Content Strategy and Content Marketing Myths and Musings
Earlier this month, the Content Strategy Forum published an article of epic proportions (12 contributors from 7 countries) to provide a definitive look at the work of the content strategist and content marketer.
Major kudos to Kelly Harbaugh for facilitating the creation of this mammoth piece.
As you might expect, the collaboration produced much lively discussion —which is still active over on Google+— around similarity, disparity, and clarity in our definitions. But as content marketing becomes an increasingly important piece of a brand’s digital presence, it is important that we clarify what, who, and how content marketing is (and isn’t).
Myth 1: Content marketers and content strategists serve the same functions.
While the role of the content strategist sits at the intersection of information architect, interaction designer, programmer, designer, and copywriter, you would likely place the function of content marketer at the crux of content strategist, copywriter, and visual designer. This isn’t to say that content marketers aren’t considering broader brand interactions or CMS considerations; however, we found those functions to fall primarily in a more strategic content role.
As with most marketing roles, though, content marketers should still be savvy to the technology they need to produce and optimize their efforts.
Myth 2: Content marketers are primarily concerned with online marketing pieces, like blogs.
True, content strategists often get the credit for tasks like content modeling to ensure content is “future-friendly” and platform appropriate. Content marketers are also considering content formats, and should be thinking about the best channels to create, publish, distribute, and promote in for their audience. However, it’s not uncommon to see an editorial plan that is centered around formats beyond blog posts, like Red Bull’s robust video channel.
Again, a deep familiarity with technology and CMS is ideal (if not crucial). The bottom line is that content marketing comes in many shapes and sizes that still speak to a strategic editorial plan.
Myth 3: Content marketing and content strategy are two totally different things.
As should hopefully be evident through the constant confusion and debate on the topics, these are two sides of the same coin. Or, as I like to think of it, content marketing is to a square as content strategy is to a rectangle.
Put another way, Derek Phillips (Connective DX’s Content Strategy Discipline Lead) aptly says, “Not all content is content marketing; but when it is, it had better be strategic!”
Though the two are distinct, they have many entwined components and shared responsibilities. See just a few ways the work may overlap.
What ways do you see the role of the content marketer and content strategist coming together? What considerations or deliverables do you find are unique to each?