The digital marketing landscape is ever-evolving. With a myriad of changing trends and practices to yield the best results, marketers are confronted with numerous challenges to ascertain which approach would help them better to achieve their objectives, and the attempt to understand the differences between inbound marketing and content marketing is one of them. While both of these terms have been used interchangeably for a long time, there’s a core difference that separates the two concepts and aids us to grasp the bigger picture.
Think of it like this: No matter how captivating your writing style and how strong your arguments might be, if the finished essay lacks structure and organization, it will not generate much of an impact on the reader. This is precisely how both types of marketing work. While it’s true that content is the king, it alone isn’t enough to convert leads into customers and needs to be integrated as a part of a comprehensive strategy for success. If you’re wondering that strategy is the inbound marketing strategy then you’re right. In other words, content marketing is regarded as a sub-part of the latter.
Understanding Content Marketing:
In essence, content marketing focuses on building a well-thought approach to creating and delivering regular, relatable, and worthwhile content that is aimed at appealing, engaging, and sustaining a specific target audience along with driving desirable customer action such as sales. It could range from an SEO optimized web page content, a blog post to an aesthetic infographic. For brands, content marketing strategy revolves around telling their own brand stories in a humanizing and entertaining manner that is powerful enough to spark a conversation because at the end of the day, who likes to engage with static and dull content? Therefore, it is important to design content that relates to your audience and that too, in a delightful manner.
Understanding Inbound Marketing:
The primary difference between inbound and outbound marketing or traditional marketing is that instead of reaching out to customers through messages, it focuses on attracting them with a holistic procedure throughout their buying journey from the awareness stage to the stage where they become advocates for your brand. A thoroughly formulated inbound strategy consists of a combination of content strategy, SEO, marketing efforts directed at attaining leads and converting them into customers. The concept is relatively a modern one as it was introduced back in 2006 by HubSpot’s founders as the HubSpot inbound marketing and since then has been proven to offer practical solutions for growing businesses.
Where the Difference Exists:
1- Value vs Results-Driven Approach:
Content marketing does more than selling. It relies on generating content that is educational, helpful, valuable, and provides answers to the reader’s queries and problems. It drives value, assists in establishing trust with your audience, and makes them consider your brand as the one-stop solution for whatever they are looking for. On the contrary, the inbound framework drives results based on the content that adds value to it.
2- Difference in Techniques:
Unlike content marketing that is solely focused on creating and distributing content, the inbound structure follows a step-by-step process to attract, engage, and delight customers. For this purpose, it utilizes a number of techniques including search engine optimization, e-mail marketing, and pay-per-click (PPC).
3- Creative vs Technical Skills:
Yes, that’s right. Both of these types of marketing require different skillsets. Creative skills in writing, photography, and videography are essential for content marketers to produce quality and value-added content. In contrast, inbound professionals need to have a command on the technical aspects as it is a detailed strategy and requires knowledge of analytics and programming and project management.
The Final Verdict:
While both of the marketing strategies have their own strengths, the businesses should analyze and understand how both of the approaches can work together to achieve sustainable outcomes and align their marketing endeavors, accordingly.
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