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Why you need to be content marketing, not just blogging – the difference between the two

So, what exactly is blogging? For that matter, what’s content marketing? And why do you need to focus more on the latter? This article will clear up the difference and set you on the right track going forward.

60 percent of consumers feel positive about a brand after reading custom content on a blog. But reading blogs and feeling positive doesn’t convert leads and grow an audience. According to marketing guru Neil Patel, conversion rates are nearly six times higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters.

Here’s the difference between content marketing and blogging, and why you need to be content marketing if you want to start seeing results.

What’s blogging?

Blogging is probably a term you’re familiar with – it comes from a truncation of “weblog” and refers to publishing written informational content on a website. There are personal blogs, corporate blogs, political blogs, and everything else you can imagine.

If you’re new to blogging, or looking to kick-on your efforts in 2018, there are excellent guides here and here.

What’s content marketing?

For businesses, blogging alone is not enough. Don’t get me wrong – blogging is fantastic. We do it all the time and have learned many lessons. But for it to be effective, blogging should be part of a wider marketing process that drives results. This is 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.”

Digital Marketing lessons

This clearly defined audience is usually referred to as a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a well-researched, semi-fictionalised representation of your business’s ideal audience. Like an arrow to a target, content is tailored to buyer personas with relevant and valuable content. By building trust and delivering value to these buyer personas, customers are attracted, converted, closed and delighted.

And that’s the core difference between blogging and content marketing. Content marketing drives meaningful results. It gets more than three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 63 percent less.

It’s all about moving away from interruption-based marketing so that the customer can be free to engage with a brand on their own terms. Ellie Mirman at HubSpot puts it well:

“Buyers naturally distrust anyone trying to sell them something. They don’t want to be treated like a potential sale, so don’t “market to” them, “communicate with” them.”

Content marketing can also come in many different forms apart from blogging. For example:

  • Podcasts
  • Video content
  • Animation and infographics
  • White papers
  • Social media
  • Design and illustration

And this content is optimised for each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Where should you go from here?

The difference between blogging and content marketing should be clear now. We love both. You should be doing both. But start with forming a content marketing strategy and then align your blog to it.

A blog that isn’t part of a content marketing strategy will not drive organic traffic and consequently, will be a waste of time. If you’re not providing value, it isn’t content marketing. If your blog isn’t relevant, it isn’t content marketing.

Blogging is a tool. Content marketing is the operating system it works within.

If you’re currently blogging, it’s also important to develop other content marketing tactics, like social media, email marketing and producing multimedia content. These can build on the success of your blog to drive stronger overall results from your content marketing.

At Articulate, we’re huge advocates of content marketing. It’s the present (and the future) of marketing. It brings value to your audience so that you can build trust, generate leads, and ultimately sell products and services. And all in a more human and pleasing experience.

To find out more about effective content marketing, download our inbound marketing guide. It’s an excellent starting point for using content marketing to grow your business.

Get your 10-minute guide to  inbound content marketing now