According to research, content and inbound marketing are some of the most effective marketing strategies. Over 82% of marketers are actively using content marketing for their digital marketing campaigns. The question is, how is content marketing different from inbound marketing?
Even more importantly, which one is right for your business? How can you incorporate both into your marketing strategy? In this article, we’ll look at content marketing vs inbound marketing.
We’ll discuss the key differences between the two and help you understand how to implement both for your business.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the process of creating content that is valuable, and consistent. The main goal is to attract and retain a clearly defined audience to drive profitable customer action.
In other words, it’s about creating content that your target audience will find valuable and interesting. You want to attract, convince, and convert your target audience into customers or clients.
The most important part of content marketing is that it is not sales-y or promotional. Instead, the focus should be on creating content that educates, entertains, or inspires your audience. Moreover, it should be content that they’ll want to share with their own networks.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a holistic and data-driven approach to marketing. The main goal is to attract strangers and turn them into delighted customers and promoters of your business.
The inbound methodology is built around four key pillars: attract, engage, delight, and promote. Inbound marketing aims to attract strangers through various digital channels. In this context, strangers mean people not actively looking for your products or services.
You engage with consumers so they get to know your brand and what you have to offer. You delight them, so they become loyal fans. Finally, you promote them to become brand ambassadors who help spread the word about your business.
What’s the Difference Between the Two?
There are many differences between content marketing and inbound marketing. The main difference is that content marketing is one part of inbound marketing. In other words, content marketing is a subset of inbound marketing.
Here are some more differences:
Inbound Marketing Is a Holistic Approach That Includes Content Marketing
However, content marketing can stand alone. Inbound marketing takes a comprehensive view of the customer journey. It seeks to attract, engage, and delight customers at every stage.
Content marketing focuses on creating and distributing valuable content. However, both approaches share some commonalities.
For example, they both seek to create content that appeals to their target audience. They also both use SEO keywords to help people find their content. Finally, they both use analytics to measure their success.
Inbound marketing covers the entire spectrum of activities that attract strangers and turn them into happy customers. It’s a holistic, 360-degree marketing approach. It includes content marketing and extends to other activities like SEO, social media, and email marketing.
Specific Buyer Persona vs. Broad Target Audience
Inbound marketing starts with your target audience. From there, you create content that appeals to a specific buyer persona. Content marketing also has a target audience, but it’s usually broader.
For example, if you’re selling running shoes, you might target anyone interested in fitness and exercise. However, your inbound marketing would be more focused on people who are looking for running shoes specifically.
Creating content for a specific buyer persona ensures that it’s relevant and useful for them. It also helps you build trust and credibility with your target audience because they know you understand their needs.
Inbound Marketing Is More Expensive Than Content Marketing
Inbound marketing requires a greater investment of time and money than content marketing. This is because inbound marketing encompasses a wider range of activities, like social media, email marketing, and SEO.
Additionally, to be successful with inbound marketing, you need to have a team of people working on it full-time. This includes content creators, designers, web developers, and analysts. In contrast, content marketing can be done with just one or two people.
Inbound Marketing Is More Complex Than Content Marketing
Inbound marketing is a complex process that includes multiple steps and touchpoints. It requires the use of multiple tools to be successful. For example, you’ll need a CRM to track your leads and an email autoresponder to nurture your relationships with customers. You should also use marketing automation software to make things easier.
In contrast, content marketing can be done with just a few tools, like a website and social media accounts. Moreover, it’s relatively simple to create and distribute content.
Is One Better Than the Other?
The answer to this question depends on your business goals. You may be looking to generate awareness and build relationships with potential customers. In this case, content marketing might be better.
You see, content marketing focuses on creating valuable content that appeals to a broad target audience. On the other hand, you may be looking to generate leads and close sales. In this case, inbound marketing would be a better choice.
Inbound marketing starts with your target audience in mind. You create content that appeals to their specific needs. Additionally, inbound marketing employs other strategies.
Some of them include search engine optimization, and email marketing, which can help you close more deals.
Should You Choose One Over the Other?
No, content marketing and inbound marketing are two complementary approaches. You should use them together to attract and engage customers. You’ll be able to reach more people and achieve your business goals.
If you’re not sure where to start, content marketing is a good place. You can begin by creating blog posts, infographics, ebooks, and other types of content that’ll appeal to your target audience. Once you have a solid content strategy in place, start incorporating other inbound marketing tactics.
Content Marketing vs Inbound Marketing: A Guide
So, content marketing vs inbound marketing? These are two effective ways to attract and engage customers. However, they’re different approaches that should be used depending on your business goals.
If you’re unsure which direction to take your content strategy, consider working with a content marketing agency. They can help you develop a plan that meets your specific needs. With the right strategy in place, you can start generating leads and driving sales for your business.
Now that you know the difference between content and inbound marketing, head to our blog for more business-related content.