More and more companies are turning to brand storytelling and content marketing as a way of reaching new customers, and engaging with their existing ones. And while both brand storytelling and content marketing do share company-related stories with audiences, the two are not the same.

Here are the differences between content marketing and brand storytelling:

Content marketing 

This refers to the practice of publishing educational and promotional content for your prospects and customers. Helpful and interesting content is shared by the brand, instead of telling people about how interesting and helpful the brand itself is. 

Content marketing is not selling the brand, but instead, selling the content. This way, brands can aim to become authoritative voices about a specific topic or industry. This is a way to build a trusting relationship between the brand and the customer.

The most common types of content marketing are:
  • Blog posts and articles that cover content about a specific industry or topic that relates to the brand.
  • Whitepapers. These are persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution.
  • Videos are good content for social media platforms.
  • Infographics are a different way to cover content but in a more interesting and visual way.
  • Webinars. This is a seminar conducted on the Internet. 
By using a content marketing strategy, brands become publishers. They specifically create content around topics that they know their audience will be interested in.

Brands can use this marketing strategy as a way to attract new customers, engage their existing audience and as a way to create or reinforce brand loyalty. 

Brand storytelling 

This refers to every message your brand sends out. This covers the advertisements and marketing campaigns the company purposefully sends out to the public as well as how the company is perceived and talked about by the public and its employees. 

A brand’s story is more than what it tells people. It is what the public believes about the brand based on all the signals your company sends out. 

The story is a complete picture of the facts, feelings and interpretations that are shared about business by the company itself, its customers, its community and the public in general.

This means that the way your company treats its employees and customers and their experiences contribute to the brand's story. 

While the content that is published about a company does contribute to brand storytelling, it is only one of many elements that contribute to the brand's story as a whole. 

In addition to your brand's published content, your story also includes:
  • How your website pages including product and services pages look and are presented
  • Your core values
  • Your differentiation message 
  • The experience your customers have using your product and/or services
  • The reviews customers post about you online
  • The way your staff deals with customers
  • How your employees talk about your company to the people they meet
  • Mentions of your brand in the media
Brand storytelling has become increasingly important as society moves into an age where trust and transparency are vital. This is because customers will base which company’s product or services they use on whether the company is trustworthy. Therefore, a brand’s story is as, if not more, important than the advertisements and campaigns the company puts out into the public domain.  

It is extremely important for brands to include brand storytelling as a part of their marketing strategies to make sure their brands thrive.

What are some other differences between content marketing and brand storytelling? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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Now that you know the difference between content marketing and brand storytelling, why not focus on the content and check out the Five golden rules for creating exceptional content?