Content marketing or digital marketing, which is more effective?
With so many channels, platforms, and activities available to you to promote your business online, it may be difficult to know which will be the most effective to draw in new audiences and increase leads & sales. So, here, I’ll talk you through which is more effective – content marketing or digital marketing?
What is content marketing?
Content marketing refers to the act of creating content centred around the benefits to the end user of a brand, product or service and promoting said piece of content across various [online] platforms.
This content could take the form of any, or all, of the following:
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Social media posts
- Videos & photos
- eBooks & how-to guides
- Case studies
- User-generated content
- Whitepaper(s)/academic writings
And marketers will want to use a combination to achieve your KPIs.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is the act of directly promoting a business, brand, product or service to a specified audience via online platforms.
Typically, digital marketing encompasses (but is not limited to):
- Pay per click advertising
- Organic social media activity
- Email marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- App store optimisation
And, as you may have noticed, content marketing and digital marketing overlap significantly.
Content marketing or digital marketing?
Although they may seem like entirely separate activities, as we can see from the overlapping lists above, content marketing and digital marketing co-exist in the same scape; digital marketing hinging on content and content needing digital marketing practices in order to push your business, brand, product and/or service out there to the right people at the right time.
As such, it’s best to try not to pick one over the other – you or your marketing team having to invest your/their time and marketing budget in only one – rather thinking of the two as one and the same; you can’t have content marketing without digital marketing and you can’t have digital marketing without content marketing! Each practice will overlap and intertwine, and make your efforts more powerful & more effective.
Realistically, to get the very best results from your online marketing activities, the question(s) shouldn’t be “content marketing or digital marketing?”, they should instead be –
- “What content should I create in order to gain the most engagement from my target audience?”
- “What content would my target audience find most helpful?”
- What platforms should I use to promote my content/what platforms do my target audience use the most?”
- “What content are my competitors creating & sharing and where are the gaps in the market/sector?”
- “What digital marketing activities will provide me with the greatest return on my investment (ROI)?”
- “How and what can I utilise/amend/change/add to my website in order to support my content and digital marketing activities?”
It’s also important to remember that gaining results from content marketing or digital marketing can sometimes take time, and may at first require A/B testing, amendment and tweaking as you learn from your efforts – activity surrounding your marketing (statistics & Analytics) will clearly show you what’s working and what’s not, and it’s normal to go through a period of adjustment in order to get it right; please, please don’t give up if you don’t achieve an influx of leads and/or sales within the first 24 hours of launching a new ad or blog or whitepaper! Results will come if you pay attention to your statistics and amend accordingly.