Content Marketing and Product Marketing are two seemingly similar marketing techniques that many companies use to generate leads and sales. But if you dig deeper, you’ll find that there is a considerable difference between the two.
In this post, we talk about the major differences and help you understand which one you should choose and when.
It involves creating and distributing content that is highly valuable to your prospects but doesn’t necessarily talk about your product. It is aimed at educating your prospects, helping them solve their problems, and building trust and authority as a solution provider.
Some examples of content marketing include:
– Case studies
It’s about telling people about what makes your product unique, why they should buy it over other competing products, and showing them how to use it.
Your job as a product marketer isn’t just to create compelling copy; it’s to help your customer understand why he needs your product in his life. You also ensure that your audience knows exactly where to purchase your product.
A few of the things product marketers do is:
1. Identify how their product compares to others’? What sets them apart? How can they show someone else how to use it? Where can prospects buy it?
2. Make sure their prospects feel comfortable enough buying from them.
3. Streamline the customer journey so that customers come back again.
Examples of Product Marketing include:
– Direct mailers
– Trade shows
– Sales presentations
– How-to guides and video tutorials
– Copy for sales and drip emails
Why should you choose Content Marketing over Product Marketing?
1. Cost vs time
In most cases, content marketing is cost-effective but it takes time. On the other hand, product marketing is expensive yet quick.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say I want to advertise my recent book “How To Start Your Own Marketing Agency”. If I choose to do so via Product Marketing, then I will be paying commission to Amazon/Google/Facebook every time someone clicks on my sponsored link. But if I choose to do so via content marketing, then I would simply create valuable content and post it on different sites where my target audience hangs out. I’d then build an email list and send out newsletters. This would save me money because I won’t pay extra for ads and commissions. However, it would take up a lot of my time to write content to reach buyers organically.
In the case of Content Marketing, you mostly own the channel (blog, email, ebook) whereas, in the case of Product Marketing, you don’t always own the channel. Occasionally, you rely upon third-party platforms like Facebook Ads, Google Ads, etc.
3. Branding & Reputation
Content Marketing allows you to create brand awareness and build your reputation in real-time. While Product Marketing does not allow much room for it.
For instance, Nike is a brand while its shoes are a product. People don’t buy Nike shoes because they are the best in the market. There are companies offering better shoes. People buy them because they associate Nike with a better brand and stronger reputation.
With the right Content Marketing, you create a strong association with your brand name. And once people start associating your brand with value, they will naturally gravitate towards your product.
Which One Is Better For You?
Content marketing tends to be less expensive because you aren’t spending money on ads or paid search campaigns. However, it doesn’t always generate immediate results. In fact, many companies spend months building up their brand before seeing any significant ROI.
On the flip side, product marketing generates revenue immediately (provided that your campaigns are built effectively). But it requires upfront investment in things like advertising, PR, affiliate commissions, copywriting, etc. And while you may see instant results, these won’t continue unless you keep pumping in the money.
To put it straight, if you want to see immediate returns, do product marketing. But if you want stable returns and are willing to spend time and effort, do content marketing.
Tip: Mix and match both to see immediate as well as consistent results.
Are Product Marketing and Content Marketing at Odds?
No! They’re actually very similar. Both have the same end goals – driving awareness and interest in your products or services. However, they differ in terms of approach.
Product marketing focuses heavily on the benefits of using your product over other options available. This includes features, pricing, customer support, etc.
On the flip side, content marketing emphasizes what makes you unique as a company. Your story, vision, values, culture, and mission statements should be front and center when creating content.
Product Marketing Focuses More on the Short-Term, Content Marketing Is a Long-Term Approach.
The most successful companies understand that content marketing isn’t something that happens overnight. Instead, it requires patience and persistence. You need to build trust over time so prospects feel comfortable enough to share more details about themselves and what they’re looking for.
This means creating valuable content that helps them solve problems and provides value along the way. This approach allows you to earn the right to ask questions later.