How to Market Your Products: Content Marketing vs Social Media Marketing

You are ready to hone in on marketing for your eCommerce business and maybe you are trying to decide how to market your products.

Because honestly marketing can feel overwhelming if you aren’t quite sure how to deliver a consistent message that will attract and convert your target audience into paying customers.

I’m going to break down content marketing vs social media marketing so you can use each to help grow your eCommerce business.

What’s The Difference Between Content Marketing Vs Social Media Marketing For eCommerce Businesses?

Often when marketing is referenced there is no mention of the distinction between methods used. Most of the marketing advice you’ll research today will primarily focus on social media marketing. 

But what about the other marketing methods?

Well, content marketing is about creating content, mainly long-form content. 

Long-form content is content such as articles that are written with quality information. A video that is produced and uploaded to YouTube. Then there is audio content such as a podcast or other audio channels.

Social media marketing is when you create content for a social media platform. Such as Reels or Instagram lives for Instagram or posting videos to TikTok.

The content lives on those platforms and will get exposure to people based on the algorithms. 

In order to effectively market your products for your eCommerce business, you need to have a content marketing strategy.

Content Marketing Strategy for eCommerce Brands: What Is It?

There a plenty of ways to market your eCommerce business a.k.a get in front of the customers you want to serve and have purchase your products. 

A content marketing strategy is your unique method for how you will use your brand’s messaging to attract customers to your business.

One way to market your eCommerce business is via content marketing. Content marketing is about creating content that helps your audience solve a problem and/or make a decision. 

For example, if you sell skincare products. You could have a blog article on “How to Properly Exfoliate Sensitive Skin”.

Inside, the article, you would provide helpful information to help your customers solve a problem. Then position your products as the solution by linking applicable products inside of the post.

Content Marketings Role In Marketing Your Products

Creating content is just one component of the marketing pie. You could use other methods of marketing such as SEO and email marketing. These are just extensions of your content marketing strategy.

Think of content marketing as the foundation of your eCommerce marketing strategy. Where you create a piece of valuable content that helps move your customers through the buying process. 

Taking them from mildly aware to decision mode. Once you have created your piece of content which could be a blog post, video, or audio. You can then implement SEO into your content to help it reach more people. Or use content marketing to attract people to your business and join your email list.

Why Is Content Marketing Important For eCommerce Brands?

Part of the benefits of content marketing is that it can help people build trust within your business. Because you are providing them with the necessary information to make a decision. 

For example, if two brands are selling similar products. The customer has to decide which of those brands to trust for her buying decision. 

Brand A may have a great selection of products but not enough information to help her get over her buying decision. 

Brand B on the other hand has a great selection of products but also provides a wealth of content and information that helps her to feel more confident to choose them instead. 

This happens all the time for businesses that make content marketing part of their strategy. 

Here is an example from Lush Cosmetics. They have a post on The Best Products For Sensitive Skin. In the post, you see how they sprinkle their products into the article. Then towards the end of the post, they link directly to the related products. 

Lush can also use social media to share parts of the article as a way of getting the most ROI from their article. Plus the article will help get people from their social media into the business.

In the example, you can see that content marketing can attract, inform and convert people into paying customers. 

Why is Social Media Marketing Important For eCommerce Brands?

More and more consumers want to feel closer to the brands that they choose to spend money with. Customers want to know that the businesses they support align with their values.

Social media allows for a different type of connection with your business. A way for customers to get to know more about your brand’s personality, values, and products.   

Social media can also be a great avenue to get instant feedback from your customers on the products that you are offering. 

Plus social media can often help customers to feel like they can easily reach out and ask a question. Questions that can lead to sales.

Of course, you’ll want to have a balance of social media direct messages vs referring customers to your website. So that you can respect administrative time, etc.

After you have created your content whether an article, video, etc. You can then reshare your content on social media by breaking up part of your content to make an impact. 

This will give your social media audience a snippet that will inspire them to go to your business website to fully engage.

Ultimately, social media be used as an additional bridge into your business. That will help you cultivate, connect and convert ideal customers.

How to Choose An eCommerce Marketing Strategy?

You may be thinking ok I know content marketing is important but I don’t have the time or resources to market in all these different places. 

The great thing is you don’t have to market in ALL the places. 

You may see larger brands marketing on multiple platforms and running ads, etc. They have the resources to do so. If you don’t have a dedicated marketing team then you can instead choose a couple of focuses.

When you sit down and define your content marketing strategy you’ll want to reference your target customer profiles and personas. 

Suggested reading: Your Ideal Customer Profile: Why It’s Important For Your Online Store

You’ll use the information you’ve gathered about your target customers to determine what type of content marketing to create and which platforms to use. 

For example, if you determine that video content would be ideal. You could create videos showcasing your products and then share video snippets to Instagram. 

To help maximize your time I suggest you pick one owned marketing method (i.e producing blog articles, creating video or audio). Then one social media marketing platform to share your content (i.e Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter). You could choose to use Pinterest, just know that Pinterest is more of a social search engine than a social media platform. 

Pinterest could be a great avenue for you if you don’t have the time real estate to run an Instagram account and produce content.

As you can see there are plenty of benefits of content marketing vs social media marketing. People often focus on one which is social media marketing because it can be easier to produce. 

For a long-term strategy make sure you craft content that you own and then use social media to market that content.

Creating content takes time, planning, and patience. With consistency, your content will start to bring you traffic and covert browser into buyers.

Get a complimentary copy of the Traffic to Conversion guide below to kickstart your conversion strategy for your online store. Inside you’ll find tips on how to website visitors from browsers to buyers.


Hi, I'm Karen, the founder + strategist/Shopify expert behind The May Creative. I help modern luxury brand owners craft elevated eCommerce experiences on Shopify & Klaviyo. So they can scale their business & reach their next level of success. Connect to learn more about working together. Or check out the other articles below and listen to the podcast.


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