Marketing has become challenging over time. Today there are content marketing, inbound marketing, influencer marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and many more. Marketers sometimes get in a dilemma to choose the correct marketing strategy. And it’s more difficult when some marketing strategies sound similar. So this article entirely focuses on clearing the confusion- content marketing vs inbound marketing.
In order to know which approach is right for your business, you need to know differences, similarities, and how they work together to give accurate results to grow your business. So let’s begin by understanding inbound marketing and content marketing.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is a methodology that helps businesses to adjust their marketing strategies in the way buyers are shopping for the products and service. Today’s buyers don’t like to be interrupted while shopping, therefore, inbound marketing has tactics that help businesses to be found by their customers whenever they are searching for related products and services.
With this approach, you can turn those anonymous visitors into leads then nurture them until they become sales-ready. In fact, inbound marketing provides real-time data and insights that can be used to improve the performance of marketing.
Most importantly, inbound marketing focuses on delivering the right content to the right customers at the right time. There are tactics in inbound marketing that encourages people to take a certain action. The more touchpoint where you can build trust with your customers, the more ways you generate to convert them into the lead in the buyer’s journeys.
Are you wondering about the tactics of inbound marketing? Here are some tactics every business can use:
- Blog: Create educational and relevant blogs that encourage people to click the content. These types of content play a major role in attracting leads and help to boost organic traffic.
- SEO: Blogging is incomplete without Search engine optimization. Without optimizing your blog with SEO your content won’t be found in the first place. Ensure you’re using SEO strategies.
- Email: Segment the subscribers on the base of the type of content relevant to them, then promote the content in a suitable way to get effective results.
Many strategies are used as a part of inbound marketing, including publishing guides, videos, whitepaper, and displaying pop-ups, etc. Inbound marketing is a combination of almost every type of marketing, including content marketing. So, it’s easy to spot where the confusion might arise.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is an approach to create, publishing, and distributing valuable content to attract targeted audiences online. In other words, content marketing is creating content for audiences in the targeted group so that they find it helpful, useful, and interesting.
Even though the content doesn’t have strong call-to-action, it creates a certain level of bond with the brand. Content marketing will obviously take a long time, but once you start building a durable relationship with the customers, eventually, the number of loyal customers increases.
Actually, content marketing is the preferred way to build a strong bond with your potential customers. And slowly turning those customers into leads and then generate revenue from them.
To be very clear, content marketing is part of inbound marketing, but various strategies of inbound marketing have nothing to do with content marketing.
How are they different from one another?
Inbound marketing and content marketing have both similarities and differences, but let’s start with differences.
Content marketing focuses on creating relevant content and distributing those content across different online channels. For example, if you’re a content marketer, your basic responsibility will be to write content, share it on appropriate online platforms, and ensure it is read and shared by people who find it applicable.
But, inbound marketing is very different from content marketing. Inbound marketing focuses on developing a website that attracts the visitors and adds content to motivate them to take required action- make a purchase, fill the form, or just urge then to follow on social media.
Inbound marketing is much more than just building relationships through content, it involves all the activities and methods that inspire people to take action. Content marketing program focuses on creating content that resonates with your audiences, while inbound marketing includes verities of methods from blogs to videos to social media.
Are they similar?
If you do research on inbound marketing and content marketing, you’ll find certain aspects are similar between them. As content marketing is the embedded part of inbound marketing, it’s very obvious to have similarities.
Inbound marketing and content marketing both involve a holistic view of marketing that focuses on satisfying visitors’ needs. Both marketing approach use non-interruptive way to perform their task, and relay on a slow and steady process of creating a brand’s relationship with customers.
However, content marketing and inbound marketing aren’t the same as they have different methods to accomplish the task. Content marketing is just supporting inbound marketing by creating and distributing relevant content.
Though both approaches have some similarities. However these methods differ from each other, so they are not really the same things.
Can both the approaches be applied?
Well, if you just write content, publish it, and use it to target audiences, you’re just doing a half job. Content marketing is just one task of an inbound marketing strategy. Yes, you need content marketing, but you also need complete inbound marketing strategies to get productive results.
Not all inbound marketing is content marketing, but content marketing is a piece of all inbound marketing. Therefore, both approaches need to be used to reach in a stable manner.
Is one approach better than the other?
Both content marketing and inbound marketing should be used ideally as a part of the digital marketing strategy. Neither approach is better than another. Actually, when using both approaches together, you’ll get fantastic results.
Inbound marketing is necessary as it will improve the performance of your website. And content is the driving factor of inbound marketing, so there is nothing like one is better than another. Both approaches work together to get the best result.
How to use these approaches online?
Inbound marketing tactics focus on putting the right elements at the right place on your website. This means inbound marketing makes your website user friendly and giving answers to common questions by adding images, videos, blogs. It’s all about providing value to your customers in a way that encourages them to convert.
Whereas, content marketing should focus on creating content that answers every question of your audience. When you write content, it should motivate customers to share on social media platforms. The intention here is to drive organic traffic, build links, and so on. The main reason to perform these activities is to add value to your brand and build a strong bond with customers.
By using both approaches, you can encounter massive improvement in your website. Inbound needs content to move forward, so inbound marketing and content marketing works together.
You need a blog for the website and content for social media. EBooks and content are the base to start digital marketing. Therefore if you have content that can get all eyes, inbound marketing can work to your expectations and can drive effective results.
Content Marketing Vs. Inbound Marketing: What should we expect from these approaches?
The result that you expect from content marketing is much narrow than the result you expect from inbound marketing. When you create content to attract and retain audiences by using an inbound marketing strategy you’ll get overall benefits from the marketing campaign. But if you simply write a blog, post it on the website and expect it to bring leads, might not work.
However, if you create a strategic inbound marketing plan and content marketing is the driving factor of the plan, then you can expect more visitors, leads, and new customers.
Let’s put it this way to make it clear.
Suppose your goal is to improve the experience of website visitors by adding more content. Then content marketing might be the right strategy for you. But if you aim to build a lead generating strategy that brings leads month over month, then implementing an inbound marketing approach with its entire component would be a better option.
Inbound marketing and content marketing together can make a great website. The method involves in these approaches can grow your visibility, generate leads, build strong relationships with the audience, and get your content shared over and over again. By utilizing both approaches, you’re making it more likely to succeed in an online platform.