You’ve heard us say many times: Content marketing is the practice of using quality content so as to earn buyer trust from your potential customers. Content is king, and with a solid content marketing strategy, you have a solid foundation for educating your buyers, addressing their needs and winning them over.
But regular and original content is only half the story. Yes, it helps generate traffic and search engines find you, but it falls short of helping you capture leads and move them along your customer journey pipeline.
Content marketing requires a strategic digital marketing framework, which is where the term “inbound marketing” comes from. Often people will use the terms “content marketing” and “inbound marketing” interchangeably, but do they mean the same thing? If not, what’s the difference?
That’s exactly what we’re going to cover in this blog post, where we take a look at:
Here’s the simplest and shortest answer: content marketing is simply a part of inbound marketing, a component that sits under the inbound marketing umbrella, if you will. Now let’s look at these terms in more detail:
The Content Marketing Institute have created a fantastic definition, so rather than paraphrase, here’s the definition in full:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Content marketing can take many forms as well. Examples of content would be:
In any case, content gives you the platform position yourself as an authority figure, to build trust, allowing your buyers turn up more informed, more educated and ready to buy from. It’s about obsessing over your customers, their needs and their pain points, and answering their desire for information.
We’ve talked about “They ask, you answer” and the “Big 5” as the best example of content marketing in its truest form, and once the principles of content marketing, you’ll begin to see big companies embracing the methodology. Microsoft, Cisco and John Deere are all fantastic examples.Your content marketing efforts will undoubtedly generate traffic for your website, which means you need to have a strategy for collecting the leads, which continues nicely to:
Inbound marketing is a set of tools, technologies and processes that work together to capture leads, build relationships, and convert your leads into loyal and paying customers. Inbound and content marketing work together, with content being the essential backbone that drives traffic.
An inbound marketing strategy means you have multiple channels configured for the whole buyer journey: Attract, Engage, Delight. By addressing every stage, you have a toolset for marketing and sales to drive your business forward. In addition to content, inbound marketing requires the following:
Let’s summarise: It’s not a case of content marketing vs. inbound marketing. Instead, inbound marketing and content marketing and work together, with content marketing merely a piece of your inbound marketing strategy.
Once you’ve embraced content marketing, your next step is to evaluate what tools you need to implement inbound marketing in your business. You’ll notice we’re an inbound marketing agency ourselves, and if you need support getting setup in your business, fill in the diagnostic to let us know where you’re at.
BONUS TIP: If you’re looking for a template for putting together you’re inbound marketing strategy, why not get our full guide on The Marketing BLUEPRINTTM!