How Does Content Marketing Differ From Advertising Or PR?

Content marketing differs from advertising because you own your publication, so you don’t have to buy media exposure. 

Your content is editorial in nature, not a blatant sales pitch, so it attracts readers looking for information.

Advertising usually interrupts prospects and asks them to pay attention to you. Content marketing pulls in readers looking for specific information.

That said, content marketing isn’t straight-up, unbiased journalism either. With a PR campaign, a journalist writes about you, so you have no control over the finished piece.


With content marketing, you control every aspect of the editorial process from topic selection, to production, to publication.

Does Content Marketing Replace Traditional Advertising or PR?

No, it is a tool that should be used together with traditional advertising and publicity campaigns to build awareness of your services. Your content is only useful if people know about it, so you still need a promotional strategy.

It is far easier to promote educational content people consider “valuable” than material that is obviously a sales pitch for your company.

If you create great content, people will want to link to it, share it, and tell their friends. So you use advertising and PR to generate awareness of your content.

You might ask why you need to add this “middle layer” to your marketing.

Getting people’s attention is extremely difficult – and convincing them to buy from you when they don’t know, like or trust you is virtually impossible.

Content marketing helps you to build your case – that you are different from other companies, that you know what you are doing, and that you have specific expertise that can benefit them.

It does this by appealing to your prospects’ self-interest and giving them valuable information they want to read.

As people consume more of your content and get to know you, they will be more open to learning about your services.

Content marketing is not an instant solution to all your marketing woes.

Rather, it is designed gradually walk consumers through their buying process so they feel comfortable buying from you.

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