What’s The Difference Between Digital Marketing And Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience, while digital marketing is the marketing of products/services using display advertising and other digital mediums.

Content marketing and digital marketing are related, yet distinct.

Let dive in…

Digital marketing encompasses all of the channels that a company uses to market themselves online, such as:

  • SEO
  • PPC (AdWords/Bing)
  • PR (not always digital)
  • Social Media
  • Paid Social Media (FB/Instagram/Pinterest/etc)
  • Referral/Affiliate
  • ETC.

Content marketing is a way to make all of the above more effective. There are two sides to content marketing:

  1. The content side – strategizing about the content to produce, producing it in the right format; and
  2. The marketing side – getting eyeballs on that content through the distribution channels mentioned above (see digital marketing).

Content can also be looked at as a channel, but I prefer not to look at it that way even though businesses with a dedicated marketing team will often have a dedicated content manager/marketer/strategist on board.

Content marketing isn’t its own channel simply because of the two sides of it I mention above, specifically that there is the production side and then there is the promotion side.

I believe that content marketing necessarily has to work with the distribution channel owners to get their message out to the world, thus they have to partner and as Aaron Orendorff says, treat content “as a team sport”.

Content can sometimes roll up under digital marketing, but we also shouldn’t forget that content marketing can happen offline in the real world. You might not think of advertising as content marketing, but it can.

Are the New York City billboards advertisements or content marketing? Possibly both. Are they offline or digital marketing? It could be both, depending on how you are measuring the impact. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if it’s offline or online as long as it is effective.

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