Are you confused by the terms advertising and content marketing? No worries. A lot of people are. At first glance, there seems to be a fine line – or no line – between the two. But it might not be as fine or MIA as we imagine. So we’re here to shed some light on the subject…because that’s what we do. And while we’re at it, we’re going to tell you about the power of blogs.
To start, here are some definitions of sorts.
Advertising is a straight-on approach to marketing your company. You create an ad campaign and share it — very straight forward.
Content marketing is a little more complex and provides targeted value to your customers. Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, defines content marketing as “an approach where instead of distracting our audience with advertising that’s not relevant to them, we’re going to create valuable, compelling and relevant content on a consistent basis and build an audience over that time in order to see some profitable customer action.”
How Blogs Fit In
While blogs are very effective in advertising your company, they provide much more than your run-of-the-mill ads. Now don’t get us wrong. Ads are important, and good ads are hard to come by. But blogs are often the backbone of your content marketing strategy. Here’s why a strong blog is a thing unto itself:
- Blogs are well-researched pieces. (Or they should be.) Blogs that are part of a solid content marketing strategy aren’t comprised of members of your staff ranting on about their feelings about a particular product or issue. No, no. These blogs are information rich and full of facts that support your point, or they highlight concrete benefits of a particular service you offer.
- Blogs are well put together. (Or they should be.) Strong blogs are well thought out and are written in a professional, yet approachable tone. As we mentioned above, these are no rants or stream-of-consciousness pieces! Blogs are crafted by writers and editors and molded into quality pieces of work.
- Blogs are like an educational gift to your customers. (Or they should be.) We like to think of blog posts as informative, helpful gifts you deliver on a regular basis to your followers. Topics are centered on goods or services you offer, but instead of focusing on what your company can provide, you explain the benefits of the actual service or product. Then at the end, you add in an “Oh, by the way. We’re pretty much experts at this,” kind of plug for your company. OK. Maybe a little more subtle than that.
- Blogs can (and should) elicit critical thinking and pondering. Oftentimes, your readers will learn to see things in a different way from reading your blogs. A well-written post can cause people to think about things from a different point of view. Changing the way people think about your products, services or ideas is pretty powerful!
- Blogs can (and should) allow you to directly interact with your customers. Thanks to the existence of comment sections or through sharing your posts on social media, you can open up a beautiful discussion with your client base — locally and around the world. Direct interaction is priceless!
- Blogs can be (and should be) shareable. As mentioned in number five, blogs are shareable on social media. With the interconnected nature of our online world these days, this is a fantastic method for marketing your business. Think about it. If you posted an ad or an advertising video for your company, you might hit a home run and have it go viral, but probably not. However, people are much more likely to share useful information or a new point of view to incite discussions among friends. Strong content can have far-reaching effects.
When building a content marketing strategy, don’t go it alone. Involve a team of experts and have multiple pairs of eyes on each piece before you publish. At All Things Writing, LLC., our writers have the experience, drive and talent to meet what the market demands. Contact us to discuss a plan for your business. We’ll have you sharing meaningful content and interacting with clients in no time.
All Things Writing is a full-service content development and content marketing company on a mission to help clients shine online and in print. Our clients are from the private, government and nonprofit sectors.