content marketing vs social media marketing for digital marketers

Content Marketing vs Social Media Marketing | How to Elevate Your Strategy

Content marketing and social media marketing can take your brand to the next level. But what are the differences (and similarities) between them? When is it best to use them?

Content marketing encompasses a broad range of marketing strategies, while social media marketing focuses on utilizing social media platforms to increase brand awareness. These marketing strategies vary their goals, conversions, and even audiences.

Digital Marketing Terms You Should Know

Digital marketing related terms and searches

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the process of creating, publishing, and promoting content with the goal of attracting, engaging, and retaining audiences to achieve specific goals like lead generation or brand awareness.

Content marketing is essential for increasing online visibility and improving authority to become a trustworthy source in your industry.


Content comes in many forms such as articles, blog posts, newsletters, infographics, videos, podcasts, and webinars.

Content doesn’t just have to be written – anything that gets your message across is considered content.

Integrated Marketing Strategy

This is the unified messaging across platforms for the brand. This means putting out content with consistent messaging on social media channels and web pages.

You can’t have messaging that varies across platforms and conflicts – this will confuse any potential customers and decrease your authority.

Social Media Marketing

Marketing on social media can be both organic and paid. Social media marketing allows brands to communicate directly with their target audiences.

Social media is constantly changing, with algorithm changes and new trends emerging consistently. It is crucial for brands to stay up to date with these changes.

Differences and Similarities Between Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing

Digital marketing encompasses both content marketing and social media marketing. However, they both have unique strategies and benefits for businesses. Local businesses to multi-million dollar corporations benefit from content and social media marketing.

Some marketers argue that social media marketing and content marketing are entirely different. However, content marketing strategies often involve social media strategy as a method to engage audiences.

Content marketing and social media marketing key differences for digital marketers


Both forms of marketing involve creating content to engage with customers. However, there are important differences between them.

Content marketing is focused on creating high-quality pieces of content to rank on search engines and provide information to existing and potential customers. Content like blog posts or videos is distributed across multiple channels to enhance brand awareness.

Content marketers often use inbound marketing to drive traffic toward the brand to establish authority and credibility. Content marketing is a long-form strategy since it can take a while to generate leads and traffic.

On the other hand, social media marketing uses content to engage directly with users. Every social media platform is different, so brands need to be strategic about whether to use socials like Facebook or LinkedIn to connect with target audiences.

Social media marketing strategies focus on useful and entertaining ways to spread brand awareness. A social media marketing plan can see a faster ROI since it is a direct line of communication with customers.

There are many differences between a blog post and a viral video. However, both are vehicles for publishing content to reach prospective customers, so they are more alike than we might think.


Content marketing and social media marketing similarities

By the content marketing definition, the content used in social media campaigns is part of any content marketing efforts. From videos to infographics, social media posts are content marketing examples.

The best practice for any content strategy is to use written text and then spin it into posts across social media platforms.

Taking a blog and turning it into an infographic for LinkedIn or turning a long-form video into smaller TikTok shorts are both great tactics for making content. These marketing tactics work in tandem to build authority, rank in search engines, and create a community with your target audience.

Both strategies can be used together effectively, but they require different skill sets and approaches to achieve success.

How to Best Use Content and Social Media Marketing Strategy

Any marketing campaign should focus on connecting with audiences. Whether it’s paid ads or user-generated content, quality content should focus on the content marketing funnel. The funnel is split into four stages: awareness stage, interest stage, desire stage, and action stage.

Some people use slightly different terms for the different stages, but the general idea remains the same – not only to you want to tell people about your brand, you want to keep them interested even after they move through the funnel.

  • Awareness stage: The consumer has been exposed to your product or brand.
  • Interest stage: The consumer wants to learn more about your product or brand.
  • Desire stage: The prospective consumer has gotten information about your product or brand and is interested in making a purchase.
  • Action stage: The consumer makes a purchase and converts into a customer.
Content marketing funnel for digital marketing strategy

Content Marketing Strategy

An effective content marketing strategy should start with careful planning to meet the specific goals and objectives of your business. This can include competitor research, profiling audience demographics, and A/B testing.

Content marketing takes more than just creating content: you have to build your own strategy that matches your particular brand voice and makes valuable content for consumers.

The best marketing techniques start by generating ideas for content your existing customers would value. Next, create a clear timeline or content calendar for when your content will be published and how you will promote it across multiple channels.

Finally, measure the results of the content campaign to determine what worked best. These insights will help refine your marketing strategy and help you reach even more potential customers!

By following these key steps, businesses can create an effective content marketing strategy that will yield their desired results.

Long form content becomes short form content for digital marketers

Social Media Platforms & Strategy

No content marketing campaign is complete without social media marketing. More and more consumers are moving to social media for recommendations, reviews, and to determine if a company is worthwhile.

According to the Search Engine Journal, YouTube is the second most popular search engine besides Google, and Facebook averages over 2 billion searches a day. Newer platforms such as TikTok, which has roughly one billion active users, have skyrocketed in popularity.

That’s a ton of organic traffic that becomes a missed opportunity if you don’t create content for social media networks.

However, social media marketing doesn’t need an entirely different strategy. Most social media marketers use long-form content like blogs or landing pages to generate shorter content.

A long-form blog can include an infographic that is then shared across social platforms, or summarized into a highly engaging and shareable short video script.

Social Media Networks

Social media knowledge and facts for digital marketers

Before starting a social media marketing strategy, figure out which social media platform is best for your industry. For example, LinkedIn is great for B2B companies, while B2C products do best on Instagram and TikTok.

Finding the best platforms will help your personal brand identity and increase brand awareness. It may seem like more networks mean more visibility, but a targeted strategy helps get your business in front of the right audience, which leads to more conversions.

There are a lot of moving parts with any marketing strategy, so it’s important to reason through what the best route is for your business.

Which Marketing Strategy is the Best?

The question isn’t content marketing vs social media marketing – it’s how to make the most out of the content your team creates! Both have their place. It all depends on the goals and needs of your business.

Creating compelling content takes time and resources, so spreading it across multiple intentional social platforms gives you the best ROI and customer retention. Content marketing and social media marketing can give your business the upper hand against fierce competition.

To start marketing your business, reach out to our experts to develop your winning strategy today!

Ready to start diving into social media but aren’t sure where to start? We’re always staying on top of the latest trends. Check out “Threads vs Twitter” as a starting point into your social media journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Understand your audience, define your goals, and choose the appropriate channels for reaching your audience. Lay out a posting schedule, start posting, and evaluate what’s working and what’s not working.

Although social media is a newer form of marketing, it does still fall under the marketing umbrella.

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