content social media marketing

Is there really a difference between Content Marketing & Social Media Marketing?

There is definitely some overlap between content marketing and social media marketing. However, these types of online marketing are actually separate and unique. They have their own points of focus as well as goals and processes. To eliminate any confusion you might have regarding content and social marketing, let’s take a look at some of the factors that set them apart from each other.

Primary Focus of the Marketing Work

Social media marketing activity is concentrated within social networking sites themselves. Marketers with a social networking focus post their campaign updates directly onto pages on Twitter, Facebook, and other similar sites. When they create content, they specifically use these sites to reach their target audiences.

In content marketing, on the other hand, the focus of a campaign is the website for a brand or specific product.  Social networks are certainly used in content marketing efforts, but the networking sites are typically used to backlink to content that has been posted on the brand or product website.

Forms and Length of Content

In social media marketing, the content must be adjusted to fit the nature of the networking site that is being used. For example, text must be no more than 140 characters long if it is being posted to Twitter; likewise, marketers fare better on Facebook if they create games and quizzes. In this method of marketing, brands must use social networking sites in the same manner that everyday users do.

In content marketing, however, it is possible to post longer and more diverse pieces of content because a brand website is being used.  Brands can format their postings like media publishers do. They may publish blog posts, eBooks, videos, infographics, and more.


Social media marketing and content marketing can both be used for a variety of purposes, but social media marketing mainly focuses on two goals. First, it is used to create brand awareness (i.e., to stimulate discussion and activity in regards to a particular brand). It is also used for the purposes of retaining and satisfying customers. Brands can use social networks to engage in direct discussion with their customers, who may have questions or issues regarding products.

The website-based nature of content marketing allows businesses to better focus on generating demand.  Well-developed content sends prospective customers to a brand’s website, bringing about lead conversions and possible sales.

Online Marketing: The Evolution

Social media marketing is currently the main focus for a majority of marketing departments. Content marketing is still a fairly new concept, and as such remains a less popular option at this point.

However, these two forms of marketing are interrelated. They are both part of the continuing evolution of marketing. The Internet has given every brand the opportunity to communicate with its customers directly, and social media marketing and content marketing both make it easier for brands to do this.

Naturally, social media marketing came first in the evolutionary process. This is partially because it allows brands to access users directly. In general, the content is also posted in shorter pieces, making the publishing process quick and easy.

In time, though, content marketing will have the edge as brands grow more familiar with the idea of being publishers. It is true that this version of marketing involves longer content of a higher quality and that brands must draw in audiences through their own websites. Still, content marketing has the potential to produce more powerful results by allowing brands to communicate more closely with their customers and find more leads.

Contact us to find out how Cloud9 Marketing can help you with your Content Marketing and/or Social Media efforts.