At first you might be thinking, aren’t they the same thing? And you’re not alone, truth is – a lot of brands couldn’t quite tell you the difference. That’s where we come in.
Advertising is a message that brands send to inform an audience of their product or service. Its purpose is to persuade viewers to perform a specific act to satisfy a new need, or to satisfy an old need in a new way.
A soda brand flaunts their drink’s fizzy bubbles to prompt a craving that drives you to pick one (or three, we don’t judge) up at your next pit stop. Real estate firms showcase the beautiful homes that could be yours with the help of one of their agents.
Ads interrupt our streamed sitcoms, the scrolling of our feeds and even our daily commute to the office. All in an attempt to grab your attention when you might be doing something else entirely.
Our brains have evolved to become more selective in their focus, and ads are designed to make things easy for them. The magic of a great ad comes from a message that finds a ways to be simple, relevant and leaves an impression in a matter of seconds.
Content, on the other hand, does its job when it answers a need.
Not able to watch the big game? Your team keeps you updated on their Twitter account with the latest plays. Wanting to know more about marketing? Your favorite ad agency posts blogs to their website to help break down the basics (wink wink). The point here is that content is helping you out — giving you something you need in the moment you’re consuming it.
Content can be as long as it needs to be, as long as it’s serving the audience. It’s never just about the brand. Content is the stuff you’ll find in places ranging from blogs and tweets to podcasts, playlists and even video.
It’s one of the best ways brands cultivate relationships with their consumers.
The advertisement gets you through the door, but content keeps you coming back for more.
And now, as much as ever, people are getting online to fill their entertainment, social and work needs. Ask yourself, as a brand amid different times, what’s your content plan?