When asked about content, what is the first thing that pops into your head? Probably some form of media like a television show you watch or a YouTube channel you follow. That falls under the category of content creation, but there are other forms of content that aren’t as widely known to people, who aren’t in the content field. There are three main types of content:
- Content Creation – the contribution of information to any media and most especially to digital media for an end-user/audience in specific contexts.
- Content Marketing – 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.
- Content Strategy – the discipline responsible for satisfying business requirements through content creation and distribution.
When wanting to start something that is content you would want to start with content strategy. “You wouldn’t start building a house without a blueprint, a sculpture without a sketch, or a company without a mission statement. So, there should be no content creation without a plan. Otherwise you risk getting derailed from your objective. A content strategy includes everything from brand and tone to how you will promote your content and eventually repurpose it” (blog.hubspot.com). Content strategy is the building blocks of what you are trying to create, without it you are essentially flying blind.
Following content strategy, the next step is content marketing. “What good is it to create all this great content if no one sees it? In a perfect world, herds of people would flock to your site every time you published a new post. In reality — especially when you’re just starting out — you’ll need to entice people to consume your content and even shepherd them into your online space” (blog.hubspot.com). You have all these good ideas about what you want to produce but nobody to show it to. That’s what content marketing is for. In order to create good content marketing you need to provide content that makes your buyers more intelligent. “The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyal” (contentmarketinginstitute.com).
Last but not least is content creation. You’ve strategized about the brand and tone you want to promote and you’ve marketed your idea. Now it’s finally time to create your content. “Content creation is an iterative process that pays off tremendously with your audience. Once you have the content creation process down, you’ll be able to generate creative work that not only delights your audience but also grows your business” (blog.hubspot.com). Content creation can be anything you want it to be. You can write a script or provide a site that provides services. The ideas you can have for your own content are almost limitless.
After these brief introductions into what each form of content is, it’s time to figure out what makes them similar and different. The easy connection between the three forms of content is that they all revolve around content. This is true, but to get more in-depth about it, to have successful content you cannot have one without the other. You can’t write an essay about World War 2 without first researching it, right? It’s the same premise with content.
Content marketing is a means of marketing. “Content marketers draw and develop the larger story that our organization wants to tell, and focus on ways to engage an audience, using content so that it changes or enhances a behavior…” (contentmarketinginstitute.com). In other words, it means that content marketing is a marketing strategy that uses the content you’re creating to form a better relationship with the customer.
Content strategy, on the other hand “…refers to the overarching plan you have for every piece of content related to your business” (kontent.ai). This includes:
- Set Measurable and Achievable Goals
- Goals and objectives need to be clearly defined and each piece of content should be created for a specific purpose.
- Build Journeys
- What is the journey your audience is going to take with your content?
- Choose Content Types
- “Producing content is great, but what kind of content best conveys the message of your brand? You may want to consider things like infographics, YouTube videos, SlideShare presentations, Medium articles, and other content types to complement your standard blog posts” (kontent.ai).
- Define Distribution and Promotion Channels
- Where is the content being sent after you create it?
- Create an Editorial Calendar
- The calendar should outline when and where your content is being published.
Now onto content creation. Content creation doesn’t really have many similarities with content strategy and content marketing other than the fact that they all revolve around content and content creation being the final goal of content strategy and content marketing. It’s also similar to content strategy because both involve quite a lot of analysis on your part. You need to analyze your content in content strategy to see what needs to be fixed. Analyzing your content during content creation helps to form the best content possible. Content creation is the final frontier of the process, it’s the physical process of creating your content.
“Content Creation.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Sept. 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_creation.“Content Marketing.”
Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 1 Oct. 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_marketing.
Estes, Benjamin. “What Is Content Strategy?” Distilled, 1 Aug. 2019, https://www.distilled.net/resources/what-is-content-strategy/.
Fridrich, Ondrej. “Content Strategy vs Content Marketing: The Key Differences.”
Kentico Kontent, 10 Aug. 2017, https://kontent.ai/blog/content-strategy-vs-content-marketing.“Getting Started.” Content Marketing Institute, https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/getting-started/.
Perricone, Christina. “The Ultimate Guide to Content Creation.” HubSpot Blog, 15 Oct. 2019, https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/content-creation.
Rose, Robert. “How Content Strategy and Content Marketing Are Separate But Connected.” Content Marketing Institute, 2 Apr. 2015, https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2013/10/content-strategy-content-marketing-separate-connected/.
“What Is Content Marketing?” Content Marketing Institute, https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing/.