Content Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing 101

by Content Marketing Institute
content marketing

In a post for the Content Marketing Institute, Toby Murdock breaks down the difference between content marketing and social media marketing.

“Although there is plenty of overlap between content marketing and social media marketing, they are actually two distinct entities, with different focal points, goals, and processes,” he writes.

Center of gravity

Murdock writes that in social media marketing, the focus is located on the social network sites.

“In contrast, the center of gravity for content marketing is a brand website,” he writes. “In this case, social networks are used primarily as a distributor of links back to the content on the brand’s website.”

(See What’s Good About the Content vs. Inbound Marketing Debate?)

Types of content

In social media marketing, Murdock says, content is built to fit the context of the chosen social platform.

“Brands model their behavior after that of the individuals using the social networks,” he writes.

As for content marketing, he says, the context of websites permits much longer forms of content, such as blog posts, videos, infographics and eBooks.

(See Content Marketing Challenge: How to Use Your Resources Effectively)


The main objective of social media marketing, Murdock says, is used for brand awareness and customer retention/ satisfaction.

“In contrast, content marketing’s website-based center of gravity enables it to focus more on demand generation,” he writes.

“As we all pioneer this new strategy of content marketing, a shared definition of what we do relative to approaches like social media marketing is invaluable,” he adds.

For more on social media and content marketing, read Murdocks’s full post here.