Within the last five years or so, what “content” means and how it is employed by marketers has grown into a distinct and thriving field. But as with any emerging field, it can be difficult to grasp the lay of the land when you don’t speak the lingo.
Luckily, we’re here to help you make sense of all those confusing convos. Here’s a quick breakdown of a few key terms and what they really mean—in other words, content about content.
Content (noun): Stuff that can be consumed.
Synonyms: photos, videos, livestreams, tweets, blog posts, snapchats, infographics, editorials, newsletters, magazines, white papers, etc., etc., etc.
As you might have gleaned from all that “etc.,” there’s a lot of content floating around out there.
Content audit (noun): Taking stock of all your content assets and evaluating data about those assets.
This is often used to inventory a website, typically via a spreadsheet that catalogues every page and piece of content. Content audits consider the success of a page through the lens of analytics that may include: load time, referrals, keywords, search ranking, and bounce rate.
Content analysis (noun): An evaluation that involves impressionistic, intuitive, or interpretive analysis.
Synonyms: "Front-end" analysis, editorial analysis.
While content audits focus on quantitative data about assets, a content analysis is an interpretation of that information. An analysis is often guided by a brand’s mission statement, messaging, and any other materials that influence brand perception.
Content marketing (noun): A marketing approach focused on creating valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience.
...According to the Content Marketing Institute. So.
We’d add that content marketing as a practice is relatively young, born in and of the digital age. Have you read one of the previous posts in our “How To Speak” series, How to Speak: Social? As that author (and HZ’s Digital Marketing Manager) points out: “Modern consumers have largely shunned traditional sales and advertising messages, instead demanding something more substantive—something that provides some benefit, entertainment, value, or utility. This is the backbone of content marketing.”
Content strategy (noun): The creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content.
So, what exactly is the difference between developing a content marketing strategy, say, and the practice of content strategy?
Content marketing––what it means and encompasses––changes as speedily as the digital world spins. But it is always tied to a specific business goal.
Content strategy views the content itself as the business asset. We live in a world where stories are products. Content marketing uses stories to sell something; content strategy makes the content that something.
Knowing the lingo is just the start—but it’s an important start. After all, content’s influence on the world of marketing is something you can count on to stick around for a while.