Rebecca Lane

By: Rebecca Lane on January 7th, 2023

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Content Management vs Knowledge Management: What’s the Difference?

Are content management and knowledge management the same thing?

It’s easy to mix the terms up or use them interchangeably, much like our dear friend from The Princess Bride.

However, content management and knowledge management serve different purposes. Ultimately, your company needs both of them to run a successful business.

As someone who does content management by writing about knowledge management, I should know. With ScreenSteps — a knowledge base software company that helps you manage your company knowledge — we teach people the best way to communicate company knowledge. And it’s different than how you do content management.

So, I’m here to help! I’ve broken content management vs knowledge management into an easy-to-skim table below. Then, if you have any questions or want to dig deeper into the differences, I dive into a more detailed explanation below.

Quick overview: Key differentiators

Content management and knowledge management may sound the same, but they are not the same system or strategy.

Both are in the business of collecting, creating, and sharing messaging. They both track how that information is used. However, content and knowledge management are quite different in their purposes.

Here is a quick overview of how content management and knowledge management are different. Then you can dive into a more detailed explanation below.


Content Management

Knowledge Management


Prospective customers



Marketing & Sales Department

Knowledge Ops (i.e. L&D, Training, IT, Operations)


  • Marketing materials
  • Ads
  • Blog posts
  • Social media
  • Web pages
  • Emails

Communication Relationship

Company to customer

Company to end-user (typically employees)

Content Delivery

Information is pushed

Information is stored and available when end-users search for it

Content management

Content management is the system behind creating, managing, and distributing content across different channels. It is educational, informational, and/or sales materials specifically tailored for the general public.

The purpose of content management is to organize and present information your business wants to share with potential clients and customers.

Typically, content is targeted to a specific audience and demographic.

How companies use content management

Typically, content management falls under the Marketing Department. However, the Sales Department can be involved as well. The marketing team can help other departments with their materials as well.

The marketing team creates a variety of visual and written content to share with customers and prospective customers. These materials include:

  • Advertisements (videos and graphics)
  • Emails/newsletters
  • Website pages
  • Blogs
  • Social media
  • And more

An example of content management is this blog post. It was created for the public to learn the nuanced differences between content management and knowledge management.

Content management tools

The most common tool for content management is a CMS (Content Management System). These systems allow your teams to plan, organize, create, and share content. It allows teams to track what is created and how it is being used.

Common CMS tools include WordPress and HubSpot.

Knowledge management

Knowledge management is the process of collecting, creating, organizing, managing, and sharing information in your organization. It is focused on sharing company knowledge.

The purpose is to provide end-users with the company’s policies, processes, and procedures. Knowledge management deals with the operations and the how-tos.

Your knowledge management resources serve as your internal and/or external help center. You create and store information in your software so that end-users can search for and access the information when they need it.

How companies use knowledge management

The audience for your knowledge management materials is your end-users. This can be strictly internal (i.e. employees), it can include customers, or it could include anyone on the internet. It depends on who you want to have access to your policies and procedures.

Note: Many knowledge management tools allow you to manage permissions so that different audiences can see specific articles in your knowledge management system.

Most commonly, knowledge management systems are used for internal operations.

An important element of knowledge management is that end-users can search your system to find the necessary information.

Knowledge management tools

To implement a knowledge management strategy, you need cloud-based software. That way, end-users can access it whenever and wherever they need it.

There are various knowledge management tools with similar but different capabilities. Some knowledge management tool options include:

Explore a few knowledge management tools here.

Do you need content management or knowledge management?

All businesses need both a content management and knowledge management strategy and software. While they both help you get organized as well as create and share content, they serve different purposes in your company.

If you need to create and manage marketing materials to create potential customers, you need a content management strategy and software.

If you want to provide end-users access to your policies and procedures, you need a knowledge management system.

With ScreenSteps, you can easily manage your company knowledge. Our ScreenSteps knowledge base allows you to create and update articles quickly. Then our robust search engine makes it easy for end-users to find the instructions they need in as few as two clicks.

There are many knowledge base software options to help you manage your knowledge. Learn more about knowledge base software and how it can help you with your knowledge management strategy.

Ultimate Guide to Knowledge Base Software Guide

About Rebecca Lane

Content Marketing Manager