What is the difference between content strategy and content marketing?

The answer is simple:
content strategy is the thought and research put into establishing an effective content marketing campaign.
Content marketing is the campaign itself, which comes after the strategy.


Content strategy refers to the overarching plan you have for every piece of content related to your business. According to Moz, “Content strategy concerns itself with the vision—the ins and outs of how and why your content will be created, managed, and eventually archived or updated.”
However, content strategies shouldn’t be set in stone, either. New channels, devices and trends are constantly emerging, so you’ll need to evolve your strategy to suit the market. To get that balance just right, here are the major questions you should cross-check your content strategy with on a regular basis:

  • Why are we creating this content?
  • What audiences do we want to address?
  • What kind of actions and reactions do we want to achieve?
  • How will we promote the content once it’s published?
  • How will our audience find our content?
  • What types of content do you plan to create?
  • Where and when will you be publishing your content?
  • Who is in charge of creating your content?
  • How will you maintain your brand style across various platforms?

You can think of content marketing as one aspect of your complete content strategy. According to The Content Marketing Institute, “content marketing is 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.”
That includes content in the form of:

  • Blog posts
  • Case studies
  • Social media posts
  • eBooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Landing page copy
  • Email marketing copy

Content strategy is the process of looking at the bigger picture of your company’s goals and seeing what best practices exist to help promote these. It then becomes a matter of organizing content in ways that will optimize its marketability at every level. A content marketing plan looks more specifically at how each piece of content will contribute towards achieving those goals, as well as paying greater attention to tactics like SEO or keyword research. Ultimately, “content marketing” refers to techniques marketers use to help other companies generate relevant, valuable content- from original articles such as blogs posts outlining industry trends and updates to creative asset exchanges where company representatives publish blog posts on sister company sites or share trade secrets for video production outposts in order to increase organic search traffic.