Crawl or Sprint? The difference between Content and Content Marketing.

By August 25, 2016Marketing

It’s a common mistake to use the buzz phrase Content Marketing as soon as brands start working with content. Because Content Marketing involves a lot more than just content.

Back in 2007 when Facebook launched Facebook Pages, brands didn’t fully understand the potential of owning a branded page within Facebook. Still, since Facebook offered huge reach, companies started creating Facebook Pages; without knowing why they did it, what to communicate and how to measure the value. Companies that early understood the importance of distribution and actively building reach for their pages, became the winners. The same pattern applies to all marketing trends—including Content Marketing: it’s important to understand the potential before your competitors, and to be proactive .

Almost all CMOs understand that Content is a crucial ingredient in their digital strategy. It can be related to SEO, social activities, newsletters etc. But too many marketers still don’t understand the differences between Content and Content Marketing.

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 — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

The keywords here are attract and distribute: attract as opposed to interrupt or push disturbing messages to someone who didn’t ask for it. And distribute as opposed to only publishing content in your own channels and hoping for the best. Because that’s just content.

Creating content without a distribution strategy is like leaving a leaflet outside your office and hope for your prospects to drive by and pick it up. You might be incredibly lucky, that someone from your target group passes by and picks up your leaflet. But it’s way more safe and efficient to pay someone—instructed to pinpoint your preferred audience—to deliver the leaflets to them.

Strossle’s distirbution service, for instance, offers you an efficient way to put your content infront of the right people. By using algorithms and big data Strossle finds your audience in the right context within hundreds of publishers. You only get charged if there’s a match and the user is willing to engage with your Content.

The historic split between production and distribution in marketing was always 80/20. You spent 80% of you budget on buying media exposure and 20% on shooting the commercial. When brands shifted their focus to digital marketing they suddenly believed distribution was free. They put their Content on Youtube or on their websites and thought virality would take care of distribution. And sure, in a few cases it did work. But in 99% of the cases even the best Content in the world needs support by paid distribution.

My advice to all Content Marketers:  have distribution in mind as soon as the creation process starts. The 80/20 rule still applies. But think carefully about where and how you distribute. With the help of different distribution solutions you can obtain relevant and engaged users that are willing to spend time with your brand and eventually become loyal customers.

You can crawl towards your goal and hope that all your comptetitors are slower. Or you can sprint by making sure your audience finds your Content..

Read more about Strossle’s distribution services here

Henric Smolak
Global Sales Director