Are Advertising and Content Marketing the Same Thing?

  • Harry Hayes

Categories: Corporate Video Production Corporate Video Production Company Corporate Videos Creative Video Services Marketing Videos Television Commercials TV Commercials Video Marketing Video Production Video Production Agency Video Production Expert

Are advertising and content marketing the same thing?

No, Advertising and Content Marketing Are Not the Same. Which One is Right for Your Business?

Recently, I went to a networking event in Atlanta, with a panel discussion talking about advertising and content marketing.

And several of the panelists—I won't name names here but let's just say they were all experienced marketing professionals—were talking about “advertising” and “content marketing” as if the terms were interchangeable.

I’m sorry, but that’s just wrong.

So What’s the Difference?

Advertising and Content Marketing. Let’s compare the two.

The goal of Advertising (including TV commercials) is to get you to buy stuff, preferably right now. They may offer incentives, like sales and coupons. As a rule, advertising exists for one purpose—to sell.

The goal of content marketing, on the other hand, is to entertain or inform, ultimately so you learn more about a brand—and then buy stuff.

Okay, the end result may be the same. But advertising tends to be a quick sell, while content marketing is more long-term.

A friend compared it to dating. Content marketing is like building a relationship. Advertising is a one-night stand.

The tonality can be pretty different. TV commercials are an announcement, while content marketing videos, when done correctly, are more of a conversation.

A Two-Way Conversation

Here’s another difference: advertising is usually paid media, while content marketing is usually unpaid media.

Big brands spend large amounts of money on commercial production, and then many times more on media costs.

One 30-second commercial on the Super Bowl for example:  $5.2 million just for the media.

But with content marketing videos, there are no media costs. You just post videos on your website, social media and YouTube.

Advertising and content marketing have similar goals, but different ways to get there.

Now Every Size Business Can Compete

With content marketing, even small businesses can afford to post videos and tell stories.

This has leveled the playing field, enabling brands and businesses of all size to market themselves more cost effectively. Have you jumped on the content marketing bandwagon? If not, what’s stopping you?

Want to know more about content marketing? You can check out another post here.


About the Author: 

Harry Hayes is the owner and executive producer at Content Puppy Productions, a corporate video production agency based in Charlotte. Before starting Content Puppy, he spent 20+ years as an advertising writer and creative director.

Blog by Content Puppy Productions