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It can take some trial and error to nail down the best strategy for branding your business, and because there is no one automatic right way of doing it, you’ll inevitably run into some questions along the way.
One such question might be understanding the difference between content marketing and blogging. The two are a little more nuanced than you might think. There is a time and a place for both, however, the two are often inaccurately used interchangeably. In this blog, we’re going to cover what blog and content marketing are, respectively, and how you can integrate them into your marketing strategy the right way.
The first blog came to be in 1994 when a computer developer put HTML examples into one of his sites. It took a few more years for blogging to catch on. In 1997, the term “weblog” was coined, and a year later, the idea of creating a communal space for logging thoughts and ideas online came into fruition. Finally, the idea of “blogging” took off in 1999 and continues today.
Early on, blogs were written by tech enthusiasts, young moms, and other niche groups that could gain a lot from sharing information with one another. For the past ten years or so, most major publications also had blogs. Blogging has become so mainstream that nearly any person or brand that wants to be seen as a thought leader has a blog.
While blogging can take on many structures and formats, today’s blogger typically follows three main blog formats. The first is what is now considered a traditional blog (like this one) in which a person or group with information on a specific subject writes educational and informational articles for their audience. Then there’s the microblog, which lives on sites like Twitter and Tumblr. Per their name, they are short-form blogs. The final type is the vlog (video + blog), which is generally found on YouTube. Vlogs can be done in a variety of ways but generally focus on one subject—the creator—going about their day.
Since blogging is a simple and straightforward way of sharing information, you can find a blog on basically any topic. From food to fashion, tech to travel, business to bars, someone somewhere is blogging about it.
Content marketing, on the other hand, involves a much wider variety of media than just blogging. It encompasses social media, audio files of podcasts, different types of video content (today this includes the short-form skits of TikTok and longer documentary-style pieces on YouTube), live events and, yes, blogs!
The difference between blogging and content marketing boils down to this:
All blogs are content marketing but not all content marketing is blogs.
Content marketing is an umbrella term that includes blogs, but isn’t just blogs.
Now is the important question—how should you utilize blogging and/or content marketing?
The answer depends on the time and resources in your arsenal. If you have a lot of knowledge on certain topics and enough time to write a blog for your brand (or have the ability to outsource the work), then giving customers a reason to spend time on your website is probably going to work in your favor.
If you don’t have the resources for a traditional blog, utilizing other content marketing tools like social media might be more cost-effective than longer format pieces like this one. Starting with microblogging tools like Twitter and taking advantage of brand-marketing platforms like Instagram might be best for you.
However, it’s hard to specifically recommend that your brand should go one way or the other without actually looking at your target audience and brand goals—these are simply broader, more general recommendations. Blogging vs. content marketing varies depending on the type of brand you have and the type of content you can produce.
For example, a bikini label would probably do better with an Instagram account showing off beautiful bikinis in exotic locations than they would with a blog about swimsuit materials, unless, for example, one of the brand’s core values is sustainable and ethically produced bikini materials. If this were the case, we could assume that a portion of the brand’s audience is passionately interested in having in-depth explanations on where the materials are sourced, why these bikinis are better for the environment, etc. This would most likely require more detailed, long-form blogs
The types of content you produce might be influenced by your budget, so we recommend prioritizing high-quality over high-quantity. The more organic content you build out, the more legitimate your brand looks, the more your customer base will trust you. However, having fewer streams of content marketing with excellent, useful content that was made with love and integrity is better than churning out as much low-quality content as you can.
While this may sound a bit overwhelming or intimidating at first, know that all of this doesn’t happen overnight. Bit by bit, one baby step over the other, your brand’s content marketing and blogs will slowly begin to flourish, and so will your brand!