When you develop a marketing and communications plan for your business, you’re likely to come across a common conundrum. Do you focus on advertising or content marketing? Although content marketing and advertising are both trying to sell a product, they take two very different paths to get to the same goal. Advertising With advertising, a company will promote a product’s company and services through traditional forms of advertising on the television, radio, magazines, newspapers, billboards, brochures, trade fairs and so on. The aim is to educate or excite a consumer about the product that is being sold and then convince them to visit the company’s website. Advertising is essentially a one-way dialogue between the company and the consumer. The consumer will listen and then decide whether they will buy. Content Marketing Content marketing, on the other hand, is subtler than advertising. The aim is to convert a customer that has already visited the company website. Content marketing isn’t about slapping the consumer over the head with stories about how amazing your product is. Rather, it’s about selling the ‘idea’ of a product. It’s about creating and publishing consistent, relevant, valuable, interesting and engaging content to attract your key demographic. For instance, if you manufacture running shoes, the content you publish might include topics like ‘How to Improve Your Running Style’, ‘The 10 Best Tracks For Your Running Playlist’ or ‘The Latest Fashion Trends for Runners’. Content marketing may be more labour intensive, but if you do it right, your key target audience will keep coming back to your website again and again. The more they love your brand, the more likely that devotion will convert to sales.