for the future. An effective Content Strategy identifies the central messages to be communicated, the target audience, as well as how you are going to get it in front of the right eyes, and what action you wish for them to take once they have engaged it.
Content Marketing is a specific tactic that positions your message in a format that is easy for a customer to receive. Content Marketing often “feels” like you are educating the target audience and adding value to their experience, instead of a heavy sales-centric style with features / advantages / benefits and continuous calls to action and a sense of urgency. Effective Content Marketing places information about your company, as well as your products and services, but in a light of expertise and market leading thought.
Content Marketing often takes the form of white papers, articles, blog posts, public relations, or social media posts. Content Marketing initiatives are about creating, publishing and measuring the effectiveness of specific campaigns. Content Marketing directly presents a target audience with information about your company in a way that draws them to you without a heavy hook. The common term for this type of approach is “inbound marketing” versus an “outbound” approach where you are pursuing the customer.
Content Marketing is informed by the Content Strategy, which identifies the overall question of “who” and “what (message)” and “why” and “how (what vehicle). Content Strategy is implemented through effective Content Marketing. Both are measured by the total number of paying clients they attract and the overall profit they contribute to the firm.