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Content versus Context in Traditional and Social Media Advertising



Subject Social Media Pages 3 Style APA


Content marketing refers to a marketing approach where an organization creates and distributes valuable, consistent, and relevant content to target audiences. On the other hand, marketing denotes creating and delivering accurate and correctly timed messages that speak to consumers’ individual needs at the right time and place based on customers’ past interactions with the brand (Müller & Christandl, 2019). Evidently, unlike traditional media, which targets large volumes of customers with its content-based marketing, context marketing, as applied in social media advertising, is more targeted at individual customers. This analysis justifies why the adage ‘content is king’ is best suited for traditional media and not digital media.

A critical analysis of Voorveld et al. (2018)’s statement that social media advertisement is more about context than content justifies the paradigm shift from content-focused advertising to context-focused advertising. Context marketing trumps content marketing since the former is more targeted and accurate in reaching individual customers. This is unlike the latter approach to marketing where the advertisement is not targeting a specific customer need, thus lowering the chance of winning and converting the customer.

The analysis evinces that context marketing is more effective and counterproductive. It uses customer metrics such as past experiences, and consumer patterns to design personalized advertising messages that convince them to make a purchase (Ghose & Todri-Adamopoulos, 2016). An example is when a marketer collects customer preferences and designs customized messages that entice them to use a certain service. This is unlike traditional media, where the seller could design general messages to convince few customers to use their services.


Ghose, A., & Todri-Adamopoulos, V. (2016). Toward a Digital Attribution Model: Measuring the Impact of Display Advertising on Online Consumer Behavior. MIS Quarterly, 40(4), 889-A30.

Müller, J., & Christandl, F. (2019). Content is king–But who is the king of kings? The effect of content marketing, sponsored content & user-generated content on brand responses. Computers in Human Behavior, 96, 46-55.

 Voorveld, H. A. M., van Noort, G., Muntinga, D. G., & Bronner, F. (2018). Engagement with Social Media and Social Media Advertising: The Differentiating Role of Platform Type. Journal of Advertising, 47(1), 38–54.


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