Don’t confuse the two.

Something to consider. What’s the difference between “content” and “creative?” Many people think they are the same thing. But they are very different because they are made differently.

Content is a blunt-force approach to marketing. It’s about continuously delivering work until the reader eventually finds value. Most content is done quickly. (This post took 12 minutes to write.) Most of content is seen but ignored (I have 74 posts on Medium, how many have you read?). It’s not about craft, it’s about consistency. Delivering on a cadence. The body of work is more important than any single piece.

Creative, in approach, is more like a laser. Focussed. It starts with research. A strategy. A message. A call to action. A goal. It has value baked in when it’s done right. It has massive amounts of time and effort and energy packed into its creation. A worthy piece of creative requires a couple of days to craft. At least. It requires insight and skill and a deep understanding of the audience. And it succeeds or fails on its own. One piece of creative can change the world.

There are some media where one approach is more appropriate than the other. Out-of-home is more of a creative medium. Your organization’s blog is more of a content-appropriate place. On social media, the line is completely blurred. Which makes things interesting. And very exciting.

Is one better than the other? Is a table saw better than a chain saw? They are different and one deploys them differently. Obviously, I believe in both. And I execute both. Although, I find it interesting that most young writers these days are building content and most older practitioners are making creative. It may have something to do with being a digital native versus a crafty old fart, or the fact that newer writers will work for less money and therefore one can afford to hire them to write 74 blog posts.

What are you making today? Me? I’m actually doing both.

Grant Sanders is the founder and the strategic and creative lead at the SAND Agency, a strategic and creative consultancy for the transportation industry. He digs being creative and is also content to make content.

Essays on the creative process from Grant Sanders. Creative astronaut. Art and copy switch-hitter. Brand strategist. Client confidant. Founder, SAND.

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