A lot of us confuse content marketing and inbound marketing as the same thing. We may use these terms interchangeably and miss the difference between these strategies.
In this blog, we’ll try to highlight the differences and similarities between the two to give a sense of clarity.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing, as opposed to traditional marketing, is the practice of using content in various forms like blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, videos and podcasts, to attract or acquire customers, engage them and convert them. It is a marketing strategy based on leveraging content and various content distribution platforms like social media, emailers and digital media sites to name a few.
Content created by brands is often aimed at educating people about the problems the brand, its product or solutions solve versus talking about the brand itself. Content marketing shifts focus from selling a product to solving a real problem.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a business methodology that uses highly relevant and targeted content to attract and convert an audience. As opposed to outbound marketing, like cold calling, which essentially means reaching out to prospects proactively, inbound marketing focuses on bringing customers to you.
So, while content connects the audience to the brand, inbound marketing gives structure to all steps in the prospect’s buying process. From techniques to content creation, ads, SEO, conversion of lead, the buying process is a part of inbound marketing. To be precise, this model enhances the buying process and helps in business development for the organization.
To take full advantage of inbound marketing, you need to set some frameworks like having automation identify the right lead for sales. It also helps to get the correct data for your sales team, which they can use to contact potential clients and convert them to buyers.
Content marketing analytics gives information on each metric and helps understand how potential clients can be drawn to your business.
Inbound marketing uses three key strategies to help drive customers. These are as follows:
- Attract: Bringing in people with the right content and information will make your audience trust your opinion.
- Engage: Learn to involve your audience with interesting facts and stories.
- Delight: Provide support to your audience so they get more interested and are more likely to buy your product.
Inbound and content marketing both make an encounter that is useful and applicable to those on the less than desirable end. They’re both centered around a whole excursion that is not interruptive but instead meets the potential buyer precisely where they are and empowers them to select into future interchanges, sustaining them on their way.
Both the methods adopt a slow and steady strategy to obtain clients. However, the trust they fabricate encourages and engages users well.
Content marketing involves a fundamental approach zeroed in on making and disseminating significant, applicable, and steady content to draw in and hold a niche crowd — and, eventually, to drive productive client activity. Content marketing has three key benefits:
- Increase sales
- Save costs
- Build loyal customers
This type of marketing is not possible without excellent and relevant content. It is different from inbound marketing in the following ways. Content marketing is carried out using the right content, which could be videos or text to draw in your audience. Inbound marketing is used to engage an already established audience. Engaging the audience helps push them towards the first purchase and many more after that.
Some schools of thought believe that while inbound marketing ends at bringing in the prospect and making the sale, content marketing goes much beyond it, as marketers are always required to create new and exciting pieces of content to retain, engage and upsell to existing customers. Hence, content marketing becomes a much bigger entity in which inbound marketing exists.
No marketer should see inbound marketing and content marketing as two different strategies. They should instead be seen as two strategies that go well together. If they are used together effectively, you will see considerable growth in sales and ROI.
Along with these strategies, every company should also focus on content marketing scope for these strategies to work effectively. Techniques like web design, SEO, and lead management should be optimized to work well with content marketing and inbound marketing strategies.