Business Content Content Marketing

Advertising vs Content Marketing: Which Is Better for Business?

Content marketing plays a crucial role in the success of any business, whether it is digital or not. Interestingly, a decade back, content marketing didn’t even exist. At that time, the success of any business was based on advertising. And, not just any advertising, but mainstream advertising. Today, both go hand-in-hand, and together both make a business successful.

Let’s understand the difference between content marketing and advertising and why it matters for your brand’s success.

1- Advertising vs Content Marketing: Differences

Advertising is paid. Content marketing is produced. Here are the definitions of both advertising and content marketing.

1- Advertising:

“The activity or profession of producing advertisements for commercial” – Google

Advertising means to get your message to as many people as you can by using paid mediums. It can be anything from a banner advertisement on a website to a billboard in your local area.

Advertising can be of many types. These include:

  • Outdoor advertising
  • Below the line (BTL) advertising
  • ATL (Above the line) advertising

In all these types, you aim to push your content to a targeted audience. Advertising requires a budget because you will be using rented or paid media. For example, billboards in your local area are rented spaces. You will have to pay the billboard owners just to advertise on those platforms. 

2- Content Marketing: 

“A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.” – Google

Content marketing means to engage in activities that can take your brand in front of the right people at the right time through content production, promotion, and engagement.

In content marketing, you will need to produce content regularly that can engage the readers by answering their queries. Most of your content will focus on organic platforms like social media, search engines, and even relevant websites and channels. You will create a content marketing funnel that will bring in leads that you can use for retargeting purposes. It will include creating Middle-of-the-funnel content like ebooks, cheat sheets, tools, hacks, and cookbooks. 

2- Advertising vs Content Marketing: Mediums/Channels

Here is a list of channels that marketers and advertisers use for various promotional activities.

3- Advertising Channels

  • Television or radio commercials
  • Newspaper and magazine ads
  • Billboards, banners, signboards
  • Direct mailers or flyers
  • Wall posters, street furniture
  • Kiosks and electric poles
  • Brochures

4- Content Marketing Channels

  • Company website and SEO optimized content for blogs
  • External blogs and platforms
  • Social media
  • Video channels
  • Search engines

5- Content types:

  • Blog posts and articles
  • Email newsletters
  • Videos or podcasts
  • Ebooks
  • White papers
  • Webinars
  • Press releases
  • Deals
  • Promotions
  • Sweepstakes
  • Partnership posts

Both content marketing platforms and advertising platforms vary because, in the first type, you are targeting organic content. Secondly, you are targeting paid channels that can show your message directly wherever they are. Example: Facebook, Google paid adverts, TV channels.

6- Advertising vs Content Marketing: Platforms

Advertising and content platforms are different. Let’s learn about each one of them.

7- Advertising Platforms

  • Google Adwords
  • Bing Ads platform
  • Facebook Ads Network
  • Media Ads
  • Taboola
  • Yahoo Gemini
  • Outbrain
  • Classifieds
  • Other ad listing platforms
  • TV channels and Radio stations have their advertising platforms
  • Outdoor or Out-of-Home (OOH) Advertising is possible through agents and agencies

8- Content Marketing platforms

  • SEO Optimized Company blogs
  • WordPress
  • Blogger
  • Medium
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

There are many more content marketing platforms available, but these have the most significant share of the market.

Unless you are targeting digital platforms, offline advertising platforms don’t exist. You will have to get in touch with agencies and agents that can connect you with various media outlets and billboard advertisers. Similarly, the prices of all these mediums also vary from location to location.

9- Advertising vs Content Marketing: Converging Points

  • Both are used to sell products
  • Both are done with the purpose to make people aware of products through direct or subliminal messages
  • Both have turned out successful 
  • Both have different processes and campaigns involved
  • Both require a strategy to make the campaigns successful
  • Both need investment and hard work behind the scenes to make products sell
  • Both are now data-driven thanks to smarter, AI-driven platforms. For content marketing, you have Google Analytics, and for advertising, you have Google Adwords and Facebook ads network.

10- Advertising vs Content Marketing: Diverging Points

  • Content marketing has late but lasting results because of unique content while advertising provides instant results
  • Content marketing requires regular content production and promotion while advertising requires more money and a clear concept based ad that one can replicate across multiple platforms
  • With content marketing, you nurture the audience and move them through a funnel. They only buy when they are ready to purchase the product. However, with advertising, you promote products directly to your audience.
  • In content marketing, you can’t promote products directly to your desired audience. However, in advertising, you can promote adverts directly to your desired audience.
  • Content marketing data is not always audience-centric, while advertising data is always audience-centric.
  • In content marketing, you are directly talking to the customers. While in advertising, you are talking about the customers.
  • Content marketers have the ‘information’ intent, while advertisers have the ‘buyers’ intent.

11- Advertising vs Content Marketing: Which One To Choose?

It depends on your business. 

If you want immediate results, it is better to hire an excellent advertiser and start from there. Content marketing isn’t going to bring any results instantly because it is a time-taking process. 

However, if you have the budget for both, then start advertising and content marketing activities side by side. Content marketing activities will bring you long-lasting results while advertising will require more money and bring immediate results. Both complement each other.

Moreover, content marketing will establish you as an industry leader. This way, new customers will also give you weight while deciding which product to choose. This advantage is not available with advertising because it is a hit or a miss. Most customers have become prone to direct advertisements. They rarely buy products after seeing an advertisement, unless the offer is worth the purchase.

12- Bottom-line

We hope this article has cleared your confusion about advertising and content marketing. Simply put, both of these types of marketing have different goals and different ways to reach those goals. Each one complements the other, and combined, they both can offer the best return on investment.

If you have started a digital business and are unsure how to take your business to the next level, Contentilo can help you streamline your content marketing process. Contact us today.