Content Strategy versus Content Marketing

Content strategy and content marketing – you may ask yourself now “what’s the difference?”. After two semesters of studying content strategy, I still sometimes struggle to distinguish between the two terms. In the course of a content marketing seminar for cos17 I dared to try again.

As probably most of my fellow cos17 students I did not realize that there is a difference between content marketing and content strategy. Although I have to admit that until the beginning of my studies I did not deal with terminology at all. This changed in the introductory lecture during the first semester. For my first project work, I read the “classics” on this topic (or at least parts of it): Content Strategy for the Web (Halvorson, Rach), The Content Strategy Toolkit (Casey), Think Content! (Löffler), etc. I think content marketing and content strategy can be compared to marketing and communication. In marketing one tries to “sell” something, be it a product, a service or even an information. In communication – and so I see the content strategy at least rudimentary – you try to tell something. (note: I do realize that the comparison is a bit limping ;-)) Behind both disciplines should still be a strategy. Sometimes it feels like content marketing is used by agencies and companies, just so you do not have to think about messages, target groups & co.

Is content marketing the new slang?

It does not help that in practice – especially in job postings – the terms are mixed up. Sometimes it seems that content marketing is the new trend term after corporate publishing, storytelling and social media manager. In the end, most companies only look in their job postings for someone who keeps the content up to date on the website and social media platforms.

In the meantime, I personally see content marketing as a sub-discipline of the content strategy. Content marketing and content strategy is not limited to online communication. The aspect of offline communication comes in my opinion a little too short in this programme. Only one of our teachers has mentioned the offline world so far.

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