Social Media Marketing and B2B Content Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Being a content marketing specialist at a B2B inbound marketing agency makes for great conversation when meeting new people. I’ve become used to explaining what my role is and what B2B content marketing is all about. However, I’ve discovered that it’s easy for people to immediately link content marketing to social media marketing. I can’t count the number of times people have asked me, “So you just sit on Twitter all day?” Two of these people are usually my parents, because they’re old and regularly forget what I do for a living. God bless them.


content marketing, social media marketing and inbound marketingUnfortunately, my parents aren’t the only people who don’t quite understand the difference between content marketing and social media marketing. It’s not uncommon for individuals, young and old, to misunderstand the true meanings of social media marketing and content marketing. While the two come together to contribute to the overarching B2B inbound marketing strategy of a business, they are not interchangeable terms.


Content marketing and social media marketing are utilized to generate conversation around a particular brand in order to ultimately increase lead generation. Content marketing pieces are created to establish an angle on a certain subject and present valuable information to individuals in the industry. Social media marketing is used to extend that certain angle as well as promote the content, create discussions and pull in quality visitors to download the content.


In addition to generating conversation, it is important for a brand to be seen as a thought leader in the industry to increase lead generation. In order to do so, remarkable items such as white papers and eBooks are created to establish a sense of authority. Social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn are then leveraged to not only promote the pieces, but generate objective dialogue about the topics covered in the B2B content marketing items.


Ultimately, while content marketing and social media marketing are concurrently working together in the B2B inbound marketing strategy, they both serve different purposes. Next time when you find yourself in conversation with an individual in a social media role or content marketing role, you don’t have to ask, “What do you even do all day besides Facebook?” (Looking at you, Dad).


If you are in a social media role or content marketing role, how would you describe the difference between the two?

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