What's the Difference between Messaging and Content Marketing?

May 18, 2022

This post was originally distributed within our Substack newsletter

A Couple of Definitions

We use the terms “messaging” and “content marketing” a lot on our website, in our emails, and in our materials. This begs the question: what do those terms mean?

They can mean slightly different things to different people, and be sensitive to context.

Here are the definitions that we use in the context of the MessageUp business.


Messaging is how your company communicates with the outside world. This includes the words and images it chooses to express itself, as well as the emotions and feelings that its communication evokes in the audience.

We usually focus on the words that a business uses to explain why it is in business, who it serves, the value it creates for its target customers.

However, since B2B buying decisions are more emotional than rational, it’s also important to understand how those words are presented — the brand elements within which they are wrapped and supported — and how that affects a buyer’s perception of the brand and its products.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the process of producing and publishing information that members of your company’s target audience find relevant and helpful.

Buyers spend considerable time analyzing the challenge they are trying to solve and evaluating potential solutions — before they are ready to buy. During that time, they aren’t necessarily interested in product features and benefits. Instead, they’re receptive to information that helps them make an informed decision and removes friction from their buying process.

Done well, content marketing builds trust between a vendor and its target audience, and ensures the vendor is top of mind whenever a prospect is ready to make a purchase.

Why Are We So Fixated on These Things?

Good question! We ask ourself the same thing on a regular basis. Thankfully, our purpose statement keeps us straight.

We’re here to fuel growth at small-to-mid-sized B2B businesses by helping them deliver impactful content marketing.

Our belief is that B2B businesses operating in the Information Age must clearly and effectively communicate their message to prospective buyers if they are to compete and grow. This requires both an effective message and a content marketing strategy that attracts and engages the target audience.

Companies that fail to heed this digital, content marketing imperative will find themselves left behind — even out of business — as their competitors achieve greater visibility and earn the mind share that translates into market share once prospects are ready to purchase.

Until Next Time

We want to make this blog as helpful as possible to you. So, tell us what you'd like to know! The most requested topics will gain priority on our editorial calendar.

We're also looking for guest posts by B2B content marketing experts and practitioners. Email us your ideas and we'll be in touch.

We look forward to your feedback. And if there's someone else you know who would benefit from reading The Framework, please send them this link!

Thank you for reading!

~ Team MessageUp

Image Credit: Romain Vignes on Unsplash

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